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Mountain Chile Cha Cha: races, fun and food

By Jacque Aragon
Special to The PREVIEW

Photo courtesy Jacque Aragon The Mountain Chile Cha Cha has become a signal event at summer’s end in Pagosa Country. This year’s races, green chile cookoff and entertainment take place in Town Park on Aug. 24.

Photo courtesy Jacque Aragon
The Mountain Chile Cha Cha has become a signal event at summer’s end in Pagosa Country. This year’s races, green chile cookoff and entertainment take place in Town Park on Aug. 24.

The eighth annual Mountain Chile Cha Cha will take place Saturday, Aug. 24, in Town Park in downtown Pagosa Springs.

The Cha Cha includes a morning trail race for athletes of all ages and abilities, a free fun race for kids, a green chile cookoff and tasting, and a free concert featuring Santa Fe’s Manzanares — a band guaranteed to have the spectators on their feet.

There will be multiple food vendors at the park and an all-day kid’s corner, too.

The event is held rain or shine, and admission is free.

The kid’s fun race begins at 7:30 a.m. and the trail races begin at 8:30, including 5K, 10K and half marathon options, with the award ceremony at 12:30 p.m.

Free Cha Cha running socks will be given to all entrants.

Faculty X will get the party started at 10 a.m., followed by a tasting of 40-plus green chile entries from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Manzanares will take the stage at 1:30, with a short break for the green chile cookoff award ceremony at 3:30.

Food vendors and the beer garden will open at 10 a.m. and there will be Hatch green chiles roasted on site all day, with chiles available for purchase.

Manzanares is hot Spanish guitar, sizzling Latin percussion, and soulful vocals; a high-energy and fiery sound with a dazzling repertoire that ranges from Spanish and Middle Eastern guitar melodies to flamenco to pop to Latin rock … an authentic roots musical experience including, “… lilting romantic ballads to upbeat infectious and irresistible dance rhythms sure to get you going!”

The Mountain Chile Cha Cha is produced by Gecko, a Colorado 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation providing outdoor educational scholarships for local students.

For race details and registration visit www.joingecko.org.

This story was posted on August 1, 2013.