Hot Sauce Festival

The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival

Sunday, August 25, 2019, 11am-5pm at Fiesta Gardens
2101 Jesse E. Segovia St, Austin TX 78702

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  • Is parking available on-site?
    Parking is limited around Fiesta Gardens and Lady Bird Lake at no cost, but is limited. Please take public transportation, car pool, park remotely, arrange a ride, rideshare, or ride your bike! Bike racks will be provided next to the entrance on the west end of the park, remember to bring your own lock! You can consult the city's trail directory here.
  • We recommend getting to the fest with bus route 17 from Capital Metro, running every 15 minutes and dropping off three blocks from the fest. If you do choose to park in the neighborhoods adjacent to the festival, please respect residents' driveways and parking signs.
  • How much does it cost to get in?
    The event entry is free with a suggested $5 cash donation to the Central Texas Food Bank.
  • Can I bring water, snacks, and my cooler?
    You may bring an empty water bottle to fill up at the festival, and there is bottled water available for purchase. No coolers and no outside food or drinks are allowed.
  • Are dogs allowed?
    We love dogs! But unfortunately dogs are not allowed on the festival grounds.
  • Are children allowed?
    Yes, this is a family-friendly event, but please note that it’s super hot out so plan accordingly.
  • Can I smoke at the festival?
    Nope.
  • What’s the bathroom situation?
    There are portable toilets available at the park.
  • Do you take credit cards?
    Some vendors will accept credit cards, but entry donations are cash only. There are two ATMs on-site for your convenience.
  • How do I enter my salsa?
    To enter your salsa in the 2019 Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival, print this entry form and mail it with a check or money order to Austin Chronicle Attn: Hot Sauce Festival, PO Box 4189, Austin, TX 78765 by Wednesday, August 21. You may also bring the form and your payment and register the morning of the event between 10am and noon.
  • If I’m a commercial bottler, how do I participate in the festival?
    For more information about exhibiting product as a commercial hot sauce bottler please email hotsauce@austinchronicle.com.
  • When will the winners be posted?
    Monday, Aug. 26, at austinchronicle.com/hotsaucewinners. Feel free to post about your win and use #HotSauceFest.
  • How do I volunteer at the festival?
  • How does the contest work?

    At the heart of The Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival is the contest itself. The blind-tasting competition for individuals, restaurants, and commercial bottlers is conducted by top chefs, food writers, and notable personalities. They take hot sauce seriously, and so do most of the people who enter. Several previous winners in the individual category have gone on to start their own hot sauce companies.

    The contest has three classes of competition: individual (homemade), restaurant, and commercial bottler. This gives us a good chance to recognize homemade sauces in a class by themselves. It also lets us consider salsas made fresh daily in restaurants, apart from those made for grocery store shelves. The categories in each class 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.

    Restaurant, commercial, and individual hot sauces that have been made in a commercial kitchen are available for tasting by the public in the Tasting Pavilion at the center of Fiesta Gardens. Due to health department regulations, individuals’ hot sauces cannot be served to the general public unless they were made in a commercial kitchen.