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Choctaw hosts inaugural Pepper Festival

By Ryan Horton
Choctaw Times

Friday night hundreds came out to the inaugural Choctaw Creek Pepper Festival hosted at the Choctaw Creek Park Farmer’s Market.

A total of 10 local pepper lovers went head-to-head chowing down on a locally sourced pepper lineup starting with jalapenos and concluding with “Hurt Berry” peppers, which rank about 2 million on the Scoville scale (a measurement of the pungency, spiciness or “heat” of peppers).

Pepper eating champion Odis Adkisson celebrates, while Will Ireton and Jason Moss applaud. (PHOTO BY RYAN HORTON)

Choctaw’s Pepper Eating Champion was Odis Adkisson.

Will Ireton took runner-up, and Jason Moss secured third place. Other contestants were Michael Pina, Michael Ruzycki, Chris Newvine, Danae Falcon, Levana Dewayani, Benjamin Webster and Scott Cole.

Contestants started with jalapenos (rated 2-8K on the Scoville scale), then moved to red serrano (10-25K), then pequin (30-60K), thai chilli (50-100K), sugar rush peach (100-150K), ghost pepper (800-1 million), 7 pot yellow (1 million), apocalypse scorpion (1.4 million), yellow morgue scorpion (1.8 million), and hurt berry (2 million).

Peppers were provided by Huffman Family Farm and Pepper Ridge Farm.

Scores & Bores created the custom awards for the top three pepper eaters.

Michael Ruzycki bites into a pepper during the first Choctaw Pepper Festival. (PHOTO BY RYAN HORTON)

In addition to about 30 vendors and food trucks on site, a dunk tank allowed attendees to dunk a few locals. Those volunteering for the dunk tank included Choctaw police officer Brittney Bynum,

Ward 4 City Councilwoman Donna Morris and an outspoken volunteer, Don Judson.

At 50 cents per throw, the dunk tank raised over $200 for Brad Fielder and the Empty Bottle Boys that provided live music all night.

Amici in Movimento sponsored the event, Choctaw little league cheer put on a show and the Choctaw Fire Department stopped by. Ward 2 City Councilman Brent Pendergraft was the emcee of the inaugural pepper eating contest.

Danae Falcon prepares to take a bite during the inaugural Choctaw Pepper Festival at Choctaw Creek Park. (PHOTO BY RYAN HORTON)

The event was coordinated by Choctaw Public Recreation Advisory Board member, Christeen Graff.

Throughout the warmer months, the Choctaw Creek Park Farmer’s Market is open every Friday night at 2001 North Harper Rd.

For more details contact Christeen Graff at or visit their Facebook page.


For more photos from the Choctaw Pepper Festival CLICK HERE

Ward 2 City Councilman Brent Pendergraft and coordinator Christeen Graff with pepper eating contest winners. (PHOTO BY RYAN HORTON)



For more photos from the Choctaw Pepper Festival CLICK HERE

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