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Pepper Festival starts Friday

The annual North Hudson Pepper Festival begins tomorrow and runs through Sunday at Pepper Fest Park in North Hudson. The three-day celebration honors the community's Italian heritage and includes Italian food, a carnival, parade, queen coronation, and spaghetti and hot pepper eating contests. Proceeds from the Pepper Festival are donated to various groups and organizations serving the Hudson and North Hudson area.

Festival Activities include:

Grand Parade

The Pepper Fest Grand Parade is Saturday, Aug. 18, at 11 a.m. The parade begins at the intersection of Lemon and Michaelson streets north, running west down Michaelson and then south on Sixth Street North (Hwy. 35) to St. Croix Street North. Contact Gina at (651) 253-0124 or with questions or information.

Casino Night

The Club of Kings will hold a casino night featuring blackjack. The kings will be taking donations with 100 percent of the money donated towards the new Pepper Fest Royalty float. For a donation, the former Pepper Fest kings will give out mugs, shirts, beads and tokens to play blackjack. The event is on Friday and Saturday from 7-11 p.m.

New tractor pull

New to Pepper Fest this year is the sport of pedal pulling on Sunday. registration begins at 11:30 a.m. and the event begins at noon and is open to boys and girls ages 4-12.

There will be nine divisions by age (mixing boys and girls). Each contestant must register prior to the event and have a parent's or guardian's signature on the registration form. Pedal tractors for each age group and the weight skid and weights are provided. The top three pullers who pull the weighted sled the greatest distance in their age group will receive a trophy. Trophies awarded for first, second, and third place in each age group.

Pepper Cooking Contest

The amateur food cooking contest is Sunday, Aug. 19, outside the North Hudson Village Hall, 1 to 3 p.m. Contestants may whip up their favorite dish containing peppers and enter this contest. There is a maximum of two entrees per person or one entrée per category per age group.

Only entrees with recipes included will be allowed to display and compete.

Registration forms can be found at and should be filled out prior to contest start. If needed, electricity and power cords must be supplied by contestant. For more information contact Anita at (715) 381-1683.

Eating Contests

The Championship Spaghetti contest begins at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18. Teams of five will eat one pound of spaghetti each in hopes of the top prize of $75 and a T-shirt for each winning team member. The second place team earns $50. The entry fee is $25 with sign up on Saturday, Aug. 18, in the Pepper Fest office of the Village Hall.

The Championship Hot Pepper Eating contest begins at 6 p.m. Teams of five will eat one pound of hot peppers each in hopes of the top prize of $200 and a T-shirt for each winning team member. The second place team earns $100. The entry fee is $50 with sign up on Saturday, Aug. 18, in the Pepper Fest office of the Village Hall.

Foot races

The one mile family fun walk/run, 5K and 10K runs are Saturday, Aug. 18, beginning at the North Hudson Village Hall. The 5K and 10K will be chip timed this year. The entry fee is $10 for the One Mile Fun Run, $20 for the 5K and $25 for the 10K. All participants receive a T-shirt. Trophies are awarded to the top female and male winners of each age bracket of the 10K race and to the over-all female and male winners of the 5K race.

Registration is online through Aug. 14 at


Pepper Fest queen contest has 16 candidates (second eight pictured this week) vying for Pepper Fest Royalty. One queen and three princesses will be chosen Sunday, Aug. 19, at the 3:30 p.m. coronation.

Live entertainment

This year's live entertainment includes Tuscan Road on Friday beginning at 8 p.m., Bad Girlfriends (sponsored by Hudson Ford) on Saturday beginning at 8 p.m. and The Dweebs on Sunday beginning at 7:30 p.m.

A complete schedule of events can be found on page 4a of this week's Star-Observer.