Farmington Chamber's Chile in October-fest event returns to Berg Park this weekend

Mike Easterling
Farmington Daily Times
Visitors to this weekend's Chile in October-fest event at Berg Park can sample the chile of more than a dozen restaurants and amateur cooks, then vote for their favorite.

FARMINGTON — With temperatures in the area having taken a markedly cooler and wetter turn in recent days, the annual Chile in October-fest presented by the Farmington Chamber of Commerce makes a timely return to Berg Park in Farmington this weekend.

Jamie Church, president and CEO of the chamber, is looking forward to having the event return to its traditional format this year after it was changed to a multiple-day, "chile passport" system last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I think most events have seen a heightened interest this year," Church said. "This is one of the biggest event weekends of the year. It will be interesting to see what the turnout is with the Outdoor (Economics) Conference going on, as well as the (Aztec) Highland Games and the Road Apple Rally."

More: Southwest Apple Fest focuses on county's past as major fruit producer

Church said as of Sept. 30, 15 restaurants or individuals had registered for the chile cookoff, which is a few less than she was hoping for.

"A lot of restaurants are still having staffing issues, and they can't spare anybody to come down to the park all day," she said, explaining why there might be fewer entrants this year.

Visitors to this weekend's Chile in October-fest event at Berg Park will have the opportunity to sample several varieties of chile while enjoying live music, and a beer and wine garden.

But the contest continues to attract amateur cooks from as far away as Ignacio, Colorado, as participants compete for honors. Those attending the festival will have the chance to vote for their favorite in the People's Choice category.

The event features live music by Breezin', a beer and wine garden, and several vendors. Church said a Guardians Initiatives team from the San Juan County Sheriff's Office will be in attendance to display a boat the group plans to row across the Atlantic Ocean to help raise awareness about first responder wellness.

More: Calendar of events

Church said the event is not a significant fundraiser for the chamber, but it does help increase awareness of chamber initiatives and goals.

The event runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 2 in Berg Park, 400 Scott Ave. Tickets are $15 at the gate, and children age 12 and younger are admitted free. Visit gofarmington.com for more information.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or measterling@daily-times.com. Support local journalism with a digital subscription.