South Main Salsa & Block Party

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Kick off Summer with the South Main Salsa Block Party!




Fire up the summer season in Wilmington during the annual South Main Salsa Block Party on Sunday, May 29th! South Main Salsa Block Party is a celebration of the products, food, crafts and residents of Vermont. For ten years Wilmington’s Block Parties have been rocking downtown, and as always are open to the public and free to attend.  This is an event the whole family will not want to miss. The whole of the South Main block is closed to traffic and the party runs from 4 to 7pm.

The heart of the party is a salsa contest hosted as a fundraiser for the Twin Valley Middle High School’s and Wings Community Programs Jr. Iron Chef program. The program is designed to foster healthy eating habits and the use of whole local foods for young people in the state.  Teams of students from all over the state gather to compete in an “Iron Chef” competition.  In the process they learn cooking basics, develop their own recipes, and try new foods.  The emphasis on incorporating locally grown and seasonal ingredients strikes a particular chord for students from the Deerfield Valley where small family farms are an integral part of the community fabric.   

Since 2008 The Deerfield Valley has sent dozens of teams of students to compete as Jr. Iron Chefs who have engaged in creating their own recipes and competing at the state level.  The local teams have had a great showing at the state competitions, often winning the title.

The Jr. Iron Chef’s spirit of culinary creativity and team competition is brought to the whole community in the local salsa competition.  The Valley’s professional and amateur chefs gather to wow the crowds with their own takes on anything from traditional to individually inspired salsa recipes.  There are prizes for Overall Winner, Runner-up, Best Traditional Salsa, Most Creative Salsa and best decorated booth. Previous winners in all categories have included Wilmington residents Shelley Park and Cammie Swanson, restaurants The Village Roost, One More Time and The Matterhorn. Reigning champs Joe Mahon and Phil Taylor (Los Dos Vatos) will be returning to defend their title as Wilmington’s Salsa Champs.  Will they win again this year?  It’s up to you to decide!

Judging is done by block party participants who make their voices heard by buying a bowl of chips for $5, sampling their way through the contestants, and then voting.  The First place winner receives $250, second place is $100, and traditional, creative and booth display winners each win $50.  


Live music spices the party up.  Markamusic, an ensemble of musicians from across the Americas, will be on hand with a lively mix of salsa tunes and other Latin music.  MarKamusic will start at 4:30 and play throughout the block party.  The band anchors the party at the head of South Main from atop the flatbed stage provided by Greene’s Service Station.  There is space for party-goers who love to put on their dancing shoes as well as those who prefer to sit and enjoy hearing a new band.




Party-goers are encouraged add their own flavor to the mix.  Dancers of all ability are welcome to join the free salsa dance instruction starting at 4pm.  Leading the dance class is Michael Rodriguez, who has been a dance coach for 39 years and specializes in Latin, swing and ballroom dance. Get your lesson and then dance away!

The Pettee Memorial Library always offers up some fun for kids of all ages at the block parties and this time is no different.  Serenity Circles will put on hula-hoop performance complete with a fire hoop!  Hula hoops will be available to use throughout the block party on the library lawn and assistance will be provided for those who can’t seem to get the hang of it!

The block party also features crafts produced by local artisans and food and treats provided by area restaurants and organizations.  Anchor Seafood has lobster rolls, chowder and more.  There will be goodies from cakes to chocolate and face painting on the library lawn by April Horton.  Create your own design with sidewalk chalk! 




Come join the fun in the heart of downtown Wilmington!  The South Main Salsa Block Party runs from 4-7pm on May 29th.  The block party is hosted Wilmington’s downtown organization, Wilmington Works.  Stop by the Works booth at the block party for more information about downtown and upcoming events this summer. For more information about the block party see

 Guest Blogger: Ana McDaniels

 This Blog article was paid for by a grant from the Bi-town Marketing Committee.  Funding for the Bi-Town Marketing Project provided by the Town of Dover and the Town of Wilmington.