PUEBLO — The Pueblo Chile & Frijoles Festival is moving forward this weekend with some changes that will honor its beginnings while following COVID-19 guidelines.
The 26th annual Pueblo Chile & Frijoles Throwback Fest will "pay homage to our humble roots" and follow guidance from local government as well as public health officials.
There are two areas designated for chile roasting and farmers markets in historic downtown Pueblo. Organizers said the focus will be on promoting the Pueblo Chile, other local agriculture, farm stands and farmers markets.
- SRDA parking lot
- South Grand Ave in front of Vail Hotel
- Saturday, Sept. 26 - 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- Sunday, Sept. 27 - 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Traffic will be able to go through on Union Avenue as the "public is encouraged to eat & shop local while in the area." There will also be curbside pickup available for participating farm stands. The admission will be through an online portal asking for donations and you will receive a coupon for $2 off any drink.
For local chile farmers, the festival brings an important boost to sales. "This is our livelihood," said Joey Musso, a chile grower. "This is something we depend on every year and we're hoping that it's not too drastically effected by the coronavirus pandemic."
This year will look a lot different without the huge number of events. The following were all canceled due to precautions: jalapeno eating content, chihuahua parade, street vendors, frijole spitting contest, entertainment tent, live food demonstrations.
The Chili & Salsa Showdown will go on this year and applications will be available online. Click here to view the application and more information.
Festival organizers said there will be no more than 175 guests allowed in any designated area at one time. There will also be temperature checks and masks will be required in order to enter the farmers markets.
The festival is typically one of the biggest events every year in Pueblo with an average of 140,000 attendees under normal conditions.