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Arizona Taco Festival: A Friendly Taco-ver of Scottsdale

Serving as a beacon for those seeking relaxation and memorable experiences, Scottsdale, Arizona’s spas, golf courses, and high-end accommodations attracted more than 37 million travelers in 2016. The city has the highest concentration of spas per person in America, and visitors will love pampering themselves at Spa Avania, Spa at Los Caballeros, and the Spa & Health Club at Gainey Village. Scottsdale is also one of the top locations for Southwestern cuisine, and places such as Blue Adobe Grill and Hacienda’s Mexican Grill won't disappoint.


The Arizona Taco Festival is one of the largest taco festivals in America, and it will take place October 14-15 at Salt River Fields. This year’s event will feature more than 50 restaurants, food trucks, and caterers serving a variety of unique taco creations. Bars and beverage stations will have sodas and water, plus those over 21 can purchase beers and margaritas. Lucha Libre Wrestling will take place throughout the event, with 20 to 30-minute shows beginning soon after the gates open. Regional music acts will perform live including multiple sets from festival favorite DJ Sean Derek. Brave attendees can participate against other patrons in the Hot Chile Pepper Eating Contest, and the Taco Eating Contest will determine who can eat the most tacos. Featuring some of the best tequilas in the Southwest, The Legendary Tequila Expo is a must for anyone interested in tequila. A portion of this year’s proceeds will go to Wings for Warriors and Linking Sports, both 501(c)3 charities. We interviewed David Tyda, a representative of the event to learn more about this culinary extravaganza.


RAL: How long has the event been running?

DT: This is the 8th annual Arizona Taco Festival.


RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?

DT: We attract more than 30,000 people annually with over 50 restaurants, food trucks, and caterers.


RAL: What demographic does your event attract? Children? Families? Couples?

DT: We have something for everyone! Who doesn’t love tacos?  


RAL: What makes this event unique?

DT: It was the first taco festival in the country, and now it takes place across 10 acres over two days. Our event is a template for taco festivals across the country.  


RAL: Take me through the activities of a day at the event.

DT: There will be over 100 varieties of $2 tacos, fun party bars, lucha libre shows, and eating contests on the main stage. We have activities throughout the festival grounds!


RAL: Will there be any guest appearances?

DT: The Most Interesting Man In The World will be there!


RAL: Tell us about the overall atmosphere.

DT: It's a fun and festive environment. We pride ourselves on being inclusive, not exclusive.


RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?

DT: Travels can find great hotels and great deals on our website.


RAL: Are there any lodging specials that are set up specifically for the event?

DT: Yes, the Courtyard Marriott includes a discounted room rate, breakfast, shuttle rides to and from the event, and tickets to the festival itself.


RAL: What does this event mean to the community?

DT: The community loves the fact that this is the original taco festival and attendees turn out by the thousands to support and enjoy our event.  


RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?

DT: Yes, over 95% of the participating businesses are local. Our event gives them increased exposure, and many of our attendees become regular customers.  


RAL: Does the event support a particular cause in the community?

DT: Yes, we are currently working with Wings for Warriors and Linking Sports.


RAL: Why should people come to your event?

DT: If you love tacos (and who doesn’t?), this is the best place on earth. From traditional tacos to unique takes on tacos, we have them all!

For more information about the Arizona Taco Festival, please visit the event website.