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Salsa will still be on the menu, but not in the same way as with previous festivals, at Saturday’s Salsa Night Market at Copper Sky in Maricopa.

MARICOPA — The city of Maricopa is combining its annual Salsa Festival and Copa Night Market into one extravagant event this weekend.

The Salsa Night Market is scheduled for Saturday from 5 to 9 p.m. at Copper Sky Regional Park and will have live entertainment, alcoholic beverages and over 75 market vendors and food trucks in addition to the traditional salsa judging contest.

Children are welcome to attend the event, but the city stated that Salsa Night Market is geared toward an adult audience.

In accordance with the Salsa Festival tradition, the night market will feature a salsa contest with prizes of up to $1,000 in cash as well as the reigning title of best Maricopa salsa. Modifications have been put into place for COVID-19 safety, which include foregoing the traditional public salsa tasting.

Instead, contestants will now make a smaller batch of their salsa for a select judges panel, which includes Josie Ippolito, owner of My Nana’s Best Tasting Tortilla Chips, and Leo Madrigal, owner of Cocina Madrigal Tacos and Tequila. The tastiest salsa will be determined by the judges and announced at 6:45 p.m.

Other changes this year due to COVID-19 include the requirement of masks that cover the mouth and nose for all attendees and staff. In addition, the city requests participants maintain 6-foot distance from one another, and physical markings will be displayed to assist in social distancing.

While some things look different this year, others remain the same. Back again to wow audiences with her Selena tribute skills is Karla Perez, coming on stage as headliner from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Mariachi Arizona and Ballet Folklorico De Santa Maria will also perform for attendees earlier in the night at 5:30 and 6 p.m., respectively

According to the city website, seating and capacity will be monitored to ensure social distancing is maintained.

Complimentary shuttle services are available from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m. for all salsa lovers attending the Night Market. Shuttle windows will be cracked and seating will be staggered to accommodate for safe social distancing.

For more information on the event including parking and shuttle details, check out


Katie Sawyer covers Maricopa and the surrounding area for PinalCentral, including city, education, business, crime and more. She can be reached at