Dining With Denise Neil

It’s not on a Tuesday, but Wichita plans its first taco fest

The first Wichita Taco Festival is planned for June 24 at Union Station.
The first Wichita Taco Festival is planned for June 24 at Union Station. Getty Images

Tacos are worth celebrating – so much so that they’re about to be the focus of a new downtown festival in Wichita.

A group called Festive ICT, led by I Got Sole sneaker festival founder Nnanna Okpara, is putting on the first Wichita Taco Fest, scheduled for noon to 7 p.m. June 24 at Union Station, 701 E. Douglas.

The group is recruiting 20 local restaurants and food trucks to provide bite-sized tacos plus servings of chips and salsa and margaritas. Attendees must buy a $5 admission ticket, and tacos are then $1 apiece. Chips and salsa samples will be $2 apiece. Margaritas also will be for sale. Among the restaurants that have already committed to participate are The Kitchen, Mumbai Rail, District Taqueria and Los Dos Costas.

Attendees and a panel of judges will vote on who makes the best dish in all three categories.

In between eating, people can listen to live music, participate in a jalapeno-eating contest and play games. Organizers also will be raffling off prizes.

Naquela Pack, who works with Festive ICT, said she and Okpara have been contemplating a taco festival for years.

“We just got all the pieces together of the puzzle and made it a reality now,” she said. “We know Wichita loves tacos. Who doesn’t love tacos, really?”

Pack said organizers had been anticipating a crowd of at least 2,500. But based on the unexpected crowd of 4,000 people that October’s Bloktoberfest event, put on by Xclusive Event Services in Union Station, drew and on the popularity of the Facebook post they put up earlier this week, organizers now are wondering whether they’ll get even more attendees than that.

Admission tickets are available now at wichitatacofest.com or in person at all MobileComm locations and at Demo Skate Shop, 617 W. Douglas.

Denise Neil: 316-268-6327, @deniseneil