SAFFORD – A microburst took down two large tents and five vendor pop ups earlier that afternoon, but the show still went on for the SalsaFest opening ceremonies Friday.
The 10th annual SalsaFest opened at 5:30 p.m. with remarks from Safford Mayor Chris Gibbs. Afterward, there was a prayer, pledge of allegiance and the National Anthem was performed by the band, “Tribute.”
Safford Major Gibbs said he was thrilled with the event.
“It’s a great event,” he said. “Very few small communities anywhere can host a community event with this kind of impact.”
“Part of what’s so great about it is that it’s really what America should be. It’s down home. It’s what we are, and who we are. If anybody wants to have a great time, the Chihuahua races are well worth the effort if you get here by nine o’clock. And certainly the salsa challenge when amateur salsa makers compete for cash prizes. I think it’s great. Come on out. If you haven’t come out in 10 years, you ought to come to the 10th annual.”
As much as the music was great, and the food amazing, the local art was also a pleasure to behold. The Color on Main Street event was in full swing, and many artists were still working throughout Friday evening on their entry for the grand prize. As of that afternoon, 15 individuals had entered the competition. The Southeastern Arizona Art Guild held a show in Debbie’s Craft Connection. Winners of the Color on Main event will be chosen on Saturday.