By: Joshua Danker-Dake | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: July 2011
Elote Cafe’s third annual SalsaFest will feature a salsa making contest where contestants must use at least one Oklahoma-grown ingredient in their recipes.
On Friday, July 15, Elote Cafe and Catering will present its third annual SalsaFest at the H.A. Chapman Centennial Green (Sixth Street and Boston) in downtown Tulsa. This free, family-friendly festival benefits Sustainable Tulsa.
SalsaFest’s main attraction is the salsa making and tasting event. Both local restaurants and individuals are invited to compete. Salsa contestants must use at least one Oklahoma-grown ingredient in their recipes; public and celebrity judges will taste and vote for their favorites in Spicy, Traditional, and Alternative categories. Prizes will be awarded to the three winners chosen by the public, the overall winner, the celebrity judges’ winner, and the salsa-maker who uses the most local ingredients.
Other events at SalsaFest will include a chili pepper eating contest, live salsa music and salsa dancing, children’s activities, local art booths, and a Chihuahua costume contest and race.
Founded in 2002 and incorporated in 2006, Sustainable Tulsa is a non-profit organization that promotes responsible economic growth, environmental stewardship, and quality of life for all. Sustainable Tulsa has established partnerships to implement sustainability in Tulsa, and their efforts are gaining traction statewide. Since its formation, Sustainable Tulsa has educated thousands of Oklahomans about sustainability practices, certifications, and strategies on topics including local food and sustainable agriculture, green building, transportation, water quality and quantity, green space, solid waste management and reduction, and ecological footprints.
Sustainable Tulsa creates and drives sustainability projects, events, and planning through education, collaboration, and implementation. In addition to SalsaFest, Sustainable Tulsa has had many recent initiatives. These include the Tulsa Area Green Directory, which lists over 700 business and agencies that promote sustainability and was created to answer questions like, “Where can I buy locally-grown food?” and “Who can install solar panels on my house?” Another initiative is the Henry Bellmon Sustainability Awards, the mission of which is to raise awareness and reward individuals, agencies, companies, and ad organizations dedicated to a balanced approach toward quality of life for all, responsible economic growth, and environmental stewardship. Sustainable Tulsa has also partnered with McLain High School for Science and Technology to strengthen the McLain Renewable Energy Program and improve educational opportunities for McLain students.
Proceeds from SalsaFest will go toward Sustainable Tulsa’s construction of Tulsa’s first downtown public playground, which will be located at the H.A. Chapman Centennial Green. Proceeds from last year’s event were used to develop a partnership with Land Legacy and begin the process of planning and building this playground.
Sponsorships for SalsaFest are available at a variety of levels, beginning at $100. Sponsors receive various items, depending on the level, including tasting kits, T-shirts, business name or logo included on the event T-shirt, and more.
SalsaFest also needs volunteers. In 2009 and 2010, SalsaFest attracted crowds of over 1,500 people and boosted sales at many downtown businesses, according to Sustainable Tulsa. This year’s event is expected to be even bigger. Each volunteer will receive a drink ticket and a copy of the 2010 Tulsa Area Green Country Directory.
The third annual SalsaFest presented by Elote Cafe and Catering, will be held Friday, July 15 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the H.A. Chapman Centennial Green in downtown Tulsa. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, to sponsor, or to volunteer, contact Corey Williams, executive director of Sustainable Tulsa, or visit Sustainable Tulsa on the web at www.sustainabletulsa.org. You can also find them on Facebook.