Tulsa Business Journal
Tulsa Business Staff
On Friday from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Eloté Café & Catering will host SalsaFest, a community-wide festival that will feature a salsa-making contest, salsa music and dancing, a chili pepper-eating contest, children’s activities and — new this year — a Chihuahua costume contest and race, in downtown Tulsa at the Chapman Centennial Green at Sixth Street and Boston Avenue.
Local restaurateurs and home cooks are invited to bring their salsa to the festival. Contestants must use at least one Oklahoma-grown ingredient in their salsa, and they will be judged in three categories: spicy, traditional and alternative. The public will choose three winners, a panel of celebrity judges will choose a winner, and the salsa maker who uses the most local ingredients will also be named a winner.
The winners of the awards get to toss 300 pounds of tomatoes off a seven-story building across the street from the festival.
Proceeds raised at SalsaFest benefit Sustainable Tulsa, a nonprofit organization that promotes responsible economic growth, quality of life and environmental stewardship. Sustainable Tulsa plans to utilize the funds to design an educational and environmentally friendly playground in the core business district of downtown Tulsa.
“In order to make downtown more attractive to families, we need to create family-friendly environment,” said Libby Auld, owner of Eloté Café & Catering, Sustainable Tulsa board member and SalsaFest chair. “We want to create an environmentally friendly playground in the core business district to attract more families downtown while also furthering the mission of Sustainable Tulsa. SalsaFest is a fun, flavorful way to accomplish this goal.”
In 2009, SalsaFest brought a diverse crowd of more than 1,500 to downtown and raised more than $2,500 for Sustainable Tulsa. In addition to the impact SalsaFest had on Sustainable Tulsa, it also boosted sales at many downtown businesses.
SalsaFest is free and open to the public. SalsaFest sponsors include Choose Tulsa Jobs, Public Service Co. of Oklahoma, Eloté Café & Catering, Tecate, Kanbar Properties, Gable & Gotwals and 120 Development Group.