City celebrates fall with Saturday’s Salsa Night Market 

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Salsa Champ 2021
Toryn Terrell (left) of Glennwilde celebrates being named Ultimate Overall winner in last year's Salsa Challenge, a part of the Salsa Night Market at Copper Sky. Mayor Christian Price (center) and city council member Rich Vitiello awarded Terrell his $2,500 prize and championship belt. [Jay Taylor photo]

With summer finally over (at least according to the calendar), Maricopa celebrates the arrival of fall with its annual Salsa Night Market 6-10 p.m. Saturday at Copper Sky Park.  

The festival combines two of the city’s signature events – the Salsa Festival and the Copa Night Market series  – making it among the largest annual events in town. Highlights include two salsa contests, one for amateurs and another for ultimate competitors, which  feature 24  varieties of salsa for sampling.  

 Plenty of other attractions and entertainment options include  live music, games, contests, vendors, food and drinks.  While everyone is welcome. The city is advising that the  celebration is geared toward adults.   There are no children’s activities. 

More than 100 vendors, 14 food trucks and, of course, cervezas at the Native Grill & Wings cantina are expected. 

 Organizers recommend avoiding lines  by purchasing prepaid salsa chip sampling kits online. Simply show your online receipt and matching ID at the salsa tent to receive your tortilla chips and tray.  

More information and ticket/parking purchases are available at https://express.adobe.com/page/qOPlBpP8U8s7f/. 

 Parking is limited, costs $10 day of the festival. Prepaid parking passes are available for $7 online until noon on Sept. 24.  CCash and credit cards are accepted. Complimentary passes for Copper Sky annual members are available at the Copper Sky member services desk. Entrance is at the intersection of State Route 347 and Bowlin Road. 

For those who don’t get a parking spot at Copper Sky, not to worry. Complimentary shuttles will be available 5:30-10:30 p.m. between Maricopa Elementary School, Maricopa Wells Middle School and Maricopa High School and the festival.  

The evening’s entertainment lineup includes: 

  • 6 p.m. – Governor’s office Proclamation for Hispanic Heritage Month. 
  • 6:05 p.m. – Santa Cruz Valley Union High School mariachi. 
  • 6:40 p.m. – Cuacualti Ballet Folklorico. 
  • 7:25 p.m. – Ollin Yolitzli Mariachi and Ballet Folklorico.
  • 8:30 p.m. – Announcement of salsa contest winners. 
  • 8:45 p.m. – Zona Libre Band. 

 A cornhole tournament begins at 6 p.m., featuring men’s, women’s and co-ed divisions. Entry fee is $25 per person. Winners in each division will take home a prize of $200 per person.