Chile Willing

In Colorado, we're lucky to get to dine on posole, tamales and sopaipillas as often as pizza, burgers and pie. Thanks to our neighbor to the south, it's not hard to find spicy New Mexican green or red chile on the menu. But the Spanish Colonial influence on our town certainly isn't limited to the food, and today and tomorrow you can celebrate traditional and contemporary Southwestern art, music and food at the Chile Harvest Festival at the Lakewood Heritage Center, 801 South Yarrow Street (Wadsworth and Ohio).

Presented by the City of Lakewood and the Chicano Humanities & Arts Council, the festival features work by Chicano artists Daniel Luna, Stevon Lucero and retablo carver Carlos Santistevan. Performers include classical guitarists James Garcia and Craig Meadows, the Rick Garcia Band and Chimaltonalli Aztec Dance and Danza Guadalupana. The heavenly scent of roasting green chile promises to permeate the air, so clear out your freezer, because it’s going to be hard to resist taking home a bushel of the hot stuff. Demonstrators will also teach attendees how to string pepper ristras, and local restaurants Jack-n-Grill and Taza de Cafe will serve traditional Mexican and New Mexican foods featuring chiles.

Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children ages three to twelve; the festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. For more information, call 303-987-7859 or visit
Sat., Aug. 29, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun., Aug. 30, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 2009