Windsor’s lineup of summer food festivals could have a Mexican flavour this year — if a Taco Fest and Tequila Expo happens as proposed.
Organized by a London-based entertainment company, the licensed event would bring some South-of-the-Border fun to the Riverfront Festival Plaza on July 24 and 25.
“It will be amazing,” said Pablo Tovar of Stereo Caliente Entertainment on Tuesday. “People will have fun. Who doesn’t love tacos? Who doesn’t love tequila?”
Stereo Caliente Entertainment has been behind London’s Taco Fest and Tequila Expo since 2016, and a similar event in Oshawa since 2017.
Now Tovar is hoping Windsor will be just as receptive to a taste of Mexico.
“I believe in small cities. That’s my market,” he said. “I know there is a lot of potential in them.”
Tovar is quick to point out that the event is more than just an excuse to consume spicy, crunchy cuisine and agave-based alcohol.
If all goes as planned, festival-goers will also be entertained by a lucha libre show (masked wrestlers), Aztec dancers, costumed mariachi performers, and plenty more Latin American culture.
“We organize everything,” Tovar said. “All of the tequila vendors, all of the taco vendors, from the wrestlers to the mariachis — Everything.”
Stereo Caliente’s request to stage the event goes before the City of Windsor’s Community Services and Parks Standing Committee on Feb. 5.
If the committee agrees, the request will then need to go before city council.
Administration is recommending approval.
A report by the city’s coordinator of community special events states that the organizers will be responsible for all venue rental costs, fees, insurance, and liquor liability.
There is no mention in the report of the city providing any funding.
Tovar said he may attend the Feb. 5 meeting, “just to see if they have any other questions about the festival.”
Another topic of discussion: What makes a good taco?
Tovar feels the secret is in the tortilla. “Corn tortillas. That’s the most important thing about a taco. It has to be corn tortillas,” he said.
For the filling, Tovar’s personal preference is that it be traditional — either chorizo, pork belly, or chicken. But he welcomes the fact that taco-makers explore other options.
“The thing I love about tacos is that you can play with it. You can mix cultures and create new tacos.”
As for the key to enjoying tequila, Tovar believes it’s about getting educated on the beverage and savouring the experience.
“First of all, tequila loves everyone,” Tovar said. “There is a big misunderstanding about tequila. A lot of people think tequila is only about getting shots, getting drunk.”
“It’s not like that. You can drink tequila that fits you. There is tequila for sipping. There is tequila that is smooth. There is silver tequila on the rocks. It is a beautiful spirit.”
If the Windsor Taco Fest and Tequila Expo becomes a reality, it will join a growing schedule of local culinary events this summer, including Windsor Rib and Craft Beer Fest (June 5-7), Windsor Poutine Fest (June 11-14), and Taste of Tecumseh (June 12-13).