If you think it's hard to pin a wrestler, just try to keep a good taco party down.
Top Taco returns to the this week, on Thursday (May 16), after the threat of bad weather pushed the outdoor, riverfront event back from its planned date in March. It brings three dozen restaurants serving tacos, bars and booze tents stocked with tequila and mezcal drinks and a lucha libre, or Mexican pro wrestling, with masked luchadores taking the ring.
This is the third year for Top Taco in New Orleans, and the event has proven popular with its promise of unlimited sampling of many different traditional and creative tacos served side by side.
The festival draws local taquerias, modern Mexican restaurants and plenty of others all vying for Top Taco trophies.
The event has brought big crowds in years past too. At last year's event, some stands resembled their own party patios with DJs and lights and elaborate decor. Others, however, were hard to discern from the distance of the long lines that stretched on from their tables.
This year, event producer Shane Finkelstein of Harahan restaurant Nacho Mama's said Top Taco has a plan to address the crowding issues. Stands will be arrayed across a larger swath of the riverfront park and the event also sell fewer tickets, while organizers are ensuring participating restaurants have enough tacos on hand for demand.
"The whole point is to get people to try new and different restaurants out there, so we’re hoping people will come and want to explore,” he said.
Top Taco was planned in conjunction with Agave Week, a series of related tastings and liquor brand promotions. Agave Week events were held as originally scheduled in March at the Ace Hotel after the festival itself was postponed.
One big event, however, was held for this week's return: the lucha libre, with luchadores brought in for the night. They will compete during the May 16 party, which also has live music from the bands Otra, Muevelo and Armando Leduc y Salsa Royal.
Also new this time around is a mezcal tent dedicated to samples of the distinctive agave-based spirit.
Tickets are all inclusive. General admission tickets are $75, early access tickets are $95 VIP tickets are $125. See toptaconola.com.
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