The NC Hot Sauce Contest and festival brings thousands of people to downtown Oxford interacting with friends, merchants, fans, artisans, and vendors with 2019 visitors topping 15,000 and 41% being first-time NC Hot Sauce attendees.
HISTORY OF NORTH CAROLINA HOT SAUCE CONTEST
Years ago Julia Stovall Overton, Owner of Stovall's Gifts located at 100 Main Street in historic downtown Oxford, hosted an event in her store, Stovalls promoting North Carolina specifically hot sauces. From that event, the NC Hot Sauce Contest was born and has grown to encompass 16 city blocks in downtown Oxford. In recognition of the event and its success, the North Carolina General Assembly on March 19, 2009, adopted the 2nd Saturday in September as North Carolina Hot Sauce Day sponsored by Representative Crawford. Each year the Hot Sauce Contest grows and adapts to the changing and growing community adding craft brews, arts/crafts, and area food-truck adding to its rich and flavorful history. In 2019 Julia Overton announced her retirement with the main stage being named in her honor. The Downtown Economic Development Corporation and the City of Oxford recognizes the "Hot Sauce Contest" as an important economic driver of Downtown Oxford's current and future economy.
Bailey Farms is the "Pepper Eating Contest" sponsor and the largest pepper producer/distributor on the eastern seaboard.
North Carolina’s finest hot sauces and barbecue sauces, along with breweries and wineries spice up the blends and texture of downtown Oxford's historical streets. Capture all the "cool" history of Oxford by visiting the Granville County Museum while Downtown, open from 11:00 - 5:00 pm on hot sauce day.
Downtown Oxford offers a variety of local shop owners waiting to greet you and show off their unique fun inventory. Locally owned restaurants are ready to serve you in their "cool" dining rooms... don't miss Granville County's only historic Downtown and Designated Main Street.
It's Happening in Downtown Oxford!
Due to the scope and magnitude of the NC Hot Sauce Contest, it is impossible to schedule a rain date or indoor alternative site. Therefore, if the Hot Sauce Contest is restricted or interfered with or cancelled by reason of natural catastrophes or acts of God, earthquake, fire, lightning strikes, emanate rain and flooding or other casualty or due to strikes, riot, explosions, acts of God, war, terrorism, or a similar occurrence or condition beyond the reasonable control of the Downtown Economic Development Corporation and City of Oxford registration fees will not be refunded. The NC Hot Sauce Contest is a non-profit event with all revenues used to cover event costs and entertainment contracts making registration fees nonrefundable after May 1, 2022.