After what many would consider a disaster in 2017, the organizers of Wichita Taco Fest promised to deliver and learn from their mistakes in 2018. From the views (and palates) of many, they did. With an estimated 7,000 people in attendance, I would say those involved worked hard and did their best in making Wichita Taco Fest the next big deal in town.
Using the baseball field at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium gave people and vendors much needed space. Some tables and yard games were also set up in the field for people to hang out, relax, eat their food, chat or just do whatever. Space was certainly not an issue. Probably the biggest complaint which was beyond the organizers control was the weather. Had this past Friday or Sunday’s weather replaced Saturday, it could have been perfect but you can only play the cards you’re dealt. I attended the Nashville Hot Chicken Festival in Tennessee a couple of years ago and it was over 100 degrees that day so I’m not complaining.
The two biggest complaints last year were the lines to get in and the vendors running out of tacos. I had friends and family outside around 4pm and they told me the lines were moving quickly. Vendors limited people to buy a maximum of three tacos which also helped. Given this was the second year, vendors were now better prepared on what to expect.
I was asked to be one of the judges for the event which was a very cool experience. I sampled all 30 tacos which made for a rough afternoon but my favorite taco actually won. Keep in mind, we did a blind tasting. Event organizers brought us the tacos and only told us what vendor number they were. So we didn’t know what vendor number was who not where the taco came from. In the end Tacos Beto and Hot-2-Trot Gourmet Hot Dogs tied for first. I voted Hot-2-Trot’s as my favorite taco; the only reason I know is because I had to reach out to both vendors afterwards to see which taco was theirs.
Hot-2-Trot Gourmet Hot Dogs included chopped up Nathan’s Hot Dogs, their homemade Crema and their house made taco slaw. I read some comments that their line was short which made me wonder if people were hesitant to try their taco because it was a hot dog stand or if they thought it just sounded gross. When we sampled all the tacos, we didn’t know what kind of meat was in the hot dog. So going into something with no preconceived notion was the best because we had no idea what we were eating half of the time. I wish I knew which hot dog was Tacos Beto but given there were only three judges, I must have scored them high.
Some tacos were phenomenal while there were some that struggled. A couple of friends joined me at the judging tent and sampled many of the tacos I tried. They too loved the one from Hot-2-Trot.
If you’re wondering, Tacos Beto is a local taco catering business. I reached out to them and they occasionally have a truck set up in north Wichita. Make sure to follow them on Facebook to find out when. As for Hot-2-Trot Gourmet Hot Dogs, you can follow them on Facebook here. At the moment, their hot dog tacos are not on the menu but I asked the owner to let me know if he ever intends to make them available because I would certainly order them again.
Big props out to all those involved into making this year’s Wichita Taco Fest a success. I had a great time as did my friends and family. Mark me down as an attendee for next year.
Next up for Festive ICT is ICT Pizza Fest which takes place on Saturday August 25 at Exploration Place. I also want to thank Debbie Botefur who was the head of marketing with Festive ICT.
Here’s a little video of many of the tacos I tried:
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