Sample a taste of Hispanic culture at Salsa y Salsas Festival

All the flavors, colors and excitement of Hispanic culture will be exhibited Saturday at the ninth annual Salsa Y Salsas Festival at the Legislative Plaza on South Carson Street.

From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., the free family event includes folkloric dancers, food vendors, artists, live music, salsa dancing and a salsa food contest.

"September is Hispanic Heritage Month so this is another good reason to have the festival, to celebrate our heritage," said Raquel Knecht, director of Nevada Hispanic Services.

Nevada Hispanic Services is celebrating its 15th year in Carson City.

"We hope to have papusas - a Salvadoran-style taco - roasted corn with chili, ice cream, drinks like aguas, which is a fruit drink, and possibly a fruit stand.

"We'll also have live entertainment by Orchestra Borinquin, a salsa band from San Francisco, as well as mariachis, ballet folklorico, Rosella (Nuñez) - who is a singer - and an open mic if anyone else wants to entertain," Knecht said.

The salsa-making contest is open to the public. People can enter the day of the contest, but must bring their own ingredients. Entry fee is $20 per entry.

"The salsa must be made on site," said Knecht. "We will sell tasting kits for $1. The salsa is then voted on by judges, and the winners will be announced around 2 p.m.

"The winner last year got cash so we will probably have cash again for first, second and third places."

Information booths will also be available. Knecht said with a growing Hispanic population in Carson City, it is good to have information out there for everyone to access.

"Our culture has a lot to offer," she said. "We are part of the Carson City community, and this offers a chance for others to learn about our culture and the positive things we have. It's all part of a fun family day."

A highlight of the afternoon is the salsa dance contest. For those wanting to participate, just show up by 3 p.m. and sign in.

"We'll have live music or a DJ for them to dance to. It's been couples in the contest, but if a single entry wants to enter, we won't turn them down."

Knecht said about 5,000 people attended the festival last year. With cooperating weather, she figures there may be just as many this year.

Nevada Hispanic Services is also holding a Salsas Dinner Gala at 6 p.m. Friday at the Plaza Hotel Conference Center. Knecht said a few tickets still remain.

"This dinner is a way to recognize and say thank you to the community for their support of our agency and the Hispanic community. We will be giving out awards to the people in the community."

For information on the dinner or Salsa Y Salsas Festival, call 885-1055.

n Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at or 881-1223.

If you go

What: Salsa Y Salsas Festival

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

Where: Legislative Plaza, South Carson Street

Cost: Free

Call: 885-1055


What: Salsas Dinner Gala

When: 6 p.m. Friday

Where: The Plaza Hotel Convention Center

Cost: $30

Call: 885-1055


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