July 24th, 2024

Cinco de Mayo Taco Festival to tempt taste buds at Festival Square


By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on May 3, 2024.

Submitted photo - Grupo Latino Lethbridge is hosting the Cinco de Mayo Taco Festival Lethbridge on Saturday at Festival Square.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

Grupo Latino Lethbridge is giving taco lovers an opportunity to celebrate their favourite food on Saturday during the Cinco de Mayo Taco Festival Lethbridge at Festival Square.

Patricio Sarmiento, main coordinator for the event told the Herald Tuesday that even though Cinco de Mayo is technically on Sunday, they will be celebrating on Saturday.

“It is a celebration of tacos, of course, but it’s also an opportunity to share Latino culture with Lethbridge residents, an excuse to party and enjoy some great food,” said Sarmiento.

He said it is important for Grupo Latino Lethbridge to share the different Latino cultures represented within the city, to be able to bring some spice and flavour to downtown and heat things up a bit.

“We Latinos are all about the food, music, happiness, the colourful dresses and getting together, the socializing, which we lost during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s time to gather again and what better way than by celebrating Cinco de Mayo,” said Sarmiento.

He said there will be a fenced-off area in Festival Square where they will have various food vendors, live entertainment, beer gardens and tables for those in attendance to enjoy their meal. This area will have a maximum capacity of around 400 people, which is why they are offering residents seven hours to stop by at any given time to enjoy the festival.

“From 12 p.m. until 7 p.m. this is a family-friendly, free-admission event. We’ll have piñatas for the kids, face painting and other child-friendly activities for the kids to enjoy while the parents enjoy the event as well,” said Sarmiento.

He added there will be a few food trucks parked along 3rd Avenue South taking part.

And for those who are brave enough to take on all things spicy, Sarmiento said they will have an opportunity to participate in a Hot Sauce Challenge hosted by Beyond Hot at 3:45 p.m.

“We’ll be having only one hot sauce challenge because we feel like that’ll be more than enough and we’re going to be doing the shooters,” said Sarmiento.

He explains that the challenge will have participants taking shots of sauces at different levels of spice and they have to hold it in their mouth for five minutes.

“Eating wings is easy or eating different candies and stuff like that is not as bad, but when you do straight shootouts, that’s another level,” said Sarmiento.

 He explained that it has been more than 20 years since someone was able to reach level 7 of the challenge, the hottest level of all.

 “We will need at least three or four people willing to do this and take the pain. We’ll be there to make sure that you’ll be alright after you’re done. We know how to handle it, we have done this type of challenge before,” said Sarmiento.

For those who want to win prizes but in a less spicy way, Sarmiento said there will be a costume competition and attendees are encouraged to showcase their Mexican swag.

“Dress up as whatever you want, related to Cinco de Mayo. Bring out your sombreros, ponchos, moustaches and we will be judging you by a round of applause and the louder they cheer for your costume the better because you will win,” said Sarmiento.

The costume contest will take place at 6 p.m.

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