Salsa contest to spice up September First Friday

Monday, September 1, 2014

Up until now, First Friday celebrations in Greencastle this summer have focused mostly on music, fellowship and barbecued treats but the September version will have a different flavor.

As in salsa. Red, green or fruit. Mild, medium or hot.

For this Friday night Main Street Greencastle is sponsoring the Putnam County Salsa Tasting Contest on the north side of the courthouse square.

Organizer Tami Van Rensselaer has received commitments from at least 22 contestants who each will bring a gallon of their finest salsa to serve to the public and a panel of judges. Entries are due at the salsa tasting booth at 4:30 p.m. Friday with judging -- as well as salsa dancing -- to begin at 6 p.m.

Phillip Steven and the Open Road Show performs on the courthouse square for an earlier Greencastle Music Festival. The band will headline First Friday on Sept. 5, playing from 7-9 p.m.

Salsa contest winners will be announced at 7:30 p.m.

Those who would like to help select the Peoples' Pick Salsa winner can do so for $10, which entitles them to taste all the entries, vote for the Peoples' Pick and receive a souvenir T-shirt.

The Peoples' Pick will be awarded $100. The Judges' Fave Award will earn a $50 cash prize, while second place will get $25 and third place $15. Judges for the event will be Mary Anne Birt of the Area 30 Career Center Culinary Arts program, chef Mike Garcia of Autumn Glen and Robert Britton, a Myers' Market butcher. Jinsie Bingham will emcee the proceedings.

Salsa varieties will run the gamut, Van Rensselaer promised.

"We've got lots of reds, lots of mediums, lots of mild and a few hot, " she said. "So they're clear across the board."

Meanwhile, the First Friday live music will be from Phillip Steven and the Open Road Show, entertaining with Southern rock and country music beginning at 7 p.m. The night's musical entertainment will continue inside The Swizzle Stick at 9 p.m. when War Radio hits the stage.

Phillip Steven and the Open Road is known for its vocals and an ability to cover a broad spectrum of country music, from harmonies like Restless Heart and Alabama to current classics from Brad Paisley and Travis Tritt to grand ol' country by the likes of Merle Haggard, George Jones and Hank Williams Jr.

Also on tap at First Friday is a pop-up arts and crafts show at the Apostrophe' art space, 25 W. Franklin St. (northeast corner of Franklin and Jackson), from 3-9 p.m. featuring the creative works of Cindy O'Dell (photography), Scott Cooper (pottery) and Maggie Pixel (painting). The Apostrophe event will also continue during Saturday's Farmers' Market from 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

Almost Home and The Swizzle Stick will be serving ribeye steak, jalapeno and cheddar brats, margaritas and more again Friday evening.

Other day-long Friday specials will include:

Downtown Cafe -- $1.99 milk shakes.

Moore's Bar -- Ribeye and seafood special and drink specials.

Myers' Market -- Bacon special.

Starbucks -- Buy one, get one free Starbucks shaken iced tea.

Dance Workshop - Line dancing demonstration.

Eitel's Florist -- 20 percent off in-store purchase on Friday, also buy one stem, get one free.

Game Warehouse -- 10 percent off all purchases (except sale items).

Mason Jewelers -- Free cleaning and polishing.

Pop-up booths on the square will include Pap's Antique Creations, Sheryl Hall's Thirty-One gift items and possibly others.

Salsa Contest sponsors include 3 Labs Bed and Breakfast, Eitel's, ETA International, Green Street Residential Maintenance, Habitat for Humanity, Monical's Pizza, Moose Lodge 1592, Myers' Market, Old National Bank, Putnam County Convention and Visitor Bureau, Starbucks, The Game Warehouse and Wilson's Photography.

In-kind services for event are being provided by Almost Home, Bounce House Rentals, Headley Hardware, The Swizzle Stick and Taylor Made Awards and Wearables.

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