Garden Heats up with Sizzling Live Music from Around the World, Fiery Artisanal Food Vendors, Famous Fire Breathers, Decadently Spicy Chocolate Delights, and More!

Date: October 1, 2016

Time: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s (BBG) annual Chile Pepper Festival returns for its 24th year on Saturday, October 1, 2016, heating up BBG with a day of world music and spicy treats in an end-of-summer blowout inspired by the globe-trotting Capsicum plant.  

The longest-running event of its kind on the East Coast, BBG’s Chile Pepper Festival features musical performers from around the world burning up the stage—including award-winning Senegalese soul rock troubadour Élage Diouf, Garifuna music icon Aurelio, and the Grammy-nominated Cajun trailblazers Lost Bayou Ramblers— alongside a marketplace with 62 vendors offering a tongue-tingling array of local and exotic delicacies featuring chile peppers. This year, visitors can also stroll and shop for spices at Sahadi’s Souk, a spice shop overseen by Brooklyn’s famed Sahadi Market, a Middle Eastern specialty food vendor founded in 1895.    

Masters of ceremony Robbins & Ringold light up the stage with fire breathing, sword swallowing, and other fiery feats. Celebrating music from across the globe, this year’s Chile Pepper Festival welcomes six world-class musical acts on the Cherry Esplanade Stage:

Lost Bayou Ramblers, Louisiana’s Grammy-nominated Cajun trailblazers.

Aurelio, the Garifuna cultural emissary performing his sweet-voiced Afro-Caribbean pop music.

NYC-based Hazmat Modine, an alchemy of foot-stomping American roots and twisting global branches.

Élage Diouf, award-winning Senegalese soul rock troubadour.

Dahka Band, combining Algerian beats and Nigerian melodies.

Pillette’s Ghost, the red-hot fiddle and drum duo from Pillette, Louisiana.  


This year’s Chile Pepper Festival stakes its claim as NYC’s largest showcase of chile pepper food artisans with 62 vendors spread across six categories:

Hot Sauce Sorcery: Artisanal concoctions cooked up by an array of hot sauce wizards

Chile-Chocolate Debauchery: Local companies’ signature confections

Combustible Condiments: Chutneys, salsas, and specialty sauces

Piquant Pickles: From kimchi to bread-and-butter, with horseradish for good measure

Hi-Scoville Sweets: An eclectic assortment of candies, caramels, and treats

PB & J: Lunchtime standbys with a spicy twist  

A focus on independent purveyors—including many Brooklyn-based vendors—means visitors can sample and purchase one-of-a-kind products and meet small business owners with a passion for peppers. Many will offer products created especially for Chile Pepper Festival:  

MarieBelle Confections’ elegant and spicy chocolate confections from Honduras (by way of NYC)

Hot sauce ice cream from OddFellows Ice Cream, NYC’s coolest flavor factory.

The Bronx Hot Sauce, made exclusively from peppers grown in the community gardens of the Bronx

Spicy nut butters from Haiti, presented by Pierre’s Spicy

Handcrafted kimchi and gochugaru hot pepper pastes from Mother in Law’s Kimchi

Lululosophy Chocolates’ confections inspired by the flavors of the Far East

Admission for Chile Pepper Festival is $20 for adults, $15 for students and seniors (with ID), and free for members and kids under 12. For more information on all performances, purveyors, programs, and activities, please visit  


Founded in 1910, Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) is an urban botanic garden that connects people to the world of plants, fostering delight and curiosity while inspiring an appreciation and sense of stewardship of the environment. Situated on 52 acres in the heart of Brooklyn, the Garden is home to over 18,000 kinds of plants and hosts more than 850,000 visitors annually.  

Learn what’s happening at Brooklyn Botanic Garden at; read the Garden’s blog at; and find out what’s in bloom at

Visitor entrances are at 990 Washington Avenue, 150 Eastern Parkway, and 455 Flatbush Avenue.

For hours, directions, and admission information, please visit Follow BBG on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and join the conversation using the hashtag #brooklynbotanic.


To arrange an interview or for further information, please contact or 718-623-7241.  

#ChilePepperFest! #StreetsofNewYork411


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