By Israel Ramirez |Staff Writer|
Thousands of people attended the second annual I.E. Taco Festival at White Park located in Riverside’s historical downtown.
For $12 the festival offered a large selection of taco stands, drinks, and live performances.
Organized and hosted by 99.1 KGGI, the festival invited friends and families to come out and taste the best tacos from various taquerias and restaurants around the Inland Empire while listening to live performances.
Current top name recorders Lloyd, Frankie J, D.R.A.M, Los 5 and more kept the event lively with their on stage performances.
People arriving throughout the day were anxious to enter the event, even with the long lines, that did not keep anyone away. Even when the event was down to its last minute, people continued to show up.
“We had people in line at 5 p.m. still willing to pay the money to get in when we closed at 6,” said on air personality Robert “ODM” Gutierrez.
“It exceeded the expectations, we had a turn out from five to eight thousand,” added iHeart Media Riverside Promotions Director, KC Morris.
People were dancing, laughing and having an overall great time with their loved ones.
Throughout the day, White Park was completely filled with enthusiasts who were determined to get a taste from each of the provided vendors.
“The lines are very long, but the wait is worth it, I definitely had to try last year’s festival winners The Taco Diva, and I have to say they didn’t disappoint,” said attendee Miguel Sanchez.
This being the second annual Inland Empire Taco Festival, many families attended and enjoyed the event as they watched their children play in the kid zone, arranged with many activities for the younglings to enjoy.
“It’s always great to spend a weekend with my kids and family, and what better way to do it than coming to a festival that has great food and a place for my kids to enjoy as well,” said Jonathan Santos
Not only was the event about the food and music, it was about bringing the community together to interact with each other along with the city’s police officers.
There were many officers on site making sure the event was peaceful and enjoying the event themselves, as they also had part in organizing the festival.
“I’ve helped organize part of this event for three years now, any family event that brings law enforcement and the people together is good for the city,” said Officer Javier Cabrera.
“I love this event. I love being at events like these, seeing positive between our community and our police officers,” added Cabrera.
Riverside had long been planning community events, but struggled to make the events happen due to circumstances out of their control.
Some of the positives that come from these events are about bringing the city’s community closer, while also contributing its profits to foundations with a cause.
“We had orange blossom festival and summer melt down, but they had to be cancelled because economy or city permits that were needed. 99.1 wanted to bring back the family festival feel, it started with the salsa festival last year. We’re going to end up adding more festivals as well,” said 99.1’s music director Evelyn Erives.
“Legion of United Latin Citizens (LuLac) was the foundation that benefited this week, they manned the beer garden and ticket sales.” added Erives
The city of riverside and iHeartMedia group are planning to organize future events for the community, similar to The I.E. Taco Festival.
For further information about attending or volunteering at future events feel free to visit 991kggi.iheart.com.