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File photo by Aaron Aupperlee
Blindfolded Dwylt Flores, 3, whacks a piñata at last year's Fiestas de Belen and Chili cook-off.

Chili cook-off and Belen festival on Saturday

BARSTOW — A touch of New Mexico will be on display and on the menu Saturday at Dana Park.

The Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, local radio stations and other businesses are hosting the fourth annual New Mexico Chili Cook-off and Belen Fiesta from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Manny Lopez, one of the organizers of the event, said the festival will honor and celebrate Barstow’s connection with Belen, New Mexico.

Barstow and Belen’s history together dates back to the 1940s when many families moved from the New Mexico town to Barstow to take jobs at the Marine Corps Logistics Base, Barstow. Since then, the families have flourished and can be found in almost all sectors of the Barstow community. Highlighting the accomplishments of Belen in Barstow and throughout California at the festival will be Congressman Joe Baca, D-Calif. Baca’a family was originally from Belen, Lopez said.

The event will also feature a New Mexican chili cook-off, music, dancing, and a piñata scheduled to be broken every half-hour.

New Mexico Chili Cook-off and Belen Fiesta
Saturday, April 5,9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Dana Park, 850 Barstow Road, entrance is free

9 a.m. DJ “Johnny T”
10 a.m. Barstow Academy of Dance, Ballet Folkorico of Barstow
11 a.m. Irma Aguilar and the Ballet Folkorico Philipino: “Flores del Desierto”
11:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Chili cook-off registration
12:30 p.m. Latin Express
2 p.m. Mariachi Estrellas de Jalisco
3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Chili contest
4 p.m. Familia Dos
4:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Dance contest
6 p.m. Chili cook-off winner announced

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