LONG PRAIRIE, Minn. — In celebration of food grown locally in Central Minnesota and the rich cultural diversity of the local farming and food community, the Central Chapter of the Sustainable Farming Association (SFA) invites the community to attend the second annual Minnesota Salsa Fest from 1 to 10 p.m. Sat., Sept. 22, at the Todd County Fairgrounds in Long Prairie. Salsa Fest features live music, dancing, local vendors and fun for the whole family.

Minnesota Salsa Fest includes salsa-making demonstrations, salsa ice cream for sample and sale developed by the University of Minnesota Ice Cream Lab and served by the Todd County dairy princesses, and local vendors selling salsa and other farmers’ market goods. Food and beverage options for sale also include tacos, fresh guacamole, pulled pork sandwiches, pizza and Finnegan’s and Modelo beer.

Also slated is the popular salsa contest. From 1 to 3 p.m., attendees can taste contest entries and vote for their favorite. Public votes will be counted to determine the top three salsas per category (Red, Verde, or Pico de Gallo) that will face the contest judges in the final round from 5-6 p.m. “I had the privilege to judge the Salsa Contest in 2017, and I was surprised at the many distinct and unique varieties,” said Luan Thomas-Brunkhorst, director of the Long Prairie Area Chamber of Commerce and pictured at right. “Salsa Fest showcases area businesses including growers, food producers, and restaurants. It’s a great opportunity to capture some of what Long Prairie has to offer, while also having quite a bit of fun.”

Another highlight of this year’s fest is the live musical entertainment by The Stearns County Pachanga Society, which hits the Salsa Fest stage from 6 to 9 p.m. As an organic musical experiment, the Stearns County Pachanga Society aims to combine the participatory musical spirit of Cuban Cabildos, Brazilian Samba clubs, and Spanish Charangas. Bring your own percussion instruments, dance, and enjoy the rhythms.

Admission at the door is $5/person; kids 12 and under are free.

Vendor, sponsor and salsa contest applications are still being accepted. For more information and applications in both English and Spanish, visit www.sfa-mn.org/salsafest or contact Event Coordinator Zachary Paige at salsafest@sfa-mn.org or 631.807.5163.

2018 Minnesota Salsa Fest sponsors include the University of Minnesota Central Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, Local Harvest Market, Minnesota Grown, CentraCare Health-Long Prairie, Sprout MN, Coborn’s Long Prairie, Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education-North Central, Buckwheat Growers Association of Minnesota, American Heart Association, Good Food Access Fund, Long Prairie Farmers Market, Long Prairie Sanitation, Todd County Farm Bureau, Cass County Farm Bureau, Finnegans Brewing, Knights of Columbus, American Heritage Bank, Central Minnesota Credit Union and Mid-Central Federal Savings Bank.

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