SalsaFest seeking salsa makers

Deanna Best, winner of the People's Choice award three years in a row, will try to four-peat with her D'Best Salsa at this year's SalsaFest, Sept. 23-24. - David Bell Photo/Gila Valley Central

SAFFORD — The call has been put out — salsa makers need to register now to take part in this year’s SalsaFest.

 “If you talk to anybody that’s made salsa before at any of our SalsaFest events, they have such great memories,” said Michelle Wilson with the Safford Lions Club. “It is just a wonderful, family event.”

Participants make five-gallons of salsa onsite, with each salsa rated by a panel of judges as well as by the general public. The winner of the judge’s vote will get $1,000, with $500 for second and $200 for third. The People’s Choice winner will receive $500, with $200 for second and $100 for third.

There’s also a third way to win cash, by decorating the maker’s station and dressing up during the competition. Winner of the Presentation Award will receive $200, with $75 going to second place and $50 to third.

To encourage more makers to participate, the Graham County Chamber of Commerce is offering some help with supplies.

“We’re talking about a $50 gift card from Thriftee’s to help out on some of these groceries,” said Vance Bryce, executive director of the Chamber.

To register, go to SalsaFest salsa-making registration.

The NatureSweet SalsaFest will take place Sept. 23-24 at Fireman’s Park in front of Safford City Hall, and includes free live music on the Kempton Chevrolet stage, the Bud Light/Estrella Jalisco beer garden, Chihuahua races, a car show, food vendors and more.