Let’s ‘taco ‘bout’ the third annual Taco Fest with Roger Palma

Published: Sep. 8, 2023 at 4:52 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 8, 2023 at 6:37 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - Taco Fest returns for a third year after its humble beginning as a response to an online bullying campaign against Mayor Santellana, according to Roger Palma. This year’s fest will occur on Saturday, Sept. 9, 2023, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the downtown Farmers’ Market on Ohio St.

“Our mayor turned it into an event. We have more in common here in Texas, and “taco-eater” was a name they would use,” Palma said. “He made a challenge that if he had so many likes and shares, he would throw a taco party.”

And throw a party, he did. According to Palma, Mayor Santellana’s post received an overwhelming response, and Taco Fest was born.

With help from the Zavala Hispanic Cultural Initiative, the first Taco Fest was thrown together in just a few weeks, and after that, the community decided to keep it going.

However, now the fest has a new twist.

“Instead of doing social media bullying, we’re going to raise money for scholarships,” Palma says. According to Zavala’s website, various scholarships are available to all demographics seeking to continue their education.

This year, attendees can expect a wide variety of tacos, including unique tacos only available for Taco Fest. They can also expect live music, dancing, alcoholic refreshments, and a kid zone hosted by the nonprofit Action Against Opioids.

According to Palma, Taco Fest is meant to celebrate diversity through one thing that brings us all together: eating tacos.

“It’s a variety of people coming together so that we can get along. Most people, ninety percent, we get along on a lot of things. This is a family community city, and that’s what’s important to most of us,” said Palma.

As for Mayor Santellana, the event turned into more than he expected.

“I was hoping to make this into a legacy event if I could make this into something that we can do downtown year after year. But I knew I needed Zavala behind me. You need the Hispanic Heritage group to be behind me because I can’t do this on my own, and they really took this ball and ran with it,” said Mayor Stephen Santellana.