Events: Arizona - Phoenix - Scottsdale
- The 8th Annual Arizona Taco Festival
- 10.21.2017 - 10.22.2017
- Salt River Fields - Scottsdale
- Food & Wine Events
The 8th Annual Arizona Taco Festival is set to bring another year of epic taco madness with more than 60 restaurants, food trucks and chefs, competing for $10,000 in cash, while an expected 40,000 attendees nosh their way through more than 100 types of tacos, on October 21 and 22, 2017, 11 a.m. to 7p.m. each day. The event will take place at Salt River Fields.
As the world’s original taco festival, founded in 2010, it’s served more than one million tacos and margaritas.
Arizona Taco Festival also has earned its star status by offering all tacos at $2 in various varieties such as chicken, pork, beef, seafood, veggie, dessert and many others. Salsa, guacamole and other Mexican fare also are celebrated and devoured at the event each year.
Meanwhile, since the two-day epic event started, others have begun to spring up around the country.
“It’s flattering to see taco festivals pop up across the country,” said David Tyda, co-founder of the Arizona Taco Festival. “When we held that first taco festival seven years ago, we knew we were capturing lightening in a bottle.”
In fact, Arizona Taco Festival has inspired two taco festivals in the Valley and more than 30 around the world.
“It’s all good, as we are all about spreading the taco love,” said Rick Phillips, co-founder. “Others can copy from our playbook, but we are the originals and will keep creating new elements each year as we always have to keep the event fresh, unique and growing.”
SERIOUS COMPETITION & NATIONAL TACO ASSOCIATION JUDGES. Arizona Taco Festival is a fabulous foodie event and simultaneously a serious taco competition. More than 50 National Taco Association judges are sequestered to determine winners in double-blind tests in a closed tent for anonymous scoring.
Points are awarded and weighted for presentation, taste and texture. The prize purse of $10,000 is funded personally by event producers.
“We’re serious about finding good tacos,” jokes Tyda. “Many food competitions are funded by sponsors, and although we’d love to find one, we’ve been putting up the money ourselves.”
FESTIVAL FIESTA. Outside the judge’s tent, this exciting festival has featured live Lucha Libre wrestling every year as well as a now-legendary Tequila Expo featuring more than 100 labels of top-shelf agave. New this past year: a Sunday-only Margarita Tent featuring the Valley’s top mixologists. Contests for prettiest Chihuahua, hot chile-pepper-eating and taco-eating round out the fun. In addition, a super Kids Zone keeps the kids active and happy throughout the day.
"Look for more surprises in 2017,” added Phillips.
2017 DETAILS. General admission tickets are $12 online, $15 at the gate; kids 12 and under FREE. General admission two-day passes are $20 online. VIP tickets are $100 and include limited drinks from the VIP bar, taco tokens and private restroom facilities. Parking is FREE. Tickets on sale soon at www.aztacofestival.com