Lovers of fine tacos everywhere will be gathering in Scottsdale this fall for one of the nation's biggest celebrations of all things tacos.
This year's Arizona Taco Festival is scheduled for the weekend of Oct. 17 and 18, 2015, at Scottsdale's Salt River Fields. More than 50 of the city's best taco-makers will be on hand to dish out a huge variety of tacos.
The humble Mexican street food has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years, and its popularity shows no signs of waning. Festival-goers can enjoy myriad taco incarnations at the festival, from veggie to chicken tinga to classic carne asada. Expect to see many creative concoctions and unusual flavor profiles!
Get ready to snack on an endless supply of tacos at the Arizona Taco Festival in Scottsdale — Photo courtesy of Arizona Taco Festival
Tacos are the main attraction, but the festival also offers fun for the whole family.
There will be Lucha Libre wrestling matches, a live music stage and even a chihuahua beauty contest. A panel of three judges will judge the dogs based on costume originality, personality, enthusiasm and a somewhat hazy attribute called "taco spirit."
The winning dog and owner will win a specially tailored doggie gift basket, and all entrance fees go to a local chihuahua rescue organization.
Also part of the weekend line-up are entertaining demonstrations, an Herradura Barrel Art Contest and a bartender flair competition.
General admission tickets to the festival are $12 in advance and $15 on the day of the festival. Once you're inside the festival, dozens of restaurants and food trucks will be serving $2 tacos (not included in the price of festival admission).
The festival operates on a "token" system. Simply purchase tokens and exchange them for the tacos of your choice. Along with tacos, many vendors will also be selling an assortment of drinks and desserts.
Of course, it wouldn't be a true taco fiesta without tequila to wash down any lingering savory and spicy flavors. The festival features a Tequila Expo, with more than 30 brands pouring 100-plus types of tequila.
The tequila tent is only open for a few hours on Saturday. Admission to the Tequila Expo is $20 per person, which includes 10 samples of fine tequila.
VIP festival admission is also available. VIP tickets include tokens for 10 tacos, five alcoholic beverages and one water or soda. VIP tickets also give you access to the VIP tent, which offers shaded seating, private bathrooms and access to an artificial sandy beach area facing the main stage.
You can purchase tickets to the Arizona Taco Festival online, or pay a bit extra for general admission at the door.