11th Annual Historic Old Town Salsa Fiesta

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




11th Annual Historic Old Town Salsa Fiesta 2015!

Taste the flavors, feel the rhythms, and dance to the sounds of salsa during the 11th Annual Historic Old Town Salsa Fiesta! Salsa Fiesta will be returning to Historic Old Town on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015.

Thank you to all who participated in this year's competition.

Congratulations to the winners!

Best Homemade Salsa

1st Place- Michael Lovato: Vato Loco Salsa

2nd Place- John & Diana Deleon: La Familia Salsa

3rd Place- Arleen Para: Simply 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.


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

Salsa Fiesta

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

Schedule of Event

  • 12-7 p.m. - Live Entertainment
  • 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 and voting on the best salsa
  • 5:30 p.m. - Winners are announced
  • 5:30-7 p.m. - Headliner: Nosotros

Salsa Recipe Competition

What's a Salsa Fiesta in New Mexico without a salsa recipe competition? This contest showcases the best salsa recipes from non-professional cooks in the region. The best salsa is determined 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.

Are you interested in competing to find out if you have the best homemade salsa? Fill out the application and turn it in.


Entertainment Schedule

  • 12 p.m. -Baracutanga
  • 1 p.m. - Picoso
  • 2 p.m.- Calle 66
  • 3 p.m.- The Micky Cruz Show
  • 4 p.m. En-Joy
  • 5 p.m.- Dance Group Rueda 505
  • 5:20 p.m.- Awards
  • 5:30 p.m.- Nosotros

Headliner: Nosotros 

Nosotros seamlessly combines Latin rhythms with elements of Rock, Salsa, Jazz and Cumbia creating an original sound that is unmistakably Nosotros. But M.E. Schenck of Hyperactive Music Magazine may have interpreted their sound best by saying “Nosotros’ music is not to be explained, it is to be felt in the pit of our souls.”

The award-winning ensemble began as a guitar trio in 1994 and was based in the southern New Mexico town of Las Cruces. The band gained an almost immediate following. During this time Nosotros successfully self-produced two albums, “Palomo” and “Pico,” both of which received excellent reviews and sold very well.

The band began broadening it’s audience by taking their show on road. They began touring the Southwest United States playing various venues and music festivals along side some of the biggest names in music and in 2011 released their 5th studio album, a self-produced EP titled “Ver El Sol”. 

In 2014, Nosotros celebrated 20 years as a band. To mark the milestone, Nosotros realeased an anthology CD simply titled, “XX”. Over the years Nosotros has changed and taken on a life of its own, but through all that has changed one thing remains the same: Nosotros is and always will be felt in the pit of your soul.


En-Joy The New Young Cuban Salsa Group! We are the combination of traditional Cuban Son and Modern Cuban Timba! En-Joy brings a variety of experiences to any venue, from energetic dancing to casual socials. We welcome you to come join us! After all, Who doesn't love to En-Joy?

En-Joy focuses on 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 in particular, a modern variation of Salsa, was created over the last 10 years by newer Cuban artists, combining elements of modern music to traditional Son.

Micky Cruz

Grammy Nominated Artist, Micky Cruz, is an international star who has performed for former President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. Cruz was formerly on the Warner Brothers Record Label and has ranked on the Billboard Music Charts. He’s received multiple music awards, including the most prestigious award in the New Mexico Latin Music Industry, The 15 Grandes de Nuevo Mexico Awards.

Calle 66

NM native band creating a bridge between South American and Puerto Rican salsa to create a contemporary sound while preserving its original roots. CALLE 66 perform a variety of Salsa, cumbia and merengue.


Professionals who add a unique flavor of music to any variety of music they play with a Latin blend. Group size from original quartet (Pete, Ray, Benito, and Steve) to specialty size which includes a company of featured guests. Venues from eating establishments, small gathering spaces, clubs, Indoor/outdoor celebrations & concerts, and dance settings; Genres: Latin, Pop, Oldies, Soft Jazz, easy listening, and dance.


BARACUTANGA is an African voicing that means “people dancing”. Because of its onomatopoeic sound, it’s a reminder of the percussive instruments that were dispersed throughout the Americas by African diaspora that has vitally nurtured our native cultures. BARACUTANGA is a group of experienced musicians of diverse backgrounds and origins that proposes to build bridges between the south and the north, overcoming the barriers of discrimination. The south conjugates the past and the future and it is there where we find our roots as a key to survive in a modern world. Our music carries a message of reflection to ignite a positive change of attitudes; which must begin within us and with the acknowledgement of cultural pluralism.

Chefs' Choice

Local professional chefs from around Albuquerque will taste the salsa and vote for their favorite salsa in the Chefs' Choice Competition. Learn more about the chefs by reading their bio or clicking the links below. This year's professional chefs include:

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

Michael Giese, CEC, CCA, was born to be a chef. Originally from Texas but raised in a military family, Chef Michael’s avid curiosity was satisfied by frequent relocations and early exposure to a variety of cuisines. Michael found food to be a universal language that promised adventure and fun. He adopted it as an unofficial early motto and never looked back. Chef Michael has proudly served the restaurant industry for more than 24 years in positions for LSF Sky Chefs, Aramark, Country Clubs, National Steak Chains, and Flying Star Café & Satellite Coffee where he created award-winning dishes and earned a Chef Knockout champion title. Chef Michael was recently honored as one of the nation’s top “40 Under Forty” Chefs in the country by FSR Magazine. He’s an avid hiker and has scaled Mount Kilimanjaro. Chef Michael’s joyful and adventurous personality is infused into each dish that he creates. 

Chef Knoulan Tanner: Executive Chef at Ponderosa Brewing Company

I was born and raised in Albuquerque and have been cooking for 20 years. I Have trained under many great chefs in the Albuquerque area. My Formal training has been focused on classic French and New American. I have been with Ponderosa since January 2015. I started my love of cooking from cooking with my Grandmother. I have done spots for Good Day New Mexico, KASA in style and Albuquerque the magazine. If you need anything else please let me know.

Chef Philip Roybal: Executive Chef at Nob Hill Bar and Grill

I've been in the culinary for over 30 years cooking has always been a passion I started as sous chef at Maria Theresa was in old town now casa escencia the move on to Stevens as chef. I moved on to the ranchers club at the Hilton hotel where I got the To learn more about corporate wanting to get more into the culinary art I went on to artichoke cafe where I chef for 13 years Venturing off on new travel I came to the Nob hill bar and grill where have been established since 2009 and have become one of Nob hill best restaurants and I've been proud of being executive chef for 5 them. 

Chef Gabe Amador and Rhonda Amador: Executive Chefs at Amore

Chef Cecilia Lucero: Executive Chef at Hacienda del Rio

Commercial Salsas

Come taste these local, commercial salsas and take a spicy souvenir home with you!

  • Church Street
  • La Salita
  • Tio Franks
  • Black Market Salsa

In addition to these delicious salsas, Los Altos Ranch Market will be roasting and selling green chile.

Family Fun

Free kids' activities including face painting.

In addition to the delicious Old Town restaurants, there will be two food trucks in attendance.

Old Town shops will have sales and specials all day.


Thank you to our sponsors!




Latest from Twitter
Latest from Twitter