SalsaFest to hold Salsa Trail Challenge throughout September

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: Justin Scott, the owner of Gi’Mees Restaurant, holds up his novelty $1,000 check for taking Best Overall Salsa in the professional division at the 13th annual SalsaFest last year. This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the annual festival will be a Salsa Trail Challenge and people are encouraged to visit each participating restaurant during the month of September to vote for the best salsa.

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SAFFORD – The World Famous Salsa Trail is excited to announce a new format for SalsaFest this year. Instead of our traditional festival in Downtown Safford, we are taking the party to all 15 SalsaFest locations!

The Salsa Trail restaurant locations include Casa Manaña, Chalo’s La Casa Reynoso, Clifton Hotel Bar, El Charro, El Coronado, Gila Hank Café, GiMees Restaurant, JD’s Sports Bar & Grill, La Paloma, La Unica, The Manor House, Mechy’s, Meg’s Place, Taco Taste, and The Plank.

SalsaFest Challenge:

We are challenging all salsa lovers to complete the Salsa Trail Challenge. To complete the challenge, you must submit an entry for each of the Salsa Trail locations. A valid entry includes your name, the restaurant, the entrée you ate, the salsa(s) you tried, a score of the salsa between 1-100, and a photo of your receipt. Each person who completes the SalsaFest Challenge will receive a one of a kind T-shirt. The first person to complete the SalsaFest Challenge will receive $300 in gift cards, which is one $20 gift card from each restaurant.

Photo Contest:

Celebrate SalsaFest by sharing photos of yourself enjoying a meal at official Salsa Trail locations! A valid entry includes your name, the restaurant, and the photo you would like to submit. We will select one prize-winning photo for each official Salsa Trail location. The person who submitted the winning photo will receive a $20 gift card. By submitting a photo, you give permission for it to be used in promotional materials

Participants should text their entries for both the SalsaFest Challenge and the Photo Contest by text to 928-792-8661.

What: World famous Salsa Trail SalsaFest Challenge

When: Sept. 1 – while supplies last

Where: Official Salsa Trail locations


Salsa Award Sponsors:

Eastern Arizona Courier Best Overall Salsa, Double R Communications Best Red Salsa, Eat Local Gila Valley Best Green Salsa

Jon Johnson/Gila Herald Video of SalsaFest 2019

SalsaFest Premium Sponsors:

Gila Herald, and Tierra Antigua Realty

SalsaFest Standard Sponsors:

DRG Technologies

Community Partners:

Bureau of Land Management, City of Safford, Double R Communications, Eastern Arizona College Small Business Development Center, Freeport-McMoRan, Good Food Finder, Graham County, Kempton Chevrolet, Local First Arizona, Safford Downtown Association, Town of Thatcher, Town of Pima, and United Way of Graham and Greenlee Counties

Jon Johnson File Photo/Gila Herald: To keep with Arizona’s restrictions on large crowds, this year’s SalsaFest will be a Salsa Trail Challenge at participating restaurants and there will not be any festival in Downtown Safford.

Gold Member Sponsors:

CMI, Haralson Tire Pros, Hydra Pest Control, Life Net, Maverick Motorsports, and Valley Telecom Group

Premium Member Sponsors:

Gila Watershed Partnership, Ginaveve’s Marketplace and Main Street Bean, Into the Wild Outdoors, La Paloma Restaurant, and Trek RV and Outdoor