Celebrate fall at Saturday’s Mountain Chile Cha Cha

Photo courtesy Mountain Chile Cha Cha

By Jacque Aragon
Special to The PREVIEW
The 14th annual Mountain Chile Cha Cha will take place in Town Park rain or shine Saturday, Sept. 28.
The festival includes a 5k, 10k and half marathon. Other activities include a Mexican beer garden, margarita contest and green chile cook-off and tasting, all-day kids corner and green chile roasted on-site.
For more about the festival and to register for the races or cook-off, visit ilovegreenchile.com.
The day begins with the races, hosted by the Pagosa Peaks Volleyball Club, at 8:30 a.m., followed by the Patty Aragon Green Chile Classic.
Roughly 40 entrants, both amateur and professional, compete in the cook-off each year. Cooks are required to show up with their slow cookers and ingredient lists between 10 and 10:30 a.m. to facilitate the official judging.

Photo courtesy Jacque Aragon
Saturday’s 14th annual Mountain Chile Cha Cha, set to take place in Town Park rain or shine, will feature music from Sangre Joven, roasting green chiles, a green chile cook-off and more.

Three judges volunteer for the difficult and filling job of choosing their favorite chiles. Each judge tastes all chiles present and rates them on a scale from 1-10, plus takes notes in case the scores are close. Then the scores are added up and monies and medals are awarded to first, second and third places in meat, vegetarian and commercial categories.
Once the judges are finished, the tasting is opened up to the public at 12:30 p.m. Each person who participates in the tasting pays $10 and is entitled to 10 tastes and a vote for the People’s Choice Awards for first, second and third places. Commercial entries will also be eligible for these prestigious awards.
Along with the other activities, Sangre Joven will be returning this year with a live latin music beginning at 1:30 p.m.
Sangre Joven originated in the northern New Mexico pueblo de Las Vegas. Their style of music is performed in El Estillo Del Norte De Nuevo Mexico and consists of rancheras, cumbias, corridos, polkas and valses traditional to their heritage for centuries.
The band began its musical journey back in 1988 when Lorenzo Miguel Gallegos and brother Daniel Lee Gallegos founded the group. Several other members have contributed to the success throughout the last two decades, including artists such as Robert Gonzales, Michael Marquez y Dulzura, Joaquin Maestas of Quemoso, Bobby Madrid and Lorenzo Miguel. The result of these collaborations was 11 successful CDs.
The first album was recorded in 1989 and was titled “Sangre Joven de Las Vegas, New Mexico.”
Three other albums followed, “Esta Vida,” “On The Run” and “Mal Ideas,” which were such a huge success that they established Sangre Joven as an opening act for Los Lobos in 1994.
From these four albums, numerous original hits were produced including: “Linda Morena,” “Esta Vida,” “Chiquitita de Mi Vida,” “Triste Aqui,” “Soy Musiqero,” “El Carrito Chevy (55)” and many more.
During the summer of 1998, Sangre Joven released their fifth CD titled “Mala Sangre.” This album was successful due in part to the impressive brass section that was added and more original songs. Sangre Joven wrote and arranged “Alegre Corazon,” “Poco A Poco,” “Sin tus Besos,” “La Mas Hermosa” and “Besitos de Amor” (which was nominated for best salsa/tropical song of the year). This CDs success inspired and encouraged them to record a new enhanced CD titled “Nortenisimo.”
In 2006, Sangre Joven released an all original CD titled “Sangre Joven” which consisted of 10 original songs all written by Daniel Lee Gallegos in the style of New Mexico music. Two of the original songs off the CD, “Te Me Fuistes” and “Y Que,” appeared in the top five on KSLV’s “Horas Latina” with Jerry Medina in Monte Vista. Also, a TV appearance on the “Anthony Segura Show” in Albuquerque, N.M., in late December of that year elevated the band to new heights.
From 2009 to 2012, Daniel Lee Gallegos decided to put Sangre Joven on the back burner. He concentrated on releasing two CDs with his brothers, Rey and Francisco Gallegos.
He also released his first solo CD, “Puras Conocidas.”
In 2013, the band went through a transformation and became a five-piece group again, tying its music to its traditional roots. They released a CD called “Act Right” (“Portate Bien”) and toured the southwest states of New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, Arizona and Utah.
They also got nominated for Salsa/Tropical Song of The Year for the song “La Camisa Negra” by The New Mexico Hispano Music Association.
With such tremendous success, the band released its ninth studio album titled “Que Viva La Raza” in 2014 and it catapulted them to perform over 100 shows that year at many casinos, fiestas, weddings, family reunions and private functions.
In 2015, Daniel Lee Gallegos released his second solo CD, “Hasta El Ultimo Cartucho,” and he started performing with a full brass horn section, in full New Mexican style.
Later that year, Los Gallegos Brozz released their third studio CD, “Puros Exitos.”
In 2016, Sangre Joven released its 10th CD called “Fierce” with Bobby Madrid and the song “Carta Jugada” hit No. 1 in Colorado (KSLV) and went on heavy rotation at all major radio stations in New Mexico.
In 2018, the band released their 11th CD, “Corridos.”
In 2019, SJ released its 12th studio CD, “30th Anniversary 1989-2919,” celebrating 30 years in the music industry with thousands of shows and a total of 19 albums combined.
Band members are Manny Lucero (drums), Gerald (bass), Ray Lucero (saxophone), Bobby Madrid (trumpet) and the original band member Daniel Lee Gallegos (lead guitar/vocals).
Sangre Joven’s goal is to keep New Mexico music, rancheras, alive and make people happy with their God-given talent.
We hope to see you at the Cha Cha.