These ain’t no ordinary tacos.
This Saturday, Sept. 16, Dr. A.J. Chandler Park will be the site for Rockin’ Taco Street Fest – a food, music and cultural celebration. Enjoy creative tacos from more than two-dozen taco restaurants and food trucks.
Some featured tacos include Jamaican jerk, Arabic, Korean, Cuban, machaca, pork belly, baja shrimp, vegan jackfruit, roasted Yucatan-style pork and smoked brisket. Each vendor will have at least one $2 taco for sale at their booths, along with other food options.
Anthony Serrano, executive chef and owner of El Palacio of Chandler, will offer a variety of tacos including a $2 guajillo chicken taco. He will also serve crunchy machaca tacos and beer-and-citrus braised carnitas tacos.
Serrano started this event in the parking lot of his restaurant, but it (happily) got too big and had to be moved to a larger location. He and his restaurant have been in attendance every year.
What keeps him coming back is “being a part of the community and celebrating the Mexican culture and how much it’s become a part of Arizona culture,” he says.
Live entertainment will include Diego’s Umbrella and Evil Waze (a Santana tribute band). Other local bands to perform include New Wave, Good Rust and New Frequency Band.
A low-rider car show at the entrance of the festival will showcase as many as 60 cars. Festival attendees can check out the autos at their leisure until 7 p.m.
The taco-eating contest kicks off at 4 p.m. In years past, there have been as many as 15 competitors. A cash prize of $100 goes to the winner.
There will also be a salsa competition among individuals not associated with a restaurant or food truck. Samples of salsa from those competing will be available between noon and 2 p.m. The cash prize for the winner of the salsa competition is $500.
And what’s a taco without a margarita? Participants can visit the Margarita Hut to get just that and more.
“(The hut) is a shaded area with televisions and bartenders performing fancy bartending tricks,” Jen Pruett, public and media relations director for HDE Agency, says. “It’s a cool place to hang out.”
If straight-up is more your style, visit the Tequila Tavern Zone where festival-goers can sample tequila. A $10 sample card will buy five tequila samples.
To keep the little ones occupied, visit the Niños Play Zone where there will be bounce houses and family-friendly vendors. A small stage will highlight Ballet Folklorico performances from noon to 4 p.m. Every hour from 1-6 p.m. there will be a Piñata Party, where kids can take a swing at a piñata filled with candy.
The $75 VIP admission includes six alcoholic beverages, unlimited soft drinks and water, catered food, private restrooms, front stage viewing and access and private seating. (Must be at least 21 to purchase VIP ticket.)
Rockin’ Taco Street Fest
When: noon-9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16.
Where: Dr. A.J. Chandler Park, 178 N. Commonwealth Ave., Chandler.
Admission: $8 general admission, $12 day of event, $75 VIP admission, kids 12 and under free.
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