Fresh ristras are the sign that the holiday season has started in Tucson

Fresh ristras are the sign that the holiday season has started in Tucson

Bah humbug to the Christmas decor in stores since Labor Day. The true sign that the holidays are starting is when Tucsonans hang new strings of chile. That time is now.

This feast of color is in the Mercado neighborhood west of downtown. Fresh ristras are usually sold at roadside stands and at swap meets in Tucson. I haven't been to Magdalena, Sonora, this fall, but there are normally lots of stands along highway 15 that sell ristras.

This feast of color is in the Mercado neighborhood west of downtown. Fresh ristras are usually sold at roadside stands and at swap meets in Tucson. I haven't been to Magdalena, Sonora, this fall, but there are normally lots of stands along highway 15 that sell ristras.

Faded by the summer sun, yes, but this is a true Tucson look.

Faded by the summer sun, yes, but this is a true Tucson look.

The barrio

The barrio

This is the scariest scene in Tucson

This is the scariest scene in Tucson

Look before you enter

Look before you enter