Festival Aims to Satisfy Denver’s Taco Cravings


Photo: Ashley Bauler CU Sentry
Photo: Ashley Bauler CU Sentry

Tacos have taken the world by storm: Taco Tuesday is now a regularly celebrated event, and people proudly sport taco T-shirts in every kind of setting. Because the small tortilla-wrapped dish serves as a staple to any sane person’s diet, Westword felt Denver needed its own day dedicated solely to tacos. On Aug. 14, Tacolandia, a street festival hosted at Sports Authority Field, marked the first event in the state that showcased savory tacos from over 40 taquerias and Mexican restaurants in the Denver Metro area.

Sponsored by the perfect pairings that were Estrella Jalisco and Exotico Tequila, the event was vibrant and filled to the brim with taco connoisseurs. Latin music bumped, tequila flowed, and festival-goers donned sombreros. The weather was 95 degrees and humid, making attendees feel as though they were actually transported to a Latin paradise. Food trucks and tents lined the parking lot of the stadium, and lines were long as everyone and their brother came to the festival to take part in the food fiesta.

As taco-enthusiasts walked the streets, they had to choose between the dozens of taquerias and Mexican restaurants that had been set up to offer their takes on the traditional Mexican food item. Though it’s hard to think that every single place had its own version of such a standard-issue food item, each tent had something unique to offer.

A few tents stood out for serving up completely novel interpretations of the taco. Roxie’s Tacos offered a vibrant dish that was a cultural mix between classic Mexican food and Indian cuisine. The tacos came in Tikka Masala and Chana Masala, Indian staples that are known for their spices and exotic flavoring—giving them a perfectly analogous flavoring to pair with the taco. Los Chingones offered a seafood-based taco, filling their shells with fish and octopus. Tacos with Altitude displayed several different choices rich in flavor, modifying each dish with a variety of salsas and cilantro.

Although tacos were the main attraction for most, live music had an important role in setting the upbeat tempo, mood, and spirit of the festival. Live acts like Izcalli and Grupo Koaba rocked the stage with their youthful and jazz-inspired Latin music. The bands were made up of 20-somethings representing the Denver Latin local music scene, and they were nothing short of phenomenal. People crowded around the stage, and several men and women danced the evening away with the hipshaking vibes being put out.

Tacolandia served as an important cultural festival for the Denver community. It brought attention to different foods and cultural backgrounds and allowed for local businesses to take pride in their work. The crossover and infusion from other cultures created a diverse atmosphere. Everyone was positive and friendly as they enjoyed time with friends and met new people who shared a mutual love for tacos. With luck, Tacolandia will return next year and allow more people to partake in its colorful festivities.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *