Arizona’s Salsa Trail and SalsaFest

Arizona’s Salsa Trail and SalsaFest

Arizona’s Salsa Trail is all about enjoying some terrific Mexican food and meeting some really friendly people along the way. Besides the food, the pictureque beauty and endless possibilities of outdoor recreation make Graham County a culinary destination for tourists. The promotion was produced for bringing tourists to the area to stay in motels, visit attractions, and shop in businesses throughout the County. The businesses report a steady flow of customers who announce they have arrived because they’ve heard about the Trail.

Arizona’s Salsa Trail of Graham County started as an idea by former member of the Bureau of Land Management, Bill Civich. After an award from the Governor’s Tourism Office, Bill said “It was quite an honor to be recognized as the best promotion in the complete state. We plan to characterize the Governor’s Award in the Chamber office so that visitors to Graham County will proportion the pride we all feel.” The trail was proclaimed Arizona’s Salsa Trail Month by Governor Jan Brewer. The Proclamation recognizes Arizona’s Salsa Trail as a year-round culinary tourism destination in southeast Arizona. Each year, the SalsaFest grows in attendance and popularity.

At SalsaFest, people see downtown Safford aglow with hot air balloons on a Friday evening as festivities began in the historic town square. The evening Balloon Glow lights up the Taste of the Salsa Trail where Salsa Trail restaurants are featured. The SalsaFest is a celebration of everything Salsa including an opportunity to win prizes and bragging rights in the Salsa Challenge. Jane Wyatt, owner of one of the businesses – the San Simon Chile Company, says she looks forward to the annual event which is in the heart of chile season. Jane makes Jalapeño Salsa year round but harvest begins in the southern Arizona chile fields at the end of July.

The businesses are sprinkled throughout Graham county (within a 40 mile radius of Safford): Casa Mañana, Chalo’s, El Charro, El Coronado, Manor House Rock N’ Horse Saloon, Mi Casa Tortilla Factory, San Simon Chile Company, and Taco Taste in Safford; Bush & Shurtz in Pima; La Casita Café in Thatcher; La Paloma in Solomon; P.J.’s in Clifton; Hilda’s Market in Duncan; Salsa Fiesta in Willcox and Gi’mee’s in York. The website has given a web presence to these small businesses who have never had a website before.

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