AFTER seven years in Fremantle the Araluen Chilli Festival is off to singe lips in Victoria Park.
The popular spicefest, held over two days at Esplanade Park, was attended by around 20,000 visitors and home to 100 vendors last year.
Festival manager Taylor Bartels says it’s outgrown the Esplanade and McCallum Park can accommodate the 120 stalls and extra chilli fans she’s hoping for next year.
“After seven years it was time to freshen things up and hopefully we can get up to 25,000 people at the new location,” she says.
News of the chilli festival moving follows Sunset Events cancelling next year’s West Coast Blues and Roots festival, which was also to be held at Esplanade Park.
Fremantle mayor Brad Pettitt says he was disappointed the chilli gang has left, but the proposal for next year’s event was too big.
“I think in the long term somewhere like Fremantle Oval would have been more suitable for them,” he says.
“The Esplanade reserve is almost at its capacity for events, so it’s good for the turf to have some respite.”
by STEPHEN POLLOCK