Contest & Festival Facts

13th Annual 'Austin Chronicle' Hot Sauce Festival

The Capital Area Food Bank and The Austin Chronicle invite you to join us for the 13th annual Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival, this Sunday, Aug. 24, from 11am-5pm at Waterloo Park (12th & Red River).

Admission is FREE, with your donation of two nonperishable food items for the Capital Area Food Bank.

There's also free, shaded parking in the Capitol Visitors parking garage at 12th & Trinity.


Schedule of Events

Sunday, August 24 at Waterloo Park

10:30-11:30am: Check-in for individual and restaurant contestants at the south end of Waterloo Park

11am: Festival begins

11am-noon: Patricia Vonne performs

12:30-2:30pm: Grupo Fantasma performs

3-5pm: The Derailers perform

4pm: People's Choice voting for best commercial sauces ends

5pm: Awards announced


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

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. See the entry form on p.6 of this supplement.

Salsas 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).

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:

Commercial red sauce

Commercial green sauce

Commercial hot-pepper sauce

Commercial special variety

People's Choice voting for the Best Commercial Bottler Sauces will be held under the balloting tent by the Cool Zone (the blue flag on the map).

Vote for your favorites by 4pm.

Winners will be announced at 5pm.


Food Vendors

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

Aster's Ethiopian Catering

Berryhill Baja Grill

Curra's Grill

Evita's Botanitas

Sun Garden Shaved Ice

Zen Japanese Food Fast

Chips for the 13th annual Hot Sauce Festival are kindly donated by HEB.

Cold water, soda, lemonade, and beer will be available to cool off overheated palates.


Capital Area Food Bank's Out N' About Austin Raffle

ALL proceeds help to feed our hungry friends and neighbors throughout Central Texas!


T-Shirts & Caps

Hot Sauce Festival T-shirts will be for sale under the Chronicle tent for only $15 each. We also have festival baseball caps this year ($12) and koozies ($2).

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