Cleveland Taco Festival: Overpriced, underwhelming

Aura Rossy, Staff Reporter

This past Saturday, Sept. 8, marked the second annual Cleveland Taco Festival, held at JACK Thistledown Racino. The event boasted over 25 taco and food vendors from around the city. For those of age, the alcoholic options ranged from a frozen margarita “bar” to a tequila sampling tent. The entertainment included a chili pepper eating contest and live Mariachi music.

Despite the wide array of activities and the variety of food the event claimed to provide, the Taco Festival fell short of being a success.

“I was looking to get to know more of Cleveland and express my love for tacos, but I would not recommend this event to any student,” fourth-year student Emma Baker said. “Make better use of your money and go eat a full meal for the same price at an actual restaurant.”

Going to this festival was a waste of money. If you were lucky enough to purchase presale tickets, the cost was $9.99. Otherwise, you paid $15 just to enter the event and walk into a designated lot with two rows of white tents in the distance. Once inside, you were obligated to purchase “vouchers,” which were tickets you use to pay for your food and drink with. What attendees were not told is that one voucher did not equal one food or beverage. The cost for one food or beverage item ranged from two to three vouchers. To make matters worse, the quantity of food you received could only be described as very little.

Aside from the food tents, there was little else to do. Despite the promise of live dance performances and an array of local DJs, the music and entertainment scene proved underwhelming. Additionally, because the festival did not provide an event schedule before the day of the event, attendees had no way to plan their day around the events they wanted to go to ahead of time.

Overall, this festival was a flop. It would have been a better experience and use of money to just go to one of the vendor’s restaurants and enjoy tacos there.