Tucson Taco Festival – April 28by Karyn Zoldan on Apr. 26, 2012, under Desert Locavore, Food Festivals
This Saturday Tucsonans will take part in the first ever Tucson Taco Festival at Rillito Downs from 11 am to 7 pm. The Festival got its beginnings in Scottsdale but I think Tucson will show them a thing or two about tacos. Don’t you?
I was fortunate to be chosen as one the taco judges and tonight went for an orientation at Sir Veza’s. As I perused through the materials and listened to the instructions, I almost felt like I was preparing to take the SATs.
Here’s some information about the National Taco Association. The NTA is an organization dedicated to promoting and enjoying tacos of all types and from all cultures. The NTA is the world’s first organization of its kind promoting all things taco, all the time.
Teams – restaurants, resorts, food trucks, amateurs – compete for prizes ($$$) and the judges will judge anonymously, be serious about the judging, and score fairly. I will be judging chicken tacos, beef tacos, pork tacos, seafood tacos, and wild cards – tacos that don’t fit into the above (chocolate tacos, perhaps?) and well as the side cart. I will probably be taco’d out by Saturday night.
Judges will be sequestered and perhaps shackled to the table for 3 or 4 hours until they have judged everything based on taste, presentation, and texture. Then they are free to roam the rest of the event and enter the tequila tent, watch the lucha libre wresting, bartender throw down, and mingle. I’m hoping the judges can have cerveza in the tent or it’s going to be a long 3 or 4 hours and a near riot.
There’s going to be a kids’ zone plus hot chile pepper eating contest and macho taco eating contest. Oh, my. You won’t want to miss any of this as you’ll have more than enough fodder around the water cooler on Monday.
Admission is $10 (kids under 12 free) and tacos cost $2/each. How many tacos can you eat?
Here are the specifics about parking, pets, etc.
A portion of the proceeds benefits the Anne Rita Monahan Foundation (ARM Yourself Against Ovarian Cancer).
I have two free tickets. Who wants them? Post a comment here as to why you want to go to the Tucson Taco Festival. Update: I awarded the two tickets to Soozi (see comments below). I chose her because she said she was giving blood. I just met up with her now at Sunflower on Speedway/Swan. She told me she gives platelets because she has a niece with kidney disease. Soozi is my hero. She also recommended that I take TUMS with me — what a great idea!