By Jacque Aragon
Special to The PREVIEW
Are you ready for the Cha Cha? The 14th annual Mountain Chile Cha Cha will be held Saturday, Sept. 28, in Town Park in downtown Pagosa Springs.
This no-admission, all-day fall celebration features a free concert, a green chile cook-off and tasting, morning trail race, margarita contest and a beer garden.
Much in the same way that easterners equate the smell of pressed apples with the coming of fall, southwesterners know it is autumn by the smell of roasting green chiles, usually the Hatch variety from New Mexico, but sometimes Big Jims, which are commonly grown around Grand Junction.
A beautiful fall trail run boasts a 5k, 10k and a half marathon. The race will wind up, down and around Reservoir Hill, beginning and ending in Town Park. The trail is mountainous and scenic, with awesome views. Go to ilovegreenchile to register.
The 12th annual Patty Aragon Green Chile Classic Cook-off and tasting starts at 12:30 p.m. and will give spectators an opportunity to sample dozens of varieties of green chile from some of the area’s finest amateur and professional cooks; $600 in prize money and awards and medals will be given. Register at ilovegreenchile.com.
There will be a commercial margarita contest, food and cold Mexican beer in the cantina. Hatch green chile will be roasting and for sale by the bag or the bushel.
Sangre Joven, a Latin-influenced band, is returning this year and will start the music at 1:30 p.m. and will go until approximately 5:30 p.m., with a short break in between sets to announce the cook-off and margarita contest winners.
The Mountain Chile Cha Cha is a rain-or-shine event. For more information or to sign up, visit ilovegreenchile.com.
By Jacque Aragon