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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    A night at the Tucson 23 Mexican Food Festival

    The Tucson 23 Mexican Food Festival brought together the best Mexican food restaurants within a 23-mile radius from the city of Tucson on Saturday, June 18.
    The Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance collaborated with title sponsor Visit Tucson to create the sold-out event, which was held in the Arizona Ballroom at the JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort & Spa. 

    Numerous restaurants served food and beverages at the festival. Some of these restaurants included Blanco Tacos + Tequila, Fermented Tea Company, Mariscos Chihuahua, Charro Steak, GRINGO grill + cantina, Calle Tepa and Pasco Kitchen & Lounge. The restaurant Gringo Grill Cantina served chorizo and queso fresco empanadas. This tasty Mexican specialty consists of tortilla, cheese and Mexican sausage.

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    Tucson 23’s food did not disappoint festival goers. Served by most restaurants, tacos and empanadas stood the most popular dish of the night. Participants of the event appeared satisfied with the selection of food throughout the night.

    Chris Wilt, the facilities project manager at UA attended Tucson 23. He found out about the festival through advertisements and emails sent to him by the Arizona Daily Star, among other sources. The restaurant Calle Tepa provided Wilt’s favorite dish of the night as well as a taco dish from Pasco Kitchen & Lounge. 

    Working in facilities management, Wilt had some constructive criticism for the festival.
    “Yeah, it was pretty fun,” Witt said. “I think they could do a little better with some more trashcans…there’s some organizational things I think they could do a little better.” 

    Tucson 23 offered festival-goers more than just food. It featured multiple Mexican artists like Ignacio Garcia and Anthony Eli Farias. Garcia, known for his murals, recently had his mural “Jack and Bill” displayed outside on the east side of the Rialto Theatre in downtown Tucson. Farias is known for his abstract artistry. At the festival, Farias worked on a canvas of a Mexican sugar skull that he plans to name “Roses are Red.” Both Garcia and Farias enjoyed conversing with the festival’s participants and proudly displayed multiple pieces of art.

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    Besides the delicious food and talented artists, Tucson 23 had a live performance by the dance company Ballet Folklorico—La Paloma. The dance company is a Mexican folklore dance group, comprised of dancers ranging from the age of 3 to 60 years old. The company has performed in Australia and England, and plans to perform in Spain during the spring of 2017. The group performed a beautiful dance at the festival and wore brightly colored outfits.

    Tucson 23 brought more than just Mexican restaurants together—it brought the Tucson community together. Filled with great food, beautiful art and festive dancers, the festival created a cultural experience that participants will never forget.

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