Fifty vendors will converge on Salt River Fields this weekend to sizzle meat, squeeze limes, and craft tacos for the hungry masses. At last year's Arizona Taco Festival, around 30,000 people ate more than 100,000 tacos. This year promises to be even bigger.
Taco vendors will be vying for supremacy in four main categories: best chicken taco, best pork taco, best beef taco, and best seafood taco. There will be three subcategories: veggie taco, dessert taco, and an open-ended taco in which "anything goes."
Two standout taco wizards will be crowned grand champions.
Awards will be doled out each day, meaning there will be separate Saturday and Sunday category champs and overall winners. Crowning the champions will be none other than — holy shit this thing is about to get real! — a whopping 50 judges from no less erudite an entity than the National Taco Association.
Winners will take $10,000. At $2 a pop, tacos will be much cheaper.
In between partaking all that salsa, guac, carne asada, and al pastor, festivalgoers will be able to sip Estrella Jalisco, a Mexican brew on the light side that'll be good paired with the sun of the open venue. Those planning to knock back spirits would be wise to hit the festival on Saturday, when 30 tequila brands will be pouring north of 100 varieties. (Entrance requires a separate ticket.)
Sunday booze options look equally promising. Some of the Valley's coolest and most skilled mixologists will be getting surgical with tequila and lime in a competition known as the Margarita Expo. Sixteen from the likes of Bitter & Twisted and Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails will compete for best margarita.
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Tacos will be the star, but not the only attraction of the weekend-long show. Non-taco highlights will include live music, lucha libre wrestlers, and a Chihuahua beauty pageant. Parents will be able to entertain little ones at a kid zone, thereby freeing up time to focus on tacos.
You can snag general admission tickets on the Taco Festival's website.
For those of you looking to up the taco ante, there are tickets to a VIP tent that come with five beverages, 10 tacos, and a shaded area where a Talking Stick DJ will be spinning tunes.
Arizona Taco Festival at Salt River Fields. 7555 North Pima Road, Scottsdale
Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.