Salsa y Salsas Festival heats up this Saturday

A "ketchup and square-dance gala" just doesn't sway with the flavor of the times.

Carson City's hottest, spiciest annual celebration of Hispanic culture and heritage, the Salsa y Salsas Festival is back for its eighth straight year with live mariachi music, arts and craft vendors, salsa dancing and, of course, lots of mouth-watering salsa.

From mild to tongue-charring hot, traditional salsa to sassy moderns like last year's prize-winning mango-flavored salsa, everyone's welcome, and every taste bud will be indulged at the family-friendly, nonalcoholic event, which historically has brought salsa-seeking crowds of 6,000 or more to the park-like setting of the Legislative Plaza.

And this year, salsa purveyors are in luck. Because of a scheduling conflict, the festival will be held one day earlier, on Saturday, instead of the traditional Sunday.

Elisa Seiller, a client advocate at Nevada Hispanic Services in Carson City said, "there will be something for everyone," with food from Mexico, Argentina, Columbia, as well as her native El Salvador.

The annual salsa tasting and salsa dancing contests will crown winners in each category while Reno's Ballet Folklorico Internacional will perform traditional dances of Latin America, and bands Mariachi Plata and Mariachi Lety Cazadores will be on hand to provide flavor for the ears.

Up-and-coming singer Rosella Nuñez will also perform.

Raquel Knecht, director of Nevada Hispanic Services in Carson City expects a good turnout.

"Hopefully this beautiful weather stays with us," she said.

The event is designed to showcase Carson City's growing cultural diversity while supporting the local nonprofit Nevada Hispanic Services, an agency which provides the local Hispanic population with needed social services.

Contact Peter Thompson at or 881-1215.

If You Go

What: Eighth annual Salsa y Salsas Festival

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday

Where: Legislative Plaza on Carson Street

Cost: Free

Information: Call 885-1055.


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