Ch@T: Ahead of 14th annual PepperFest set for Sunday

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Abundance NC’s PepperFest is set for 3-6 p.m. Sunday at The Plant, at 220 Lorax Lane in Pittsboro. For a quick preview, we checked in with Ally DeJong, Abundance NC’s executive director. For more information, go to

Remind us what Pepperfest is all about...

PepperFest is a celebration of the vibrancy and yield of the abundant and nutrient-dense Carolinian-grown pepper. We support small and regenerative agriculture and highlight our foodshed and all who make eating local possible.

We buy our peppers at market value from farmers, then deliver them to top chefs and beverage artisans who then create mouth-watering dishes showcasing their own unique talents. We have attendees from all over N.C. who complete the full circle nature of this event by tasting, judging and enjoying the day of multi-layered connection. We’re excited to be back in person and throwing down at The Plant.

The event will be different this year after 2020’s COVID-limited gathering, right?

We are going to make this event as safe as possible while introducing the samples and tastings back into the Festival. Last year we missed the community weaving that happens when we get connected and join together — business owners, farmers and Fest-goers alike!

We will have volunteers committed to monitoring crowds and congestion, keeping the flow moving, and gently reminding people to wear masks between sampling and staying distant. We have to learn how to gather and protect one another in the process.

What are the highlights to look forward to?

We will have live music with Colin Cutler and Diali Cissokho & Kaira Ba, an acrobatic Imagine Circus performance, an artistic educational and cultural walk-through, a 21+ lounge, a kids’ zone with a cooking class and pepper arts and crafts by Circle City Supper Club, vendors, a small farmers’ market and fun for the entire family.

Those who come will get to partake in all the small businesses at The Plant, including the Chatham Beverage District’s distillery, cidery, meadery and local beers, Copeland Spring Farms and Kitchen, Chatham Axes, Carolina Hemp Tours, Hempsmith, Oak City Hemp, Tick Warriors, Vortex Brew, Smelt Art Gallery and BMC Brewing.

What else do folks who are interested in attending need to know?

Several things. Kids under 12 get in free; it’ll be held rain or shine. No pets, farm animals or outside alcohol is allowed. And it’s an increasingly waste-free event — please do not bring materials to PepperFest that cannot be composted or recycled. If you do, please pack it out with you.

A limited number of general admission tickets are still left; the cost is $55.

To get tickets, go to


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