The 8th annual Mountain Chile Cha Cha will take place on Saturday, August 24th in Town Park downtown in Pagosa Springs, Colorado. The Cha Cha includes a morning trail race for all ages and abilities, a green chile cook off and tasting and a free concert in the park. The Mountain Chile Cha Cha is a no-admission, all day fall celebration. There is a big tent so this event happens rain or shine. There will also be food vendors and cold Mexican beer in the cantina.
The day kicks off with a 5k, 10k or 1/2 marathon (on trails). Chile Cha Cha celebrates trail running in authentic regional style combing dynamic trail racing in the heart of downtown Pagosa Springs with a Chile Festival! Live music, beer garden, smoking Chile’s, Chile cook off and hundreds of runners and locals enjoying the scene in this local classic. Celebrate the series, the season, trail running and getting kids outside on Pagosa's killer downtown trail course. Beautiful, challenging and remote, all right downtown.
The green chiles are roasting by noon and don't miss the Patty Aragon Green Chile Classic. Stop by and taste a variety of green chile - both vegetarian and with meat. What better way to round out the day then to enjoy live music, cold beer and great food? If it’s hot you can cool off in the San Juan River or relax under the park trees while the chilis cook and the music rocks.
Much in the same way that Easterners equate the smell of pressed apples with the coming of fall, Southwesterners know it’s autumn by the smell of roasting green chiles, usually the Hatch variety from New Mexico, but sometimes Big Jims, which are commonly grown around Grand Junction. The fourth annual Patty Aragon Green Chile Classic will offer up more than $600 in prize money for non-professional cooks and some pretty sweet trophies and bragging rights for commercial entries. This event will be slightly different than a typical chile cook-off because it ONLY features green chile, a dish that is ubiquitous in our region but not as well-known outside of New Mexico and southern Colorado.
Patty, who passed away 12 years ago, was locally famous for her green chile, often served on burgers and fries at Al’s Café, a restaurant she ran and owned with her husband, Ross. When they closed their doors in 1992, it was the end of an era for many Pagosans. Several local restaurants have kept the green chile tradition alive and well here in town, along with legions of home cooks who continually strive for the “perfect” green chile recipe. Some people prefer scorching hot chile, others like it mild; some cooks use chicken, others use pork or no meat at all. No matter how you make your green chile, you’ll have a chance to show your stuff in August and possibly win some cash or a trophy and the undying admiration of local green chile aficionados.