Chile Pepper Festival 2019 Event Schedule - Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Chile Pepper Festival 2019 Event Schedule

Chile Pepper Festival 2019 Event Schedule

Special Events

Saturday, September 28, 2019 | 11 a.m.– 7 p.m.
Ticketed Event

N’awlins Flavored!

Brooklyn Botanic Garden presents Chile Pepper Festival

Gates open at 11 a.m. Last admission at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets required for all! Members enter free with ticket.

Buy TicketsGet Member TicketsBecome a Member

How to Have a Great Festival: Info, Tips & Rules

Festival days are the Garden’s busiest. Be prepared.

  1. New for 2019: A ticket is required for every entry. Purchase or reserve advance tickets. Members can reserve free tickets online. Partners, including Corporate and Academic members, Cool Culture participants, Urban Advantage participants, and BASE teachers and students must present program ID at box office for free tickets.
  2. Check your tickets. Printed tickets help the lines move quickly; mobile tickets are fine too. You may enter the festival at either 990 Washington Avenue or 455 Flatbush Avenue.
  3. Find your lane. Each entrance has separate lanes for individuals with member tickets, with paid tickets, or who need to purchase tickets/redeem partner admission. Members requiring assistance and individuals wishing to join the Garden and enter for free should find the Membership tent neat the member's lane.
  4. Bring your ID. Students and Seniors must verify eligibility for discounted tickets. Members with free tickets must also show their BBG member card to enter. Corporate and Academic members, Cool Culture participants, and BASE teachers and students must present program ID at the box office. You must be 21 or over to buy alcohol.
  5. Travel light. All bags and packages will be searched by Security. Be prepared to wait in line for bag check.
  6. Take public transportation. Parking nearby is very limited and gridlock is likely. Avoid the Eastern Parkway station, which is under construction. Travel directions
  7. No outside food or beverages. Exceptions are bottled water, baby bottles, and pocket snacks for individuals with dietary restrictions. A substantial menu of food and drink will be available at stations throughout the Garden.
  8. Leave the wheels at home. Scooters and bikes are not permitted in the Garden, and bike racks located at each entrance fill up early. Due to festival crowds, avoid bringing a stroller.
  9. No pets. Service dogs must be under control per ADA guidelines.
  10. Folding chairs are not permitted. Folding chairs are not permitted. Bring a blanket or legless stadium chair for the evening Living Legends of New Orleans concert from 5 to 7 p.m.
  11. Drones, tripods, and commercial photography are not allowed. Photos for personal use and social sharing are encouraged! See policy at
  12. Help protect our plant collections. During the festival, some areas of the Garden are closed. Please do not pick flowers, climb trees, or walk in the planted beds.
For all ticketing questions, contact ShowClix Customer Care.

Volcanic Victuals!

11 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

Enjoy tantalizing tastings from dozens of artisanal food vendors.


Cherry Esplanade Stage

11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

The Garvin Blake Ensemble
Trinidadian steel drummer Blake celebrates sounds of the African diaspora with a funky fusion of steel pan, jazz, and Caribbean rhythms.

1:15–1:45 p.m.

Can You Take the Heat?
See how contestants fare in this hot pepper–eating contest featuring Brooklyn-grown peppers. (You must be 18 or over to participate.)

2–3:30 p.m.

Buyu Ambroise & The Blues in Red Band
Haitian-born Buyu offers up an exhilarating blend of island polyrhythms, jazz harmonies, groove-producing bass lines, and earworm brass solos.

4:30–5 p.m.

Second Line with the Plezi Rara Band
Join a Haitian-style second line parade from Cherry Esplanade to the concert stage.

Around Cherry Esplanade

11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Yellow Magnolia Concessions
Enjoy sizzling eats, craft beers, and other drinks from the Patina Events team.

11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Haiti Cultural Exchange
Visit our curatorial partners to learn more about the great work they do.

11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Red Hook Initiative
Tour the world of peppers, test your pepper knowledge, and buy peppers grown by youth farmers from Red Hook Farms.

11 a.m.–4 p.m.

Mortal Beasts & Deities
Keep an eye out for stilt-walking chile-heads!

Cooking in the Fragrance Garden

11:15–11:45 a.m. &
12–12:30 p.m.

Cooking Demo: The Art of Hot Sauce
Turn your pepper bounty into a must-have for meals, with tips and techniques from our curatorial partners Red Hook Initiative.

1:30–2 p.m. &
3–3:30 p.m.

Cooking Demo: Shrimp with Sauce Piquant
Owner and head chef John Verlander of Brooklyn’s own New Orleans–inspired hotspot Lowerline shares his craft.

Pepper Talks in the Herb Garden

3:30–4:30 p.m.

Pepper Tour and Talk
Join BBG Garden Guide Caitlin Marinelli on a culinary tour of the world’s peppers.

Kid Stuff in the Discovery Garden

11 a.m.–3 p.m.

Hot Chiles for Cool Kids
Pot up a pepper plant to take home.


New Orleans Living Legends in Concert!

5–7 p.m.

  • Irma is standing with a microphone in hand

    Irma Thomas

    Featured on HBO’s Treme, Grammy winner Irma Thomas is one of the Big Easy’s most beloved and iconic entertainers. Known as the Soul Queen of New Orleans, her version of “Time Is On My Side,” later recorded by the Rolling Stones, has over 3.5 million listens on Spotify.

    Official Webpage

  • Walter smiles as he sits with his legs crossed on a floral sofa, with his bright red guitar in hand

    Walter “Wolfman” Washington

    Guitarist and singer Walter “Wolfman” Washington has been a mainstay of the New Orleans music scene for over 50 years. He cut his teeth backing up some of the best singers in New Orleans history, including Lee Dorsey, and his band, the Roadmasters, has been burning up local and national stages since the 1980s.

    Official Webpage

  • A smiling man with a tambourine wearing a vibrant blue mardi gras indian costume.

    Big Chief Monk Boudreaux

    Joseph Pierre “Big Chief Monk” Boudreaux is the leader of the Golden Eagles, a Mardi Gras Indian tribe. Boudreaux is a vital figure in the tradition, and has distinguished himself as a gifted folk artist and dynamic performer through his unwavering dedication to this singular African-American culture.

    Official Webpage

  • John is through the door leading again the stairs

    John “Papa” Gros and his Band

    John “Papa” Gros is a bedrock New Orleans artist, keyboardist, and singer/songwriter who draws on funk, rhythm and blues, and Americana song craft. He also knows his way around the Mardi Gras music repertoire as well as anyone.

    Official Webpage


Haiti Cultural ExchangeRed Hook Farms, a Project of Red Hook Initiative

Tickets required for all! Members enter free with ticket.

Buy TicketsGet Member TicketsBecome a Member

All festival attendees must present ticket for entrance. Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult. There are no reciprocal admissions or group discounts on festival days. Tickets are nonrefundable. All events held rain or shine.

Image, top of page: Julie Markes