Pueblo pepper power: Chile celebrations highlight top things to do this weekend

Tracy Harmon
Pueblo Chieftain

Friday, Sept. 22

Annual Chile & Frijoles Festival in downtown Pueblo

Union Avenue | 3 p.m.-midnight Friday, Sept. 22, with winners of the Chili and Salsa Showdown announced at 6 p.m. at the Union and D Street stage | Festival continues from 10 a.m.-midnight Sept. 23, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 24 | The 29th annual event will feature entertainment tents, 200 street vendors, chile roasting, an 11 a.m. Sunday chihuahua and friends parade and a 4 p.m. Sunday jalapeno eating contest. Cost is $5 in advance at pueblochilefestival.com or $6 at the gate. Military with valid ID and children 12 and younger are admitted free.

Colorful hot air balloons launch during last year's Pueblo Chile and Balloon Fest.

Hot air balloons at Chile & Frijoles Fest

Launches are set for 6:45 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the fields at 24th and High Street just east of the Langoni soccer fields | Balloon glows are set for 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday on the Riverwalk across from Brues Alehouse | 15 balloons, including the giant chile ristra, are expected to participate. Food trucks will be available and balloon fest T-shirts will also be available for sale. All balloon events are free and open to the public.

'Chile-bration' at Fuel & Iron Food Hall

400 S. Union Ave. | 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.- 9 p.m. Sunday | The event will feature food and drink specials, giveaways and more. Friday features Walter's Brewing Company, Saturday features Distillery 291 and Sunday features Breckenridge Distillery.

Chile Fest special opening at Yogurt on Union

101 N. Union Ave. #100 | noon-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday | Just in time for the Chile & Frijoles Festival, the Lopez family will open its Yogurt on Union shop for the first time this year. Self-serve flavors and toppings will be offered inside the shop, plus an outside booth will serve cones and cups without the toppings. Flavors will range from vanilla and chocolate to pineapple and raspberry, plus customers can get swirls with strawberry shortcake, cheesecake, pomegranate and coconut Greek yogurt flavors inside the store or strawberry mango with green chile or chocolate with green chile curbside.

Pueblo green chile smothered french fries will be among vegan fare offered by the Cutting Board Friday through Sunday during the Chile & Frijoles Festival.

Chile Fest's only vegan fare at The Cutting Board

130 S. Union Ave. | Hours are 3 p.m.-midnight Friday, 10 a.m.-midnight Saturday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday | The Cutting Board will open an outdoor booth in front of its soon-to-open restaurant where the festival's only exclusively plant-based food options will be available. Pueblo chile-based, made-from-scratch menu items include green chile corn fritters with a green chile aioli; smothered green chile fries; and a chile wrap featuring vegan cheese and Pueblo chiles stuffed inside a tortilla. "We love Pueblo chiles," said owner Chad Hankins. "It is a mild obsession and it is the core of many of my food memories growing up in Pueblo."

Closing reception at Blo Back Gallery

131 Spring St.  | 6-9 p.m. | The free event will be the last chance to see Jim Richerson's "Arteology: A Walk Through the Pandemic."

Saturday, Sept. 23

Sports Card Show at Pueblo Community College

900 W. Orman Ave. in the ballroom | 10 a.m.-4 p.m. | Rare Elements Sports Card Podcast will host the sports card show featuring free admission. Collectors can buy, sell, and trade sports, non-sports Pokemon cards, memorabilia and more.

Saturday Night Boxing at Pueblo Convention Center

320 Central Main St. | Doors open 3:30 p.m., first bout at 5 p.m. | Top Shelf Entertainment presents a roster of elite professional boxers headlined by Pueblo native Anthony ‘TRU SOJA’ Soto. Tickets are available at puebloconventioncenter.com and range from $40-$120.

Comedian Rob Schneider will be in Pueblo for "The Narcissist Confessions" tour Sept. 23.

Comedian Rob Schneider at Pueblo Memorial Hall

1 City Hall Place | Doors open at 6 p.m., show at 7 p.m. | "Rob Schneider: The Narcissist Confessions" showcases the comedic talents and outrageous humor of the comedian who brought unforgettable characters to "Saturday Night Live," then went on to star in movies like “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo,” and “The Hot Chick." Schneider candidly explores the quirks and nuances of the human ego, diving deep into the world of narcissism with a hilarious twist. Tickets range from $35 to $140 and are available at pueblomemorialhall.com.

Deadline to sign up for Bike the Bessemer

1144 S. Aspen Road | Sept. 23 is the deadline to sign up for the 12-mile bike ride which will run from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Sept. 30 | The educational ride is sponsored by Palmer Land Conservancy to showcase Pueblo County’s premier agricultural lands and water resources. The ride includes stops at local farms and farm stands. After the ride, enjoy a beer or cold beverage, and a delicious farm-to-table lunch featuring local ingredients and catered by Richard Warner, the founder of Bingo Burger. Cost is $50 per person. Sign up at palmerland.org.

Sunday, Sept. 24

Breakfast Fundraiser at Shrine of St. Therese

300 Goodnight Ave.| 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. | The Knights of Columbus breakfast will include scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, waffles, coffee and orange juice. Cost is $8 and take out is available.

FABBA The Show will return to Pueblo's Memorial HAll Sept. 27 for an authentic Abba experience.

Wednesday, Sept. 27

The FABBA Show at Pueblo Memorial Hall

1 City Hall Place | 7:30 p.m. | The FABBA Show is an authentic, magical tribute to the band ABBA featuring favorites like “Mamma Mia”, “Waterloo,” “Fernando,” “SOS,” “Take A Chance On Me,” “Dancing Queen,” “Knowing Me Knowing You,” and many more. The show will feature the Pueblo County High School String Quartet, including Trenton Knox, Nicole Wang, Brynn Hambric and Aliya Bartholomew performing on stage with the band during the songs "Honey Honey" and "Slipping Through My Fingers."

“There’s always a special feeling for these shows — people dress up in their best jumpsuits, white go-go boots and dance and sing with us,” said Marie-Claire Follett, who plays ABBA's Frida Lyngstad in the show. Tickets are $27-$57 and are on sale via phone at 1-866-722-8844, at the box office or online at pueblomemorialhall.com. The show is appropriate for all ages.

Thursday, Sept. 28

Music, Malt & Mead at the Abriendo Inn

300 W. Abriendo Ave. | 6-9 p.m. | Knuckin Futz will perform the music of ZZ Top for the final summer concert in the garden. Tickets are $15 and available at abriendoinn.com/events. Walk-ins are welcome. There will be beer, wine and food trucks on site.

Friday, Sept. 29

Candidate Forum Luncheon at Pueblo Convention Center

320 Central Main St. | 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. | The Latino Chamber will host the luncheon to give voters a chance to hear from candidates running for Pueblo mayor, city council and the civil service commission. Cost is $28 per person. For reservations, call 719-542-5513 or visit pueblolatinochamber.com and click the register tab in the top right-hand corner.

Word to the Underground at Blo Back Gallery

131 Spring St. | Doors open at 7 p.m. | The spoken word and hip-hop event costs $10 per person.

Saturday, Sept. 30

Pueblo Palooza at Analogue Books, Records and Bar

216 N. Main St. | noon-9 p.m. | The free event is a celebration of music, art and fun. All ages are welcome.

Keating Middle School Reimagined Theater Fundraiser

Tour of the school, 215 E. Orman Ave., from 3-5 p.m. | Live music by Dr. Fine Rhyhm & Blues Revue, dinner and cocktails from 5-8 p.m. at the Abriendo Inn, 300 W. Abriendo Ave. | The event is a theater fundraiser for the school project. School tour only is $50; school tour and dinner event is $100; the VIP school tour with spirit tasting, the dinner event plus pedicab ride is $150. Call 719-671-6776 for reservations.

Suicide Awareness Month program at Pueblo Heritage Museum

201 W B St. | 3:30-6:30 p.m. | In light of increasing rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide, Access Consciousness facilitators and practitioners will be hosting the free event for anyone looking for a different possibility, or a spark of hope. Many of these facilitators and practitioners who offer these sessions have overcome their own mental health struggles and feelings of not being “enough” and have joined in this powerful initiative. For more information go to accessconsciousness.com.

Triple Nickel will perform Sept. 30 in Pueblo West.

End of Summer Country Jam at Civic Center Park

61 E. Civic Center Plaza, Pueblo West | 4-9:30 p.m. | Live music featuring Trigger Warning and Triple Nickel starts at 5 p.m. | The event will feature food trucks, a beer garden and children's activities. Cost is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 6 to 12 or free for children 5 and younger.

Tuesday, Oct. 3

Pueblo Library District All Pueblo Reads events

Online author talk on the library district's Facebook and YouTube pages | 1 p.m. Oct. 3 | Kate Messner, author of “Over and Under the Pond” a picture book for children in kindergarten through third grades, will deliver an online author talk as part of the library's literacy program.

Wednesday, Oct. 4

Candidate Debates Part 1 at Pueblo Memorial Hall

1 City Hall Place | 5-5:15 p.m. for Pueblo Water Board candidates; 5:30-5:45 p.m. for Pueblo City Council District 4 candidates; 6-7 p.m. for Pueblo City Council District 2 candidates; 7:15-8:15 p.m. for Pueblo City Council at-large candidates | The event is hosted by the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with Pueblo Community College's Center for New Media, the League of Women Voters, the NAACP, and Action 22. The debates will be televised on Xfinity, Pueblo Community College’s Channel 19 and streamed on the Greater Pueblo Chamber website.

Thursday, Oct. 5

Candidate Debates Part 2 at Pueblo Memorial Hall

1 City Hall Place | 5-6 p.m. for Pueblo District 60 School Board candidates; 6:15-8:15 p.m. for Pueblo Mayoral candidates| The event is hosted by the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce in collaboration with Pueblo Community College's Center for New Media, the League of Women Voters, the NAACP, and Action 22. The debates will be televised on Xfinity, Pueblo Community College’s Channel 19 and streamed on the Greater Pueblo Chamber website.

Want us to include your event in this calendar? Send details by email, with "Things to Do" in the subject line, totharmon@chieftain.com. The calendar is available online and in print every Friday.