Welcome to the City of Albuquerque

10th Annual Historic Old Town Salsa Fiesta

Who makes the best salsa in Albuquerque? Come to Old Town Salsa Fiesta and find out!

Join us at the Old Town Salsa Fiesta on September 13th, to taste the flavors, feel the rhythms, and dance to the sounds of salsa.


Free for the public to attend. Participation in tasting of and voting on the best salsa is $5. This is a rain or shine event.


By Car

Free parking can be found at Bellamah Ave and 18th St. where there will be a shuttle to the event.

By Bike

Ride your bike! A free bike valet will be located on the West side of the plaza on Romero St.

10th Annual Historic Old Town Salsa Fiestacaption:

Come see New Mexico's fiercest cooks face-off as they battle to have their salsa named the Best Homemade Salsa! Watch as competitors prepare their best salsa completely on-site. Taste the many flavors each salsa has to offer and vote for your favorite. Live entertainment will be provided through the entire event.

Schedule of Event

  • 12-2 p.m. - Preparation of salsa on-site
  • 2-2:30 p.m. - Sample preparation and booth decoration competition
  • 2:30-5 p.m. - Tasting of and voting for the best salsa
  • 5:30 p.m. - Winners are announced
  • 6-8 p.m. - Headliner: Charanga del Valle Salsa Band

    Salsa Recipe Competition

    A Salsa Fiesta in New Mexico wouldn't be complete without a salsa recipe competition. This contest showcases the best salsa recipes from non-professional cooks in the region. The best salsa is decided by public vote. Participants can taste and vote for their favorite to win the Best Homemade Salsa Award. First place winners receive $1,000, second place receives $500, and third place receives $250. Download application to compete.

    Congratulations to this year's winners!

    Chefs' Choice: Diana Romero- Diana's Signature Salsa
    Best Homemade Salsa:
    1st Place: Jenna Liptay- Bailando Salsa
    2nd Place: Arleen Para- Simply Salsa
    3rd Place: Michael Lovato- Vato Loco Salsa

    Salsa Music

    Dance the day away with live entertainment on the Gazebo featuring headliner Charanga del Valle Salsa Band.

    Entertainment Schedule

    • 12-12:45 p.m.- Baracutanga
    • 1-1:45 p.m.- Havana Son
    • 2-2:45 p.m.- Picoso
    • 3-3:45 p.m.- Nosotros
    • 4-5 p.m.- En-Joy
    • 5-5:15 p.m.- Tribute to Danny Romero Sr.
    • 5:30 p.m.- Awards
    • 5:45-7:45 p.m.- Charanga del Valle

    Featured Performers

      Charanga del Valle Salsa Band caption:

      Charanga del Valle has a traditional flavor and flair with a varied repertoire of rhythms including traditional salsa, bolero, cha-cha, and merengue as well as contemporary Cuban timba--wonderful for dancing! Under the direction of Rodolfo Gonzalez, the band features vocalist Annette Aragon, along with violins, flute, and a three piece horn section.


      En-Joy combines traditional Son and modern Timba, two Cuban styles of music which, together with strong syncopation, melody, and conscious lyrics, are powerful and well-respected forms of music worldwide. Cuban Timba, a modern variation of Salsa, was created over the last 10 years by newer Cuban artists, combining elements of modern music to traditional Son. A welcome addition to the Albuquerque salsa scene, En-Joy has been performing to large and enthusiastic audiences for the past few years.


      Over 150 years of experience from these musical professionals who add a unique flavor of caption:music to any variety of music they play with a Latin blend. For their creativity, talent and contributions to New Mexican style music over the years, the New Mexico Music Hall of Fame Award was presented to Pete Gabaldon in 2007, and to Ray Avila in 2009. To learn more about each musician, click on "about us" in our website. You can also purchase the Picoso "Caliente," or the El Mosaico cd's when you click on "shop."

      Havana Soncaption:

      Listen to Havana Son and you can’t stay in your seat. With members hailing from Cuba, New Mexico and New York. The group’s repertoire covers the well known Cuban music from the early twentieth century, the rediscovered and revitalized songs of the Buena Vista Social Club and the popular styles of cumbia and reggaeton.


      Baracutanga has been lighting up ABQ dance floors for nearly two years, creating lines at caption:the doors of places like Burt’s Tiki Lounge, Cosmo Tapas, Hotel Andaluz, Launchpad, The Cell Theatre and Marble Brewery. The consistently crowded dance floors wherever Baracutanga plays is a big reason why it recently won Best New Band from the Albuquerque Alibi. The band’s members come from Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Argentina, and play a mix of the most soulful and danceable rhythms from South America including samba, reggae, batucada, cumbia colombiana and afro-Peruvian.

      Soirée Entertainmentcaption:

      Soirée Entertainment is a local dance and performance entertainment company.  We are dedicated to bringing the City of Albuquerque the highest quality entertainment through various types of dancing & performing. Soirée has performed at different venues and events around Albuquerque, for the past five years and continues to collaborate, expand, and grow. Soirée will be performing throughout the afternoon at Salsa Fiesta.

      Chefs' Choice

      Local professional chefs from around Albuquerque will taste the salsa and vote for their favorite salsa in the Chefs' Choice Competition. This year's professional chefs include:

      Chef Erkut Karataso: Executive Chef at Hotel Andaluz and Culinary Instructor at CNM.

      Chef Michael Giese: Executive Chef at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center.

      Chef Cristina Martinez: Executive Chef at The Artichoke Cafe.

      Chef Antonio Ebell: Executive Chef of The Cooperage.

      Commercial Salsas

      Come taste these local, commercial salsas and take some salsa home with you!

      • Sadies
      • Tito Franks
      • Holy Smoke
      • Bueno
      • Church Street

      And More!

      Free kids' activities including face painting and climbing wall.

      In addition to the wonderful Old Town restaurants, food trucks will be in attendance.

      Old Town shops will have sales and specials all day.

      Thank you to our sponsors

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