Almost every ingredient, spice, herb, fruit, vegetable etc. is honored in France with a special festival. So it's completely right that there is a Pepper Festival. This particular jolly started in 1968 in a modest way but now sees around 20,000 people flocking to the little town of Espelette just south-east of Biarritz in south west France. It's the right place; this area is as much Spanish as it is French.
The French take this seriously; there's a special mass on Sunday, with a formal blessing of the Pepper and at noon a solemn ceremony when a prize is awarded.
Apart from that, it's an excuse to eat and drink, to dance the night away, and of course, to buy peppers in every shape and form, fresh, preserved, bottled and canned.