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“It took forever to get drinks, food.” Taco Fest organizers speak up

614now Staff

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On a Saturday on May 19, Columbus was introduced to a new festival dedicated to the one thing in the city everyone seems to love: tacos. It was a festival full of booze and food all complimented by warm weather in an open space.

That was until the open space became crammed, the weather took an unexpected turn, and vendors began running low on supplies.

Comments on Facebook began to build with people voicing their concerns and opinions about the events. Though the comments were sometimes harsh, some of them did hold truth and Tori Lynch, director of event logistics for the first ever Columbus Taco Fest, and Hugo Albornoz, event director, wanted to clear the air and respond to the critiques.

“Lines were one of the biggest complaints we noticed,” Lynch recognized. “There were long lines. It took forever to get drinks. It took forever to get food.”

So what happened here? Lynch said it was a planning mistake.

One year ago during the planning process, Taco Fest was estimated to garner roughly 10,000 to 15,000 attendees based on its popularity and engagements on Facebook.

Unfortunately, that estimate was about half of the actual amount of people who came to the festival; between 30,000 and 35,000.

“This isn’t something where you can just call the city and say, ‘Can I have another block?’,” explained Albornoz. “It’s something you have to plan ahead.”

Lynch recognized the lack of water, soda, and booze stations at this year’s festivals and believes the simple solution is to add more beverage stands in the future. 

They also have plans to move from Genoa Park to have more space for a larger festival.

“We need more space and we need more vendors,” Albornoz said simply.

Around 5pm at Taco Fest, the Columbus Department of Police notified the Taco Fest coordinators that the festival would have to be temporary closed due to unsafe weather in the area.

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An hour beforehand and just down the road at Mapfre Stadium, Rock On The Range 2018 was also temporary closed due to weather.

Though the Taco Fest’s Facebook page stated the festival would happen rain or shine, Lynch explained the temporary closure was out of the event coordinator’s hands due to safety protocol.

“The most frustrating thing for us was it looked perfectly fine—I mean there were scattered clouds that day, but it didn’t look like there was an imminent threat,” she recalled. “So it kind of looked like we were shutting down early, but in reality we were just following the instructions of the city and the police and try to make sure everyone was as safe as possible.”

Lynch and Albornoz want to make sure all the critiques of the festival are well-informed and to promise action will be taken for more smooth and enjoyable Taco Festivals in the future.

“We hear that [your concerns], we know that’s frustrating. We get it,” Lynch said. “All we want to do is continue to build this festival and have an awesome experience year after year and continue to raise money for charities in central Ohio.

 

Albornoz and Lynch also echoed the sentiment that they wanted to give their thanks to anyone and everyone who was involved and came to the event.

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Food & Drink

The End of the Road?

Julian Foglietti

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As the economic impacts of COVID-19 continue, we are beginning to see the effects take their toll on Columbus eateries. Here's a list of some of the changes taking place.

The Sycamore+Cosecha Cocina  

Grow Restaurants, the company which owns Harvest Pizza, has listed The Sycamore and Cosecha for sale. While there hasn't been confirmation that the restaurants won’t make a reappearance in some form, Chris Crader stated in Columbus Underground, “It’s a lot of work to re-open after the pandemic and we have a considerable amount of interest in these two properties so it doesn’t make sense to open and then close again so quickly.”

Miller's Ale House

Both Miller’s Ale House locations are closing. The Florida-based company has removed mention of the Ohio locations from their websites.

Flowers and Bread Co.

In a recent article with Columbus CEO, owners Sarah Lagrotteria and Tricia Wheeler announced the closure of the cafe portion of their business. There are plans to expand the flower and bread workshop portion of the business under the new name Flower and Bread Society.

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Food & Drink

Rémy Cointreau presents: The Sidecar

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**SPONSORED**

We teamed up with Rémy Cointreau and local bartender, Ben Griest, from Giuseppe’s Ritrovo to bring you an icon of cognac cocktails. Ben's previous videos featured the art of margarita-mixology, and now we are moving on to another tasty cocktail. This timeless, opulent drink is well-balanced and fresh.

With National Cognac Day coming up, we figured it would be great to share, Rémy Martin 1738 presents The Sidecar.

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Food & Drink

National Brisket Day is Today!

Julian Foglietti

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Photo by Brian Kaiser

With meat shortages starting to take their toll and National Brisket Day here at last - we've gathered a roundup of some spots you can go to to get your brisket fix.

Legacy Smoke House

With their main location in Hilliard and a food truck moving throughout the city, Legacy Smoke House is a solid choice for brisket on National Brisket Day, just be sure to get there while supplies last. Enjoy!

Pecan Pennys

Just off Main Street, Pecan Pennys is ready to fulfill your brisket needs. If your looking to feed a family though be sure to get your orders in advance as they're requesting 24 hours notice on dinner bundles.

Ray-Ray's Hog Pit

With locations in Franklinton, Westerville, Clintonville and Powell Ray Ray's Hog Pit is open for business with brisket stocked at all locations. #NationalBrisketDay is the best day!

Hoggy’s Restaurant and Catering

Located on Bethel Road, Hoggy’s will be stocking brisket for both dine-in or carryout. Feel free to stop in or stop by!

The Pit

With a new location opened up on Parsons Ave. The Pit BBQ will be offering brisket for the National day. Celebrate with some tasty brisket!

City Barbeque

City Barbeque will be offering brisket for the National day! So get excited and get ready for some yummy BBQ brisket!

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