Prepare to cha cha at the 16th annual Mountain Chile Cha Cha

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Photo courtesy Mountain Chile Cha Cha
The 16th annual Mountain Chile Cha Cha will be held Saturday, Sept. 24, in Town Park and will feature a green chile cook-off, margarita contest and tasting, food trucks, a Mexican beer garden, morning trail race, live music and more.

By Jacque Aragon | Mountain Chile Cha Cha

The 16th annual Mountain Chile Cha Cha will be held Saturday, Sept. 24, in Town Park.

This no-admission, all-day fall celebration features a free concert, a green chile cook-off and tasting, a morning trail race, a margarita contest and a Mexican 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.

The 14th annual Patty Aragon Green Chile Classic Cook-off and tasting start 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. A total of $600 in prize money and awards and medals will be given. Register at ilovegreenchile.com.

 There will also be a commercial margarita contest and tasting, food trucks and cold Mexican beer in the cantina. Hatch green chile will be roasting on site and for sale by the bag or the bushel. 

Str8 Shot, a Latin-influenced band, is playing this year and will be live on stage 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 winners.

The Mountain Chile Cha Cha is a rain-or-shine event. For more information or to sign up, visit ilovegreenchile.com.