It was a pika fest for Tinian last weekend as the island celebrated its 17th Hot Pepper Festival.
The festival pays homage to the “donne sali” — Tinian’s famous small but very hot pepper variety.
Over the weekend, residents and guests enjoyed the festivities and competed in contests that showed their skills in “kadun pika” cooking, cha-cha, burger eating, and tug-of-war.
They also joined the “umang” or hermit crab race and a home-made canoe race.
And there was the crowd favorite — the hot pepper eating contest.
This year, top honors went to Ricardo Carrazco, a 25-year-old U.S. Navy Seabee who was named Pika King.
According to a report from the Marianas Variety, for the competition, each participant had to chew 100 donne’ sali hot peppers one at a time.
The Tinian Hot Pepper Festival was held at the Fiesta Grounds in San Jose, Tinian, adjacent to Kammer Beach.
It was jointly organized by the Marianas Visitors Authority and the Tinian Mayor’s Office.