We’re really big fans of Pueblo, Colorado, a city in the southern half of our state that has a rich history, tons to see and do, and a great foodie scene. Just before the pandemic struck, our editor, Courtney, was fortunate enough to help judge one of the cooking competitions during the annual Chile & Frijoles Festival. She had a blast doing that and attending the Festival, motivating her to visit Pueblo several times since. The Festival is celebrating its 28th year this September 2022 and In Good Taste Denver is proud to partner with the Pueblo Chamber of Commerce to bring you this Know Before You Go guide to attending and making the most out of your visit. It’s a great way to support local farmers, enjoy the agritourism scene, have a lot of fun, and enjoy some delicious and exciting food and drink.
Know Before You Go to the Pueblo Chile & Frijoles Festival:
When: September 23-25, 2022. The hours are Fri. 3pm-midnight; Sat. 10am-midnight; and Sun. 10am-6pm.
Where: Historic Downtown Pueblo and along Union Avenue. Shuttles take you to and from parking areas to the heart of the festival.
Cost: $6 gate admission and then any food, drink, or goods you want to buy.
Why: The Chile and Frijole Festival was created to promote Pueblo’s agriculture and to encourage locals and visitors to buy products fresh from area farm stands and shops. And, it’s a chance to really get to know the flavors and ways to enjoy Colorado’s own, iconic chile!
What you’ll experience when you go:
Live entertainment (50 different acts at 4 entertainment venues), 180 street vendors, cooking and eating competitions, educational opportunities, and, in a word, chilies in all of its forms.
Stroll along Union Avenue and purchase food and drink from a variety of vendors, as well as other goods. Make a picnic of it while enjoying live entertainment. Make time for a gondola ride too, just for fun and the information the gondoliers share about Pueblo history and sites.
Specific events to make sure you see:
Chili & Salsa Showdown (Sept. 22)– see who this year’s champion will be in commercial and home cook categories for red and green chili and salsa (Our own editor was a guest judge one year and it was so much fun and delicious).
Hot Air Balloon Flyover (Sat., Sept. 24) – see it go over City Park, Downtown Pueblo and east towards county farms (weather permitting, of course). Watch a video about it, here.
Jalapeños Eating Contest (Sun., Sept 25) – contestants compete to see who can stand the heat and eat the most while being timed.
Chihuahua Parade (Sun. (Sept. 25) – See the very popular pooch parade and costume contest.
Live Food Demos (Throughout the weekend)
Farmer’s Market & Chile Roasting (Throughout)– this is a great opportunity to meet growers and vendors, stock up on a huge range of dried chile and other chile-centric products plus other fresh produce, all straight from the farmer. Most of all, you can buy bags of chiles after seeing them roasted right before you (it’s an amazing site and our favorite aroma of Fall).
How can you learn more? Visit the Pueblo Chile & Frijoles Festival website, here.
Learn more about spending time in Pueblo, here.