Published: November 2006
Did You Know?
In Did You Know? the National Geographic magazine team shares extra information we gathered to expand your knowledge of our featured subjects.

If you've ever felt the need to warm up, spice up, and get away during the long, cold winter months, the Jalapeño Festival in Laredo just might do the trick. The annual festival, held on Presidents' Day weekend, is just one event in the month-long celebrations honoring George Washington's birthday. Entering its 28th year, the festival features all things jalapeño, including a cooking contest, blind jalapeño toss, blind jalapeño run, a jalapeño-spitting contest, and the infamous jalapeño-eating contest. Anyone can participate, and contestants have 15 minutes to eat as many jalapeños as possible without any other food or drink. The record stands at 131 jalapeños and has remained unbroken since 1991. Named one of the top ten eating festivals in the U.S., the festival attracts tens of thousands and tends to spill over into Nuevo Laredo in Mexico on the second night.

—Agnieszka Siemiginowska