The West Asheville Tailgate Market will be hosting their very first “Pepperpalooza Festival” in the parking lot of the Grace Baptist Church, 718 Haywood Road, from 3:30-6:30pm. Pepperpalooza is a festival dedicated to celebrating the pepper is all its many colors, shapes, sizes, flavors...and levels of heat intensity. This at-market festival has several components including a raffle, hot pepper eating contest (for adults), bell pepper tastings (for kids), local hot sauce tastings, pepper roasting, ristra making, kids crafts, and a talk on the history of peppers. And of course, Pepperpalooza wouldn’t live up to its name without some rockin’ live music from local musicians. The raffle includes 5 big prize packages including an assortment of food and crafts from WATM vendors. Raffle tickets are just $5 to enter or $12 for 3 and can be purchased on the WATM website or in person at the Pepperpalooza festival on July 23rd.The main event will be the hot pepper eating contest where those who enter will get to eat their way up the Scoville Scale in intensity (milk and bread will be available to contestants once they tap out). The person who can take the most heat will win $50 in market bucks and a WATM t-shirt. The kiddos can play too! We’ll have a colorful bell pepper tasting where they can eat the rainbow of sweet peppers to pick which color they like best. All those who yearn to feel the burn can taste an assortment of hot sauces which are being donated from local companies. For $3 you get a bowl of chips as a blank canvas to taste an assortment of sauces. That same $3 enters you into a separate raffle to win a bottle of each of the hot sauces in the tasting.