Our View: Pepper Fest offers chance for late-summer fun
The North Hudson Pepper Festival is this weekend, and it offers area residents another opportunity to have some fun and see the proceeds benefit many local organizations.
The Pepper Fest, like Booster Days held earlier this summer, involves many activities. The celebration, however, is centered on North Hudson's Italian heritage and probably has more emphasis on food!
There are still many with Italian backgrounds living in North Hudson, but today the village is populated by people of many backgrounds. The Italian influence, however, gives everyone an opportunity to test their taste buds with Italian food.
The history of the Pepper Fest is unique. When it began in 1954 it was a fund-raising event for the North Hudson Elementary School. In those days, the school was independent, not part of the Hudson school system.
Momentum for the Pepper Fest waned when the school districts combined, and the event ceased to exist for a number of years in the 1960s. In the 1970s, however, the fest was revived as a one-day event and soon turned into the action-packed, three-day celebration we observe today.
In addition to eating, there are plenty of other Pepper fest activities, including a carnival, parade, eating contests, live entertainment, talent show, queen coronation -- the list goes on and on.
Proceeds from the volunteer-run, non-profit festival are donated to local youth, school, community and service organizations. Last year the Pepper Festival Executive Committee gave more than $15,000 to local community groups.
To make the weekend successful, of course, requires our participation.
Hats off to all the organizations and helpers involved with the annual festival. The 2009 Pepper Festival officers and board members are President Dan Barber, Vice President Rita Nichols, Secretary Vicki Sippel and Treasurer Sher Van de Sande; board members, Ryan Copeland, Tami Johnson, Michele Nelson, Scott Sippel, Cheryl Solberg and Anita Stilwell.
Enjoy yourself in North Hudson this weekend, and feel good about the fact that the money earned will be put to good use -- locally!