Salsa and Tequila Challenge

The Southern Arizona Salsa and Tequila Challenge will be held at La Encantada.

Courtesy photo

The Southern Arizona Salsa and Tequila Challenge has shaken up the summers in Tucson for three years, bringing the region’s cultural garden to modern day tastes buds. The culinary event brings up to 50 chefs and restaurants preparing unique salsa recipes and mixologists creating innovative tequila-based drinks along with sweet and savory menu pairings. Proceeds benefit the Food Bank of Southern Arizona and SAACA’s arts therapy and education programs.

On Saturday, Aug. 16 at 6 p.m., the culinary competition will once again support Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance (SAACA) and the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona, two much-needed charitable causes raising money for hunger relief and the arts in our community.

For the second year, the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation has added another ingredient to the charity mix with Viva Piñata!, raffling off sponsored decorative piñatas to raise money supporting scholarships to benefit Hispanic students seeking higher education.

More than 20 piñatas will line the arches of La Encantada’s courtyard, each sponsored by a business and created by a local artist. Attendees will buy raffle tickets to use as a vote for their personal favorite piñata design.

A taste of heritage

Straight from the highlands of Jalisco, Mexico, the authentic tastes of premium tequila will travel to Tucson this August, giving hundreds of people the chance to indulge in this ancient agave beverage along with some of the best salsas and culinary cuisine in the region.

Sample the most delicious traditional and inventive salsa recipes from acclaimed chefs, right in the region of the world where this flavorful sauce was first stirred up.

Bringing some of the area’s most famous chefs to the table, the eclectic mix of restaurant styles and backgrounds puts modern fusion up against historic tradition for the Southern Arizona Salsa and Tequila Challenge.

A judging panel of culinary experts and enthusiasts select winners of the amateur and professional competitions, which are awarded at the main event, and attendees place their own votes for the People’s Choice awards.

Viva Piñata!

For the second year, the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation has added another ingredient to the charity mix with Viva Piñata!, raffling off sponsored decorative piñatas to raise money supporting scholarships to benefit Hispanic students seeking higher education.

OPENING PERFORMANCE

Main Stage at 6 p.m.

Folkloric Ballet Nogales Sonora

The Allewame folkloric ballet (word in native language that means happiness) was established in 2009 in Nogales Arizona as part of the artistic activities of the Colegio de Bachilleres del Estado de Sonora.

The group is formed by young secondary, high school and college students and has always sought the academic, artistic and intellectual growth of its members.

The team has won many regional and state competitions. They have also performed at various events in Arizona and at events throughout Sonora, such as de “Mining Festival of Nacozari”; “the October Fiesta” in Magdalena de Kino and at the “Missions´ Festival” in several cities in northern Sonora.

The dancers have represented México in the international festival “Uniendo amistades en pro de la cultura”, which took place in the city of Paraiso de Cartago in Costa Rica in October 2012.

On August 2013, the group changed its name to Ballet Folclórico Municipal Nogales. They are led by Mara Cristina Mendoza Villegas

FEATURED PERFORMER

Main Stage at 7:15 p.m.

Santa Pachita plays Latin-Fusion inspired by salsa, cumbia, ska, etc.

Santa Pachita is a Tucson band that has been playing together for since 2012. Guitarist, Miguel Reyes, and bass player, Victor Cruz, started the band after working together on other musical projects. They brought in talented musicians that have a variety of different musical backgrounds. The result is a danceable fusion of ska, cumbia, and rumba-salsa. The congas, flute, and trumpet add depth to t...

Santa Pachita is a 7-piece band that blends a variety of musical styles to create an entertaining night of dancing for everyone. The congas, flute, and saxophone add depth to the energetic music that is influenced by ska, cumbia, rumba-salsa, and bands like Manu Chao.

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