FARGO — Fargo Brewing Co. is known for its beer, but once a year the business savors some other flavors with Dia Del Taco Fest.
The one-day celebration of tacos — with an optional tequila chaser — will be held from 3-8 p.m. this Saturday, June 12.
For the third year, Dia Del Taco will gather a handful of taquerias in the brewery’s parking lot. Attendees can buy tacos from any of the vendors and then are free to vote for their favorite in the Taco Showdown, a people’s choice award.
“Everyone loves tacos,” says Courtney Ficek, VP and communications director at Jade Presents, which produces the event. “You could do tacos 100 different ways. We could have seven vendors do them and they would all taste different.”
There’s a difference in tacos and a difference in taco festivals. Earlier this year, guests at the Taco and Margarita Fest held at the North Dakota Horse Park got burned. The event promised more than eight food trucks and multiple beverage stations, but when ticketholders arrived, they found only one taco truck and one margarita vendor. Long lines ensued and food ran out before some could get their order in.
Ficek has followed comments on social media and says Dia Del Taco can be trusted.
“We’re established,” she says, “This is our third year. We have the street cred. Look at our pictures from the last two events and they’ll tell you how awesome it was.”
While that other taco fest, which appears to have been put together by an out-of-towner, didn’t name its vendors in advance, Ficek points out that all of the Dia Del Taco vendors — Pico Food Truck, The Lunchbox Eatery, Lupe’s Tasty Tacos, Maria’s Homestyle Mexican Food, Casa Delicia Eatery and Taco Revolution — are on the event’s homepage, https://diadeltaco.com/fargo.
A seventh vendor, Mexican Village, dropped out due to an expected childbirth.
Maria’s Homestyle Mexican Food and Pico Food Truck have participated each year, Ficek adds.
She says Windsor Waffles will also have a stand for those looking to satisfy their sweet tooth.
A tequila testing, hosted by Don Julio, is available for an elevated ticket price. Participants can sample five half-ounce pours of premium tequila. A separate margarita stand will be open to all ticketholders.
This year features some new additions. Instead of live music, organizers have added Below Zero Wrestling, a regional take on the Mexican sensation lucha libre wrestling. That starts at 5:30 p.m.
The event also features the Caliente Challenge for CCRI. For a $5 donation, you get to channel the daredevil eating show “Hot Ones” and sample one of a select hot sauces. For a $10 donation, you can spin the Wheel of Death and let fate determine your selection.
All funds raised will be matched by Fabricators Unlimited, up to $1,000.
Also new this year is that the Fargo Brewing parking lot is paved, allowing for more space — and less dust — for visitors.
Previously the festival was held in two sessions and required an hour turnover between to prepare for the next group, but with a bigger space, there’s only one, longer time period.
So, where does Ficek stand on the great taco debate: hard or soft shell?
“Sometimes I like them both at the same time. Why choose? I’m hungry right now,” she says.
If you go
What: Dia Del Taco Fest
When: 3-8 p.m. Saturday, June 12
Where: Fargo Brewing, 610 N. University Drive
Info: Tickets are $12 for general admission or $35, which includes a tequila tasting, or $15 and $40 the day of the event; https://diadeltaco.com/fargo/