SalsaFest returns this weekend

- Gila Valley Central Photo

SAFFORD — After a one-year hiatus due to COVID-19, the NatureSweet Tomatoes SalsaFest is back.

“SalsaFest is the most fun day-and-a-half around here,” said Torey Cranford, chair of the Events Committee for the Graham County Chamber of Commerce.  “Everybody’s looking forward to it; we’re looking forward to having SalsaFest again (and) being back.”

The salsa-making competitions are back, with both amateur and professional categories, using tomatoes provided by NatureSweet. Top prize is $1,000. And there is the Taste of the Trail, where the restaurants along the Salsa Trail show off their salsas.

Also back is the jalapeno-eating contest, the Chihuahua races, the Eastern Arizona Art Guild Fine Arts Show, the Bud Light Beer Garden, the Ginaveve’s Market Chalk Art Contest and the 19 Double X Car Show.

New this year will be Saturday morning yoga and Zumba, and Arizona Air Ventures hot air balloon glow.

Entertainment will be provided by Mariachi Luz De Luna, Heart and Soul, Zaylie and Love Riot, and the headliner, the XS Band.

SalsaFest takes place Friday, Sept. 24, from 5-10 p.m., and Saturday, Sept. 25, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., on Safford’s Main Street.

Sponsors include: NatureSweet Tomatoes, Kempton Chevrolet, CMI, Quality Inn and Suites Safford, Estrella Jalisco, Bud Light, The Pharm, Bayacan, Double R Communications, Eastern Arizona Courier, Safford Lions Club, Safford Downtown Association, Graham County Chamber of Commerce, City of Safford, Town of Thatcher, Town of Pima and Graham County.