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First-ever Salsa Fest is Saturday

A celebration of salsa will take place in Todd County this fall.

The Sustainable Farming Association is inviting salsa lovers from all over the state to enjoy live music, salsa tasting, local food vendors and artisan shopping, a salsa contest and fun for the whole family at the first annual Minnesota Salsa Fest at the Todd County Fairgrounds on Saturday, September 16 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The event aims will spotlight all things salsa-related available in the region, showcasing Mexican food from Taqueria Chavez (Long Prairie), El Portal (Melrose), Griff's Pizza (Long Prairie), Ted and Gen's BBQ and Finnegan's beer, live music with Diamante de Mexico (Diamond of Mexico), salsa-making demonstrations, a salsa contest, 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.

The goal of the event is to build friendships, raise awareness of the Sustainable Farming Association and support local growers and producers by giving them a new marketing opportunity to compete with their salsa recipes and/or sell their goods.

The tentative program is as follows: 11 a.m. — welcome; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. — local artisan shopping/food vendors and demos/classes; 12:30 to 2 p.m. and 2:30 to 4 p.m. — live music; 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. — salsa contest tabulation/judging; 5 p.m. — introduce celebrity judges/announce winners.

Tickets are $5 per person at the gate and kids 12 and under are free. Or find the SFA promoting Salsa Fest at one of the area's events this summer and get a buy-one-get-one-free ticket.

If you are interested in competing in the salsa taste-test contest, being a vendor, or becoming a sponsor for Salsa Fest, visit the event webpage at or send an email to

The event is a fundraiser for the Sustainable Farming Association as it continues to teach the importance of sustainable agriculture in protecting and restoring soil health, water quality, wildlife habitat, and air quality.

Current sponsors include Local Harvest Market, the University of Minnesota Central Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, the Initiative Foundation, Sprout Growers and Makers Marketplace, CentraCare, Finnegans Brewing, CentraCare, Long Prairie Farmers Market, Long Prairie Sanitation and Cass County Farm Bureau.

The SFA intends to make the Minnesota Salsa Fest an annual event and plans to return to the Todd County Fairgrounds for the 2018 celebration.

Al Edenloff

Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  

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