Flaming Lips & Tongues on Fire

The 11th Annual 'Austin Chronicle' Hot Sauce Festival Sunday at Waterloo Park

The Cornell Hurd Band
The Cornell Hurd Band

Contest & Festival Facts

The Capital Area Food Bank and The Austin Chronicle invite you to join us for the 11th Annual Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival, this Sunday, August 26, from 11am to 5pm at Waterloo Park (12th & Red River). Admission is FREE, with your donation of a nonperishable food item for the Capital Area Food Bank.

There's also free, shaded parking in the state office parking garages along Trinity.

The Hot Sauce Contest

The contest has three levels of competition: individuals (homemade), restaurants, and commercial bottlers. This gives us a good chance to recognize homemade salsas in a class by themselves. It also gives us a chance to consider salsas made fresh daily in restaurants apart from those made for grocery store shelves. The three categories of hot sauce for each level are designed to leave enough room for a wide variety of styles. In the past, special variety sauces have included fruit salsas, dried pepper salsas, and even a purple sauce.

Homemade Salsas/ Restaurant Salsas

All salsas in these categories are available for tasting by the public at the designated tasting tent in the middle of the Waterloo Park grounds (triangular dipping chips on the map).

You can still enter by bringing a quart of your best salsa to the check-in area in Waterloo Park between 10:30 and 11:30am on Sunday. For this part of the contest, our judges pick the winners in each of the following categories:

Homemade red

Homemade green

Homemade special variety

Restaurant red

Restaurant green

Restaurant special variety

Winners will be announced at 5pm.

Commercial Salsas/ People's Choice Award

Commercial salsas are not included in the rest of the tasting, but are available at separate booths around the park (green numbers on the map).

The public is invited to vote in the commercial categories, which include:

Commercial red sauce

Kevin Fowler
Kevin Fowler

Commercial green sauce

Commercial hot pepper sauce

Commercial special variety

Ballots for voting are available at the Austin Chronicle booth near the stage (the blue flag on the map). Pick one up, vote for your favorites, and return the ballot to the booth by 3pm.

Winners will be announced at 5pm.

Live Music

Find some shade and relax while you enjoy live music from Floramay Holliday from 11am-noon, Kevin Fowler from 12:30-2:30, and The Cornell Hurd Band from 3-5 pm. Waterloo Records will be on hand with some hot deals on great music to suit all tastes.

Food Vendors

Sample the fare from some of Austin's favorite restaurants, including:

Fajitas from Curra's

Gorditas from Tequila Texas

Tamales from Evitas Botanitas

Sandwiches from Jimmy John's

Shrimp & beef skewers from Iron Cactus

Chopped beef sandwiches from Ruby's BBQ

Mexican eggrolls from Antonio's TexMex

Chips for the 11th Annual Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival are kindly donated by El Milagro Tortillaria.

COLD water, soda & beer will be available to cool off overheated palates. Just look for the Dos Equis sign.

Silent Auction

Visit the Capital Area Food Bank's Silent Auction tent at the southwest corner of the park. Items up for bid include a man's gold watch compliments of Russell Korman, a free dinner for two at the Driskill, a pair of limited edition sunglasses from Santa Fe Optical, one night's hotel stay for two at the Marriott at the Capitol, pearl and gold necklace and bracelet set from Precision Watch & Jewelry, a gift certificate to Ruth's Chris Steak House, a 14-karat gold bracelet from Kruger's Jewelry, and a one-year family membership to the Blanton Museum of Art.

Since 1998, Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival attendees have donated more than $11,000 and 14,340 pounds of food to the Capital Area Food Bank. These donations enable the Food Bank to provide 99,472 meals for our neighbors in need throughout Central Texas. Donations this year will help the Food Bank to expand innovative programs, including Kids Cafe, Fresh Food For Families and the Healthy Options Program for the Elderly (HOPE), all of which directly confront the issues of hunger and food insecurity in our community.


Hot Sauce Festival T-shirts will be available under the Chronicle tent for only $15 each.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

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