Wiltshire Publications

First town Chilli Fest is explosive opener for Westbury Festival

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Thousands of people flocked to Westbury’s first hosting of the Wiltshire Chilli Festival with Extra Cheese, to mark the opening of the annual Westbury Festival last weekend. 

Spice lovers came from all over the county in order to fry their tastebuds on an array of different chillies and food stalls.  

The day marked the start of this year’s Westbury festival and featured live performances from the Cley Hill Stompers, Jamma de Samba and Mariachi Tequila serenading festival goers as they strolled past the international food and cheese stalls, taking in the exotic smells and spices. 

Many even took the opportunity to try stealing the crown from the UK chilli queen Shahina Waseem, risking burning taste buds forever for a taste of victory. Tom Staffer of Hilperton was named Wiltshire 2021 Chilli Champion, but may be feeling the effects of his victory for a few days yet. 

Leander Morales, one of the organisers of the event said, “What an incredible event! Having grown up in the town, I could only hope that we would see the community pull together to deliver productions on this level.  

“A collective effort from Westbury Town Council, Westbury Festival, local businesses and Westbury residents has shown what the town can do when people pull together. A template for any community!  

I hope to see this level of support for Westbury Festival over the coming fortnight, and for all future events in Westbury. Well done Westbury!” 

Leander also gave thanks to both Daykin Estate Agents and Westbury Festival for sponsoring the event, saying that the day of spice simply wouldn’t have happened without their support. “We hope more companies take up the initiative and help support the festival going forward,” he said. 

A chilli plant competition saw many local growers face off in a tense showdown, as growers spent the past few months toiling in their gardens with the sole aim to burn tastebuds and win the competition. Seeds were provided to budding growers by Loco Chilli, with the judgment falling to the experts at Wiltshire Chilli Farm.  

There was even plenty for little jalapeños to get stuck into, with children’s face painting and a circus workshop to keep children entertained, while parents made sure they made the most out of the sangria bars. 

Day one of this year’s Westbury Festival also included a drawing challenge and exhibitions of Where We Live and First Impressions of Westbury. The library hosted ‘David Copperfield; Dickens’ Favourite Child’, and Aldbourne Brass Band went down a storm on Saturday night. Westbury Festival continues until 9th October, with a wide range of events for all tastes. Find out more at www.westburyfestival.org.uk phone 03336 664 466 or call into spacecraft in Maristow Street. 

One Response to First town Chilli Fest is explosive opener for Westbury Festival

  1. Deborah Urch

    September 29, 2021 at 8:55 am

    I would like to thank the staff and Councillors from Westbury Town Council who organised this event. They worked tirelessly to make sure the Chilli Festival was a spectacular community event.