It's time once again to join the Southern Arizona Arts and Culture Alliance for a full day of handmade salsas and inventive tequila cocktails. On Saturday, Aug. 22, more than 50 participants will provide food and drink to crowds at the La Encantada Shopping Center (2905 E. Skyline Dr.), competing for several different titles in the annual competition.
More than 30 restaurants and purveyors, such as Boca Tacos, Reforma, Calle Tepa and Chilttepica, will compete for salsa honors including best hot salsa, best alternative salsa and best overall salsa. Bartenders from nearly 20 restaurants will also be battling it out with tequila-based cocktails. Last year, Armitage Wine Lounge took the top spot for salsa, while Pasco Kitchen's Father Kino won first for cocktails.
It isn't all about the salsa and tequila though. Small bites from [Popped], Sonoran Sno Cones, and more can be paired with non-alcoholic drinks from Dish for Dosha and Tohono Chul Garden Bistro. The event, which runs from 7 until 10 p.m., will also feature other heritage Mexican spirits like bacanora and sotol, as well as a limited selection of beer. Tucson's Santa Pachita and the Folklorico Ballet of Nogales will be performing.
Tickets for the Salsa & Tequila Challenge are available online in advance on the SAACA website
for $50, along with a full list of participants and more information. Limited day of ticketing will be available for $60 as well. Proceeds from the festival will benefit the Food Bank of Southern Arizona and SAACA’s arts therapy and education programs. It is a 21 and over event.