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What you need to know: 29th Annual Chile and Frijoles Festival returns this weekend

Posted at 3:38 PM, Sep 20, 2023

PUEBLO — Starting Friday, September 22nd (with a special event on Thursday), the Chile & Frijoles Festival comes back in full force to promote local agriculture and encourage visitors to buy fresh, Southern Colorado produce.

The star of the show, the famous Pueblo Chile, draws chile lovers from all around the globe. The chile is comparable to modern jalapeno peppers at 5,000 to 20,000 Scoville Heat Units.

The chiles do so well in Southern Colorado because of their hot, dry summer days and rich soil. In fact, Southern Colorado grows some of the hottest and most flavorful chiles around.

The roasting of the chiles is also something unique to Southern Colorado. The tradition is often passed down from generation to generation.

Pueblo chile farms usually start roasting their chiles as early as mid-August, but all of the rain the region has gotten this summer has delayed the process a bit.

Last year News5 talked to Joe DiTomaso with DiTomaso Farms in Pueblo about their chile roasting process.

DiTomaso said things start in mid-August when they go out and pick the chiles. Afterward, they're put in the roaster and cooked over an open flame for 10 minutes.

Once the chiles start to slide around the cage instead of tumbling, they're hit with a spry of water that cools them off and takes off most of the charred skin.

The chiles are then packed and sold fresh at the festival.

Tickets start at $5.


This year's Chile & Frijole Festival will feature all kinds of family-friendly fun including:

  • live music
  • a hot air balloon festival
  • a Chihuahua parade
  • a chili & salsa contest
  • a farmer's market
  • chile roasting
  • a jalapeno eating contest and
  • a magic show

A full schedule of the festival's event lineup can be found below or on the Chile & Frijoles Festival website.

Thursday, September 21

  • 1:15 p.m. | Chili & Salsa Showdown

Friday, September 22

  • 6:45 a.m. | Media flight on 24th & High Street
  • 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. | Jr. Y Los Pachucos
  • 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. | Full Gamut
  • 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. | The Moon Riders
  • 4:00 - 5:30 p.m. | 6 Bucks & Flight
  • 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. | Uptown Jam
  • 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. | Mocking J's
  • 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. | The Dr. Fine Rhythm & Blues Review
  • 6:00 - 8:00 | Mixed Emotions
  • 7:00 p.m. | Balloon Glow on the Riverwalk
  • 8:30 - 11:30 p.m. | Mystic 7
  • 8:30 - 11:30 p.m. | Spur of the Moment
  • 8:30 - 11:30 p.m. | Cody Cozz

Saturday, September 23

  • 6:45 a.m. | Balloon launch on 24th & High Street
  • 11:00 - 12:30 p.m. | Morgan J. Cox
  • 11:00 - 12:30 p.m. | Barn Burners
  • 11:00 - 12:30 p.m. | Grupo Vive
  • 11:00 - 12:30 p.m. | Jimi Ray Smith
  • 12:00 p.m. | Magic of Kyle Groves
  • 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. | Liberty Drive
  • 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. | Christian Jacqeuz
  • 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. | Strange Love
  • 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. | Sol Boyz
  • 2:00 p.m. | Magic of Kyle Groves
  • 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. | Brian Earl & The Trible
  • 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. | Sierra Gold
  • 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. | CO Double Barrel
  • 3:30 - 5:30 p.m. |Lotus Kicks
  • 4:00 p.m. | Magic of Kyle Groves
  • 6:00 p.m. | Magic of Kyle Groves
  • 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.| Mixxed Nutz
  • 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. | Hard 45
  • 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. |Knuckin Futz
  • 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. | Hi Fidelity
  • 7:00 p.m. | Xfinity Balloon & Chile Ristra Balloon Glow on the Riverwalk
  • 8:30 - 11:30 p.m. | Gypsy Groove
  • 8:30 - 11:30 p.m. | Triple Nickel
  • 8:30 - 11:30 p.m. Dano Weston Band
  • 8:30 - 11:30 p.m. | Dynamix

Sunday, September 24

  • 6:45 a.m. | Balloon launch on 24th and High Street
  • 11:00 a.m. | Chihuahua parade
  • 11:00 - 12:30 p.m. | Snack Break
  • 11:00 - 12:30 p.m. | The Ragetones
  • 11:00 - 12:30 p.m. | Mitch Carter
  • 11:00 - 3:30 p.m. | Jon Maez
  • 1:00 | Magic of Kyle Groves
  • 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. | Balanced Rock
  • 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. | Matt Fusion
  • 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. | Playing with Fire
  • 3:00 | Magic of Kyle Groves
  • 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. | The Shades of Blue
  • 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. | Partially Stable
  • 3:30 - 5:00 p.m. | Steel Street
  • 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. | Jalapeno eating contest
  • 5:00 | Magic of Kyle Groves

It is $5 to get into the festival and free for children 12 and younger and those with valid Military IDs.



PARKING

When it comes to parking there are a few options available for those attending. If you can not find street parking, four options are available with some being free.

FREE Parking Garages
S. Main St Parking Garage
Grand & City Center Dr

Daily Shuttle Pickup & Dropoff
Midtown Parking Lot

Pay to Park
Main Street Parking Garage - $10.00 per Day

Handicap Parking
Professional Bull Riders Parking Lot, back entrance off Victoria St.


Sunday may mark the end of the Chile & Frijoles Festival, but that doesn't have to mean the end of the chile-lovin' fun.

Did you know that you can purchase your own Pueblo Chile license plate?

They cost a one-time fee of $50 and can be ordered in-person at your local Clerk & Recorder's Office, whether your tags are yet up for renewal or not.

For more information about buying Pueblo Chile plates, visit the Pueblo Growers Association website.
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