Diana Pfaff
972-252-7476 Exy 116

Irving officials fired-up over spicy food festival, set for Jan 28-30

IRVING, TEXAS (November 2010) - The Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau has announced ZestFest 2011 as the first open-to-the public event in the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas. The 14-year-old spicy food festival will run Jan. 28-30, 2011, as part of the center's gala grand opening of festivities.

Founded and sponsored by Chile Pepper magazine out of Fort Worth, ZestFest was most recently held at Will Rogers Memorial Center in Fort Worth. The annual weekend event, previously held in the fall, has historically drawn 10,000 attendees. Event organizers are hoping to double that number for ZestFest 2011 with the Irving center's central Metroplex location and close proximity to Dallas.

" We are particularly excited about this year's event," said Pam Betz, who along with Greg Bagarozy, now own and manage ZestFest. "A new venue, a new date and a brand-new facility should only enhance an already spectacular event."

Zest Fest 2011 will feature cooking demos by celebrity chefs, live music, interactive contests and thousands of bold food samples.

"We are fired-up, pun intended, to have a festival with a proven track record on the books as the first consumer event in the Irving Convention Center," said Maura Allen Gast, executive director of the Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau. "ZestFest kicks-off what will be a month-long line-up of impressive opening events."

The Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas is scheduled to open in January 2011. Located where Highway 114 and Northwest Highway meet in Irving's Las Colinas area, the $133 million, 275,000 square-foot center takes a bold new direction in a landscape of traditionally "institutional" facilities. Its distinctive design and mission for top-quality service will mirror the sense of quality that exists in Irving's 12,000-acre Las Colinas development, home to the world headquarters of Exxon Mobil, Kimberly Clark and more.

For more information on ZestFest, contact Judy Magouirk, Chile Pepper magazine, at 817-306-4386 or judymagouirk@att.net. For more information on the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas, contact Cheryl Calhoun, director of sales and events, at 972-252-7476, ext. 102 or ccalhoun@irvingtexas.com.

About Irving

Located immediately adjacent to Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and in between Dallas and Fort Worth, Irving, Texas, (www.irvingtexas.com) boasts more than 80 hotels and nearly 12,000 rooms, as well as several Fortune 500 companies. For more information, contact the Irving Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-2-IRVING (800-247-8464) or visit www.irvingtexas.com.