Jonathan Kussman wipes his eyes after placing second in the Wingstop Atomic Wing Eating Contest at ZestFest fiery food festival.

Allison Slomowitz/Special Contributor

ZestFest at

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You likely know the name Carolina Reaper from those viral videos of Paqui’s One Chip Challenge where daredevils tasted what may be the hottest chile on the planet. There were cussing, sweating, tears and so much regret. But you don’t have to be foolhardy to enjoy ZestFest, a three-day expo of spicy foods — though a little bravery and a cast-iron stomach could help in the atomic wing- and jalapeño-eating contests. In addition to bold people eating bold foods, ZestFest will include spicy food tastings, beer and liquor samples, live music, and cooking demos and tips from chefs including Jon Bonnell and Eddie Dean.

Food expo celebrates all thing spicy making it the ultimate party for spicy food lovers. The weekend showcases celebrity chefs, live music and delicious food sampling. Special attractions are the Fiery Food Challenge, Wingstop Atomic Challenge Wing Contest, PuckerButt Jalapeno Eating Contest and Eddie Dean's Pig Dinner.

Single day passes are $14-$16 (if you purchase online). Weekend passes are also available.

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