Thursday, May 4, 2017

Taco Festival Returns To Sacramento

4th Annual Sacramento Taco Festival Returns Saturday, June 3, 2016

Sacramento’s Taco Festival returns and will feature 20 taco vendors, a live performance from recording sensation “LeLe,” and Northern California’s only “Chihuahua Beauty Contest.”

SACRAMENTO, CA – Labeled as the “first party of the summer,” the Sacramento Taco Festival returns to Old North Sacramento on Saturday, June 3, 2017.  With its unique blend of contests, entertainment, and huge variety of tacos, there is no other event like this in Northern California.

“Where else can you enjoy professional wrestling one moment and a Chihuahua Beauty Contest the next?” asks Mina Perez, the Sacramento Taco Festival’s coordinator and cofounder.  “This event has all the staff and volunteers thinking out of the box to out-do the previous year’s event.”

This is an enclosed event held on Del Paso Boulevard between West El Camino and Arden Way, where vacant lots and empty buildings are transformed to accommodate vendor booths and performance stages.  The designated area can hold up to 10 thousand attendees, although organizers don’t believe it will reach that capacity this year.

"Chabalita" 2016 Queen
“The area being enclosed is perfect to create a fun and save environment for everyone who comes,” adds Perez.  “Each year this event has grown, from 600 the first year to over 5 thousand last year with the Chihuahua Beauty Contest being the most popular event.”

Because of its popularity in the previous years, this year’s Chihuahua Beauty Contest is being coordinated by Larry Groves (former coordinator of the Sacramento Ugly Dog Pagent.) and is being assisted by marketing consultant Nancy Grace McMillan. 

“Our goal is to make the Chihuahua Beauty Contest into a national event,” says Nancy Grace McMillan.  “There is nothing like this in California and we think it has the making of a wonderfully fun and heartwarming event.”

SAMMIES Nominated "La Noche Oskura"
The Main Stage will be filled with musical energy and upcoming stars, including the return of Sacramento’s own, and SAMMIES nominee, “La Noche Oskura” with their high-energy reggae sounds.  Berkeley’s Roc-N-Español stars “Los Sweet Bones,” who’ve been packing Bay area nightclubs and with a rock sound transcending cultures and ethnicities.  And, newly signed recording breakout artist "LeLe" (pronounced Lee-Lee), whose new single “Girlfriends” is moving up the pop charts. 

Bay Area's "Los Sweet Bones"
“We have not finished the line-up yet,” says Rachel Parra, the Festival’s Entertainment Coordinator.  “We’re still looking at and negotiating with the many musical artists that submitted requests to be considered, and our criteria is simple, they have to be high energy.”

A key part of the Festival this year is the focus on local and regional artisans, who use their creativity to either make wearable art or create home accents like sculptures and paintings.

Recording artist "LeLe"
“As an artist, I have a soft spot for fellow artists, so we decided to create a section for local and internationally renowned artists this year,” says Perez.  “We have signed up the Diva Market, a wonderful group of African-American artisans who’ve been holding monthly events at Carol’s Books on Del Paso Boulevard.  And this year, we are featuring Maestro JohnHuerta, who designed the California Lottery’s Dia de Los Muertos scratcher ticket and a very special artist and guest, Tom Franco whose bringing an art collective from Oakland.”

Tom Franco, who is brother to actors James and David Franco, owns and runs four art galleries in the Oakland-Berkeley area and houses three art collectives including the world renowned Firehouse Art Collective.  Franco has wanted to bring his art and the Firehouse Art Collective to Sacramento for some time now and the
Artist Tom Franco
Sacramento Taco Festival is proud to be able to accommodate another first for the city.

Del Paso Boulevard was the start of “Second Saturday” before it moved to the mid-town area.  This forced the many art galleries to close, leaving only three that have been struggling over the years.  The Boulevard offers three light-rail stops, retail space, and empty lots that can be built on by creative investors.

“This event is important for our community and the city because it’s great to see families, especially children, enjoying themselves eating tacos and cheering for their favorite Chihuahua on this Boulevard, but more importantly, it’s the focus this event brings to a historical part of the city,” says City Council Member and Festival Chairman Allen W. Warren, District 2.  “I was born and raised in North Sacramento and I want to see this community, this District, thrive with businesses, activities, restaurants, and just a great place to live and raise a family and through this event we invite people from throughout the region to see what we have to offer.”

The Sacramento Taco Festival is held on the first Saturday of June and starts at 10:30 am and ends at 6:30 pm, with Del Paso Boulevard closed between West El Camino and Arden Way from 6:00 am to 8:00 pm.  The Festival is Chaired by District 2 City Council Member Allen Warren and hosted by the Del Paso Boulevard Partnership, the North Sacramento Chamber of Commerce, and SacLatino Magazine.  Net proceeds go to the Vida de Oro Foundation, whose mission is to provide art supplies and instruments to those seeking to get into the arts.  Admission is $10 per person, children 10 and under enters free.  Taco prices and drinks are not included in the admission fee. 

“The admission price is the same as last year and we hope to keep it that low as long as we can,” adds Perez.  “It’s not only affordable, but the experience is absolutely priceless, especially for the kids.”

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