Skip to content

Restaurants Food and Drink |
‘Everybody loves tacos’ — Boulder Taco Fest returns with lucha libre, music and tacos for days

Saturday's event, from noon-7 p.m., will be held near Boulder Creek

Anaya, the Lucha Libre wrestler, gives Young Son Koo a vicious kick during the Boulder Taco Festival in Boulder on July 26, 2019. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
Anaya, the Lucha Libre wrestler, gives Young Son Koo a vicious kick during the Boulder Taco Festival in Boulder on July 26, 2019. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)
PUBLISHED: | UPDATED:

Tacos are arguably one of the world’s perfect foods. Hand-held, never short on variety and ideal for vegans, pescatarians and carnivores, the delightful fare always hits the spot.

The crowd rocks out to live music at the 2021 Boulder Taco Fest. This year's Boulder Taco Fest will take place on Aug. 6, from noon-7 p.m., at both sides of Boulder Creek at the Boulder Civic Area and Boulder Library (1001 Arapahoe Ave.). (Boulder Taco Fest/Christopher Edmunds/Courtesy photo)
The crowd rocks out to live music at the 2021 Boulder Taco Fest. This year’s Boulder Taco Fest will take place on Aug. 6, from noon-7 p.m., at both sides of Boulder Creek at the Boulder Civic Area and Boulder Library, 1001 Arapahoe Ave. (Christopher Edmunds/Courtesy Boulder Taco Fest)

Whether topped with cilantro, doused with hot sauce or sprinkled with crumbles of queso fresco, this Mexican meal rarely disappoints.

Those who love the food item can celebrate it in full fashion at the Boulder Taco Fest on Saturday, from noon-7 p.m. Held at both sides of Boulder Creek, at the Boulder Civic Area and Boulder Library, the event promises live music, lucha libre wrestling, libations and, of course, delicious varieties from over 15 taco vendors.

A lucha libre wrestler interacts with the crowd at a previous Boulder Taco Fest. (Connor Tieulie/Courtesy photo)
A lucha libre wrestler interacts with the crowd at a previous Boulder Taco Fest. (Connor Tieulie/Courtesy photo)

“The festival is a really fun mix of all the things that make for a great day — food, friends, beer, entertainment and a great place to hang out,” said Josh Kravetz, the event’s producer and president of events company Adventure Fit. “I think it has sold out for the past couple years because everybody loves tacos. It’s truly a fun time for all, and attendees come back every year with more friends.”

Initially launched in 2017 and held at Sanitas Brewing, the first Boulder Taco Fest was started by Bradford McDevitt, owner of McDevitt Taco Supply. At the time he was the sole vendor, but pulled out all the culinary stops.

“I created five different stations and made 40 different types of tacos,” McDevitt said. “All of this when we were building our restaurant in Boulder. After two years, I passed the torch off to Josh with Adventure Fit. He now runs it and has grown it to 5,000 people.”

McDevitt, who has vended at festivals from Tennessee’s Bonnaroo to California’s Coachella, will once again be serving up tasty eats at this year’s Boulder Taco Fest.

The ahi tuna taco, by McDevitt Taco Supply, was a huge hit at the 2021 Boulder Taco Fest. (Boulder Taco Fest/Christopher Edmunds/Courtesy photo)
The ahi tuna taco, by McDevitt Taco Supply, was a huge hit at the 2021 Boulder Taco Fest. (Boulder Taco Fest/Christopher Edmunds/Courtesy photo)

“I learned a while ago that I can sling mad tacos at festivals, but I have no interest in running one,” McDevitt said.” I am looking forward to the amount of people the most this year. There is nothing quite like slinging 5,000 tacos at one event.”

McDevitt stays busy with his restaurant in Boulder, a permanent on-site food truck at Sanitas Brewing and a traveling cart. In June, he opened up a second brick-and-mortar location in Denver’s River North Art District. On the eighth floor of the Vīb Hotel, the new eatery provides stunning rooftop views and delicious happy-hour specials.

“When I first started the taco stand it was just something to keep me busy on the weekends,” McDevitt said. “After a couple of months, I had to quit my management position at the Mountain Sun. I asked my brother Clayton (McDevitt) to move out to Boulder right before I started the cart to help me run it.”

The brand’s evolution and popularity is something McDevitt could never have predicted.

Bradford McDevitt, of McDevitt Taco Supply, vends from the taco cart at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 2013. John Bissel wears a taco costume and encourages patrons to purchase fare. (Bradford McDevitt/Courtesy photo)
Bradford McDevitt, of McDevitt Taco Supply, vends from the taco cart at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in 2013. John Bissel, in the taco costume, was encouraging patrons to purchase fare. (Bradford McDevitt/Courtesy photo)

While McDevitt Taco Supply continues to evolve and expand, the top quality of the cuisine remains an unwavering staple. Attendees of Boulder Taco Fest can expect more unique flavor-filled creations from McDevitt.

“As always, McDevitt Taco Supply will be bringing the best of the best,” McDevitt said. “The festival-goers can look forward to the Nashville Hot Chicken Taco topped with bacon collard greens and dill pickle chips. I am still playing with the veggie option, rest assured it will be heady AF.”

While last year’s festival was held at Foothills Community Park, this year’s festivities will take place close to a beloved Boulder landmark, and even more food will be part of the mix.

“I’m really excited for the new venue on Boulder Creek,” Kravetz said. “It’ll be so nice to cool off in the creek, while listening to live music and eating tacos. We also have a lot more taco vendors, so there will be so many different kinds of tacos to try. We will have a variety ranging from very authentic tacos to creative tacos, like ahi tuna. Almost all vendors will have a veggie taco and many will have gluten-free tacos, so that we can offer options for all diets.”

A day of taco feasting is only complemented by an incredible soundtrack to elevate the vibe.

Los Cheesies will perform at Boulder Taco Fest 2022 at 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6. (Los Cheesies/Courtesy photo)
Los Cheesies will perform at Boulder Taco Fest 2022 at 4 p.m. Saturday. (Los Cheesies/Courtesy photo)

“We are most looking forward to playing in Boulder at a festival where Mexican cuisine, culture and music is embraced,” said Shawn Camden, musician and manager of his band Los Cheesies. “Many of us have lived in Boulder most of our lives — including half of our band members, who are all from Mexico. They grew up working in this town and contributing to this community and now get to share their amazing musical skills with the Boulder community.”

Camden is enthused to take the stage along with other acts Green Buddha, Silver and Smoke and Jane and Matthews.

“We actually just played on one of the main stages at the Denver Taco Fest in May, but this is the first time we’re playing at the Boulder Taco Fest,” Camden said.

Los Cheesies is known for playful sets that are, well, fairly cheesy at times — yet impressive musicianship shines through.

Attendees of The Boulder Taco Fest show off their lucha libre wrestling-inspired face paint in 2021. (Boulder Taco Fest/Christopher Edmunds/Courtesy photo)
Attendees of The Boulder Taco Fest show off their lucha libre-inspired facepaint in 2021. (Christopher Edmunds/Courtesy Boulder Taco Fest)

“Attendees can expect a super-fun, high-energy party with a fusion of upbeat original Latin and American ska, rock, rap, reggae in both English and Spanish and music that is virtually impossible not to dance to,” Camden said. “They can expect an exceptional three-piece horn section of two who are brothers born in Zacatecas, Mexico, where most Mexicans in Boulder are from.”

When not performing, Camden — founder of Sancho’s Mexican Restaurant in Gunbarrel — and his bandmates will be savoring the many tasty bites of the day.

“Personally, I am a huge fanatic of tacos and salsas,” Camden said. “It’s my favorite go-to food. I get tired of pizza, but tacos? Never. Our favorite local taco joint in Boulder is Sancho’s and La Choza. Me, Carmelo (Lopez), Homarcillo (Garcia) and Juan Carlos (Garcia) especially love their al pastor tacos.”

Tacos aren’t the only items that can be savored on Saturday.

A lucha libre wrestler takes the ring as a previous Boulder Taco Fest. (Boulder Taco Fest/Christopher Edmunds/Courtesy photo)
A lucha libre wrestler takes the ring as a previous Boulder Taco Fest. (Christopher Edmunds/Courtesy Boulder Taco Fest)

“Kids love their sugar, and we have huge pinatas that are always a hit,” Kravetz said. “Initially, we offered some adult prizes, like cards for a free beer. However, there are so many kids that want that candy. This year, the pinatas will be filled with sweets and will be just be for kids. We’ve always offered free kids’ wristbands — with the purchase of an adult wristband — so the pinatas and inflatable obstacle courses are free.”

Adults can enjoy beers from breweries throughout the country and also sips from Suerte Tequila and refreshing Tia Linda’s Margaritas.

Lucha libre wrestling will be even more comical with commentary from local comedians.

The event is free and open to the public, however wristbands must be purchased for food and drinks.

The 2022 Boulder Taco Fest will feature fare from over 15 vendors. (Boulder Taco Fest/Christopher Edmunds/Courtesy photo)
The 2022 Boulder Taco Fest will feature fare from over 15 vendors. (Christopher Edmunds/Courtesy Boulder Taco Fest)

A $30 general admission wristband includes live music, four tickets for tacos, beer or margaritas and comedic lucha libre shows.

A $60 VIP wristband includes 10 tickets for tacos, beer or margaritas, access to the VIP lounge at the festival that will feature free tequila tastings, lucha libre shows and more.

Those looking to avoid lines can pick up wristbands and tickets on Friday at Hazel’s Beverage World in Boulder.

“My favorite thing about the festival is all of the happy people enjoying the day,” Kravetz said. “These days — more than ever — we all need to cherish the moments of pure fun with our friends and families. Boulder Taco Fest will surely create some memories of great tacos, unique entertainment and a perfect Colorado day.”

To learn more, visit bouldertacofest.com.

Join the Conversation

We invite you to use our commenting platform to engage in insightful conversations about issues in our community. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable to us, and to disclose any information necessary to satisfy the law, regulation, or government request. We might permanently block any user who abuses these conditions.