Pepper Fest began in 1954 as a way to raise funds to build North Hudson Elementary School and has turned into an annual event to assist community organizations throughout the St. Croix Valley. Proceeds from the volunteer-run, nonprofit festival are donated to local youth, school, community and service organizations. This year's Pepper Fest is Aug. 18-20. Events include:

Third annual Medallion Hunt - The medallion will be hidden in North Hudson. Clues will be posted starting Aug. 12. If found, the prize is $1,000 cash and will be awarded at the royalty coronation 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20. The Medallion Hunt is sponsored by First American Bank.

Sunday, join the fun in Pepper Fest's family focused morning.

Foot Races - The 37th annual Pepper Fest Foot Races will be Sunday, Aug. 20. The one-mile Family Fun Run will begin at 8:15 a.m. and the 5K and 10K (both chip-timed) will begin at 8:30 a.m. All participants for the one mile will receive a medal. Plaques will be awarded for the top male and female finishers in the 5K and 10K. Register online at Registration closes Aug. 14.

Craft Sale - New this year, a craft sale will take place 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday in the south tent. Come shop and enjoy a variety of handmade crafts made by local artists.

Pancake Breakfast - Pancake breakfast will begin at 8:30 a.m. Sunday. Pancake breakfast is a freewill donation benefitting the Hudson Area Senior Center.

Kids Mini Medallion Hunt will be at 11 a.m. Sunday. The Tractor Pull will follow, beginning with registration at 11:30 a.m. Located in the street in front of the Village Hall - come watch and cheer on the competitors. The event is open to children and adults. All participants must wear shoes, no bare feet.

Microbrew and Wine Tasting Competition - Back this year is a microbrew tasting competition and wine tasting. Featuring local micro-breweries and vineyards, This event is 5:30-8 p.m. Friday Aug. 18.

Cooking Contest - The amateur food cooking contest is noon to 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20, in the south tent. Categories include adult and under 14. Adult categories are appetizer, main dish and dessert. The under 14 category is chef's choice. Each dish must contain peppers. Only one entry per person. Only entrees with recipes included will be allowed to display and compete. If needing electricity: power cords must be supplied by contestant. Registration forms can be found on and should be filled out prior to contest start. Cash prizes.

Eating Contests - New! Youth Spaghetti and Pepper Eating Contest will take place at 4 p.m. Saturday. Youth can test their skills eating spaghetti or peppers. This contest is free; parent/guardian must sign waiver.

Championship Spaghetti Eating Contest will take place at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. Located on the stage, teams of five can compete by eating 1 pound of spaghetti each. Teams can sign up at the main stage. Fee: $25. First place: $150 and championship T-shirts. Second place: $50.

Championship Hot Pepper Eating Contest will take place at 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Also located on the stage, teams of five can compete by eating 1 pound of hot peppers each. Teams can sign up at the main stage. Fee: $50. First place: $300 and championship T-shirts. Second place: $100.

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