Second Annual Tucson Tortilla Festival

Date and Venue 5 May 2014 | Presidio San Agustin Del Tucson

Reviewer Patricia Cassidy

They said to dress in Mexican finery
photo: Patricia Cassidy

Today is Cinco de Mayo and yesterday, Sunday May 4, was the 2nd Annual Tortilla Festival held in Tucson’s original Presidio (or walled adobe fortress) to celebrate that eventful day. The Fort houses an interpretive centre where you can step back in time and imagine the life lived within those walls in the 18th century - A fascinating part of Tucson’s history.

The Festival commemorates Mexico's victory against the French during the Battle of Puebla in 1862. I was told Cinco de Mayo is not really a Mexican holiday, but one for Americans, and we showed up in droves – even though the temperature was a scorching 98 degrees (37C). The temperature meant sales of a particularly delicious Mexican concoction were in overdrive: A cucumber, lime and apple concoction – a bit like a margarita but without the liquor.

Regional Mexican dresses, paintings, pottery and cuisine were represented both in the Presidio courtyard, and outside on the streets. I loved the traditional clay ovens, fueled with Mesquite, on view, with demonstrations (and tasty samples) re how to make a tortilla. There were stilt men for the kids, and many visitors showed up in colorful Mexican clothes and the general atmosphere was one of great FUN. Men were there in the typical military uniform for that battle, kids in dress up costume and even a Mexican line dancing event. The Tucson Folk festival was going on simultaneously nearby so you could wander the streets and listen to music or find a shady spot to cool off. I'll be back in 2015!

© 2014 Patricia Cassidy