Hey tacoholics, let’s taco ‘bout one of our favorite culinary events in the Heart of the Country. This year’s Wichita Taco Fest is scheduled for 3 to 9 p.m. Saturday, June 17 at the Capitol Federal Amphitheater in Andover, on the eastern edge of Wichita.
The family-friendly event organized by Festive ICT is a great way to sample the variety of tacos and salsas, plus other Mexican food, served in the Wichita area. Organizers expect another year of big crowds, so we’ve put together five tips for tackling Taco Fest this year.
1. Buy your admissions tickets now.
Even if you missed the $10 early bird tickets, you can still save money if you buy in advance. Discounted presale tickets are available online: $15 single, $25 double, $60 family pack of five (plus fees). You’ll pay $20 per person at the gate. Ages 5 and under are free. Admission is single-entry only and only service animals are allowed.
2. If everyone in your group is 21 and older, go VIP!
In addition to regular admission tickets, there are 200 VIP Tequila Expo tickets available for those age 21 and older. These sell out every year so buy early! The $50 experience gives you access to come and go from a shaded VIP area, a commemorative lanyard and shot glass plus admission to the Tequila Expo from 4:30-7:30 p.m. with up to 10 samplings of top shelf tequila and mezcal shots.
3. Bring an appetite...and cash.
You’ll get through the lines much faster if you bring cash (there’s an ATM on-site). Here’s how it works: once you’ve paid to get into the amphitheater area, you can visit any of the vendors and order $2 tacos along with chips and salsa, elote and sweets. You can order up to five tacos per person per vendor at one time. There also will be options to buy water, soft drinks and iced coffee, and for those 21 & older beer, margaritas and sangria.
Popular Mexican restaurants in Wichita are represented, along with food trucks and off-the- beaten-path taquerias. They are all competing for to earn the title of the best taco and best salsa at the festival, judged by a group of locally renowned foodies.
4. Sign up for the jalapeño-eating contest early.
If you’re up to the challenge, grab one of the 10 spots available in the jalapeño-eating contest. Even if you don’t nab a spot, you’ll want to cheer on the brave souls who do!
5. Prepare to be entertained.
Besides the happiness you’ll get from a belly full of delicious tacos, you’ll be smiling and moving to music by DJ Metiche and DJ Magnum. Throughout the day, watch lucha libre-themed wrestling matches, plus there will be a kids playground, yard games and more fun activities. Bring lawn chairs and enjoy the day!