The lineup of live bands and new attractions for the 2019 East Texas Taco Fest has been revealed.
“We’ve got something for everyone — rock, country, blues, funk, jazz; and of course, a little Latin style to go with the tacos!” said Gai Bennett, events manager for M. Roberts Media, owner of the Marshall News Messenger.
The second annual festival, which is slated from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14 in downtown Marshall, is organized by the Marshall News Messenger and presented by main sponsor, Patterson Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.
“We’re excited to be a sponsor because of all of the family activity it promotes in downtown Marshall,” said Richard Traweek, managing partner at Patterson Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram.
Returning by popular demand and headlining the event will be the Darrin Morris Band.
“People were impressed with them,” News Messenger Publisher Jerry Pye said of the band, which is a cross of red dirt country and rock music.
Also taking the stage will be Johnny & the Nightcrawlers, Akeem Kemp Band, Low D’s Jam Band, Senor Gringo and Trevor Clark.
“Johnny & the Nightcrawlers are from Tyler; they’re awesome,” said Bennett, describing them as a traditional blues band.
Bennett said the Akeem Kemp Band hails from Arkansas and is the “future” of the blues music genre.
Low D’s Jam Band, based in Longview, will serve up a mixture of R&B, funk, blues and jazz. Senor Gringo captivated the crowd last year with its Latin jazz. Trevor Clark will top the day off with some country swing.
In addition to the Chihuahua races, jalapeño eating contest, Kid’s Zone, Lucha Libre wrestling and assortment of vendors, the margarita villa will also be back on the scene. Pye said they are also excited to bring some new additions to the affair.
“Something new we’re going to add this year is a salsa dancing contest,” he said.
The 2019 stage sponsor is Vera Bank and Kids Zone sponsor is Gecko Pest Control. Sponsoring the lively Chihuahua race is Choice Dental. VIP tent sponsor is Christus Good Shepherd. Sponsor for the sizzling jalapeño eating contest will be Jucy’s Taco. Sponsoring the newest attraction, the blazing salsa dancing contest, will be Century 21 Brad Burris. City of Marshall is the sponsor for the popular Lucha Libra wrestling show.
Pye said last year’s festival was a great event for the community, sparking something extra to be excited about in the resurgence of downtown Marshall.
“This event brings another event to Marshall in addition to the Wonderland of Lights and FireAnt Festival, so it gives residents of the East Texas area another opportunity for another venue (of fun) in the Marshall East Texas area, particularly downtown,” said Pye.
Tickets are currently on sale at the website, eventbrite.com. General admission tickets are $10 for a wrist band. VIP tickets, which include entry to a VIP section, two drink coupons, snacks and hors d’oeuvres are $40. Admission for kids ages 12 and younger is free.
Like last year, civic organizations will assist in the community event for a chance to raise funds for their missions as proceeds from the event will be split to benefit each.
“The nonprofits are a part of the festival, so it’s an opportunity for other nonprofits to participate,” said Pye.
In addition to fun, it’s also a chance to check out the downtown atmosphere and indulge in some downtown shopping in Marshall.
“It’s a chance for folks to have a good time and enjoy each other’s company in a good atmosphere,” Pye said.
To be a sponsor or for vendor information, call events coordinator Gai Bennett at (903) 232-7206.