Main Street Latin Festival

Main Street Latin Festival

There are several events going on this weekend in Columbia that have a thick taco filling. First is the Taco Crawl, a multi-stop event organized by Bar Crawl USA, an event planning company out of Atlanta. This crawl is more than just walking from place to place to gorge on tacos. Yes, it involves taco tickets, commemorative taco swag and a shuttle bus for those too full to walk, but also DJs and entertainment for those who aren’t too full to dance, and a tequila ice luge.

The crawl is centering on the Vista area and will stop at Tin Lizzy’s, Carolina Ale House, 929 Kitchen and Bar, Hickory Tavern, Wild Wing Cafe, Vista Union, and Social Bar and Lounge. Each wristband entitles attendees to four tacos, and there’s no need to go to every stop as this is a free-flowing event, according to the description. The map of tacos and drink specials will be shared with attendees so they can decide which tacos are worthy of their attention.

For those worried about the event being canceled, as other taco-related events earlier in the year were, there’s a nice dig at those organizers in the Facebook description: “We are not the Taco festival … so this epic Taco Crawl is happening rain or shine.”

Tickets are between $23.16 for a regular package and $43.23 for a VIP package that includes a T-shirt, an additional taco ticket, extra tequila, early registration and a drawstring bag. The crawl begins at noon on Saturday, Aug. 25.

Beyond the Taco

For those who want a more authentic representation of the Latin culture in Columbia, the Main Street Latin Festival will take place in the 1400 block of Main from 11 a.m. through 10 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 25.

About 15,000 people are expected to come to the festival throughout the day to enjoy the dancing, music, and most importantly, the food of the many Hispanic cultures that will be represented at the event.

“Hispanic people speak the same language but have different cultures, and we are trying to showcase who they are as people,” says Genaro Padilla, the longtime organizer of the festival. “We all have so much in common it doesn’t matter where you come from.”

Padilla encourages people of all cultural backgrounds to come out and enjoy the festival, just like people do at the Greek Festival, he says.

Some of the featured foods that will be scenting Main Street are empanadas (meat filled dough pockets), Spanish rice, fried pork, fried plantains, alcapurrias (shredded plantains filled with meat and deep fried), arepas, taquitos, and much more.

Admission to the festival is free, and food and drink is pay-as-you go at each vendor.

Why Did the Market Cross the Road?

The regular farmers market that happens Thursdays from 4–7 p.m. at City Roots is taking a walk across the street and setting up shop in the Hunter-Gatherer Brewery & Alehouse in the Curtiss-Wright hangar as of Aug. 16. The same vendors will be there, along with new vendors too.

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