Festival goers will heat up the street Saturday, Sept. 14, as Century 21-A Select Group and Burris Property Management present the inaugural Salsa Dancing Contest at the 2019 East Taco Fest in downtown Marshall, featuring free lessons from instructor Sal Landeros.

“We’re having this salsa dance-off and I anticipate a lot of people in East Texas saying I don’t know how to salsa, but that’s OK because we’re going to have a salsa dancing class at 4:30 p.m.,” said Gai Bennett, events manager for M. Roberts Media, owner of the Marshall News Messenger. “So we’re going to teach you how to salsa dance and then you get to strut your new skills at the competition.

“So it’s a two for one — you get a free lesson and you get to show your skills off,” she said.

The second annual festival is organized by the Marshall News Messenger and presented by main sponsor, Patterson Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.

Salsa dancing is the newest activity to join the agenda. Class begins at 4:30 p.m. and the contest kicks off at 6:15 p.m.

“They’re both going to be fun,” said Bennett.

She said organizers are pleased to have Sal Landeros, owner of All About Dance Studio in Tyler, as the instructor.

“He’s a professional ballroom dancer and teaches ballroom dancing for 20 years,” said Bennett.

“It’s going to be a blast,” she said.

Participants should start gathering about 4:15 p.m. for the class. Lessons and participation in the contest are free, but admission into the festival is required.

Tickets for the 2019 East Texas Taco Festival are currently on sale at the website, eventbrite.com. General admission tickets are $10 for a wrist band. VIP tickets, which include entry to a VIP section, two drink coupons, snacks and hors d’oeuvres are $40. Admission for kids ages 12 and younger is free.