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Boulder Taco Fest

Wrapping Up the Summer at One of Boulder's Liveliest Events

Article by Tony Firestine

Photography by Eddie Clark

Originally published in Boulder Lifestyle

With a diverse blend of flavors, cultural influences and a spirited crowd, this past August marked the 6th Annual Boulder Taco Fest. Over the years, this celebration has become one of Boulder’s biggest events, establishing itself as a must-attend experience to wrap up the summer. Originally created with local Boulder businesses McDevitt Taco Supply and Sanitas Brewing, the event has grown exponentially and partnered with several other current local sponsors including Suerte Tequila and Laura Levy of Coldwell Banker Realty, both of whom made the VIP area possible this year. Those who chose to spring for VIP all-access could mellow out and soak up the sun in hammocks and experience an exclusive tequila tasting. The Boulder Taco Fest has also found a new home right along Boulder Creek so all festivalgoers can cool off and get their feet wet in the late summer heat.

This latest installment of Boulder Taco Fest brought the best turnout yet, with a score of local restaurants and food trucks serving about 15,000 tacos to a hungry group of aficionados. It only goes to show how many ways you can serve something on a tortilla and make it delightful, not to mention portable. This way you can take in the incredible ambiance and all the lively inner workings that Boulder Taco Fest has to offer while you enjoy the plentiful taco bounty. Events within the festival this year included raucous Lucha Libre Wrestling matches interspersed with live and boisterous local music acts. Kids also took their turns swinging at giant piñatas and pounced on candy and prizes when the cardboard and crepe paper creations finally gave way.

The endless number of mouthwatering choices of both tacos and libations almost makes your head spin. It’s tough to choose what to sample next, and basically impossible to try them all, but a few creations go down in history every year and are awarded as favorites. This year’s Chef’s Choice Award, a prize voted on exclusively by the chef participants, went to popular food truck Lola’s Kitchen. Their creation of a fish taco, beer-battered and deep fried with chimichurri chipotle salsa and habanero-mango pico de gallo, kept the queue outside their food truck consistent with return guests. You can currently find Lola’s Kitchen’s two food trucks anywhere from Longmont to Arvada, but they are looking for a brick-and-mortar space in the Boulder/Lafayette area so stay tuned. This year’s People’s Choice Award, which festivalgoers were able to vote for from their phones, was a decisive victory and it went to La Mariposa for their carnitas, quesa birrias and grilled cotija cheese tacos. La Mariposa has locations in Longmont, Boulder, Lyons, and Greeley. A personal favorite was Bellota’s “Costra” taco, with steak, chorizo, chihuahua cheese, onion, cilantro and salsa verde, enveloped and griddled in a flour tortilla.

An array of adult beverages is available to pair with your favorite taco every year with popular local breweries like Avery Brewing and Bootstrap Brewing. It wouldn’t be a proper taco fest without a tequila vendor and Suerte Tequila kept the agave-based spirits flowing. Other options included pre-mixed canned cocktails from Juneshine Spirits, Curation Bev Co. and Tia Linda’s Margarita.

“Our goal is to make this the best day of the summer,” says Jeff Kravetz, President of Adventure Fit Events, the company that runs Boulder Taco Fest. “We will always continue to innovate the festival to add more fun, tacos and surprises each year.” Adventure Fit Events also produces other active entertainment events including the Old Man Winter Bike Rally & Run and the Triple Bypass Ride. Adventure Fit Events gives back to the community by raising money from Boulder Taco Fest to benefit Boulder Open Space Conservancy, so the money raised from the event goes towards repairing and building more trails for Boulder residents to enjoy.

Whether you’re a local resident or a curious tourist the Boulder Taco Fest promises a memorable experience for both kids and adults. Taco lovers make sure you mark your calendars to see what’s in store for next year.

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