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Taco fans, local restaurants and amateur competitors will all convene at the inaugural Tucson Taco Festival on April 28, which promises more than 30,000 tacos to sample and a total prize purse of $5,000. Inspired by the popular Arizona Taco Festival in Scottsdale, Ariz., Tucson’s version will feature the taco competition as well as Lucha Libre wrestling, a main bar, a VIP tent, a margarita challenge, a hot chile pepper eating contest, a taco eating challenge, live music and a boutique tequila tent featuring more than 30 brands of the spirit. A Kid’s Zone will feature face painters, bouncy castles, balloon sculptors and more.
The taco competition will comprise of 25 teams who will cook off in their choice of four categories — chicken, beef, pork and seafood — and additional awards will be given for salsa, guacamole and booth design. Creativity will also be awarded on the taco-front, with an award given to the “Anything Goes Taco.” Taco aficionados will be able to sample the tacos that tempt them for $2 each. Samples will be portioned at street size and will include 1-2 ounces of protein and other ingredients. Grazers can complement their tacos with food from vendors selling Sonoran dogs, nachos, ice cream and more.
The taco event will take place at Rillito Downs, on 4502 N. 1st Avenue, Tucson, Ariz., 85718, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. General admission tickets cost $10, and children ages 12 and under are free. VIP tickets cost $100 and access to the Tequila Expo is $10.