By Ryan Horton
Choctaw Creek Park played host to the second annual Pepper Festival Friday night.
A total of 10 contestants competed in the pepper eating contest. Each challenger started with a variety of 14 peppers on the lineup, and the group eventually dwindled down to just three finalists.
The tie breaker between the spicy trio was to eat the final few peppers quickly and stand up.
Nathan Bean took the title, Brian Pingleton was runner-up and Will Ireton finished in third.
The final pepper eaten was The Beast, grown at Choctaw’s Pepper Ridge Farm.
Pepper Ridge Farm is a veteran owned and operated micro farm.
“Super cool pepper farm in Choctaw. They grew this bad boy and have customers nationwide,” said Choctaw Creek Park Friday Night Farmer’s Market coordinator Brandi Buys. “I believe it was higher than our Scoville scale. Over 3 million.”
The Huffman Family Farm was another local pepper grower with peppers in the contest.
Wiley One Sauce made a special hot sauce that consists 100 percent of produce from the Choctaw Creek Park Farmer’s Market.
Choctaw Kiwanis sponsored the prize money, while Scores & Bores made some plasma cut trophies.
Other Sponsors were Huffman Family Farm, Wiley’s One Sauce, Pepper Ridge Farm, Choctaw Creek Farmers Market, Swipe OK, Flavor Vapor, Okie Kittie Kisses Rescue, Tanner Holdings, Blue Cat Creations, Dressed Up Hippy, The Bat Guy, Fuego Taco, Oklahoma Bounce House, Lily Rise Tea, The Bat House Guy, Ice Castle, Cody’s Honey Farm, Jim and Brandi Buys, Don Judson, Choctaw City Councilman Brent Pendergraft, JG Signature Artworks, Twin Hearts Healing, Pinas Cakery, the City of Choctaw park and recreation crew and volunteers.
Friday night’s market featured 52 vendors and hundreds of spectators in attendance to spectate the pepper eating and shop locally made and grown products.