organic tequila Award-winning Alquimia Organic Tequila: the highest-rated organic tequila in the world, will be among the many tequilas featured at the festival.

It's time for tacos, tequila and music

California Beer Festival creator brings signature event to The Collection

By Michael Sullivan 07/18/2013

Ventura County residents have watched as the area’s promoters and event creators embrace its love for a finely crafted drink. First came the California Beer Festival, an afternoon in Mission Park in Ventura with dozens of brewers and food. Then the Winter Wine Fest, a somewhat dizzying affair as wine lovers went on a treasure hunt for local and exotic wine purveyors at various businesses in Downtown Ventura. Despite the love for beer and wine, there were two specific favorites that were being overlooked — tacos and tequila. But that niche is finally being addressed this weekend with the firs- ever Tacos and Tequila Music Festival at The Collection at RiverPark in Oxnard.

Besides having delicious craft tequila (who knew such a thing existed in Ventura County?) and tacos, there will also be craft beer from Firestone Walker Brewing Company, Burt’s Banana Heff (the official beer of the California Beer Festival), wine and margaritas. The music lineup includes Ventura’s own Shaky Feelin’, funk band The Bomb, local favorite DR. M and Southern California’s premier Santana tribute band, Savor. Proceeds from the Tequila and Taco Music Festival will benefit FOOD Share.

Tacos and Tequila Music Festival creator Vincenzo Giammanco talked about some of Ventura County’s favorite indulgences with the VCReporter this week.

For the last several years, you have really made your mark in Ventura with wine and craft beer festivals. Now you are on to craft tequila with the upcoming festival at RiverPark.
My team’s goal as event producers is to create signature events that people can come out to with friends and family and have a good time in a beautiful setting. We are excited about producing the first original signature event for The Collection at RiverPark. If you think tequila is taken with lime and salt, then you need to come and educate your palate at the Tequila and Taco Music Festival. There will be several different styles and flavors of tequila for you to sample along with meeting the people who created the brand. Craft tequila is just like craft beer, small batches being made with original flavor.

How many local craft tequila vendors will you have?
• Alquimia Organic Tequila (Oxnard)
• Karma Tequila (Thousand Oaks)
• Carlos Murphy Cinnamon Tequila (Thousand Oaks)
• 88 Tequila (Inland Empire)
• Hotel California (Los Angles)  

What is the distinction of a good tequila?
That’s up to you. Just like wine and beer, there will be some you like and some you don’t. That’s what this event is all about, it gives our guest the opportunity to sample a variety of styles and brands to find what you think is a good tequila.

You know many Ventura County residents love their tacos. Sounds like you were filling a niche. What are some of the more unique tacos that will be featured at the first annual Taco and Tequila Music Festival?
Who doesn’t love tacos? This is another reason I’m excited about this event; there will be several food vendors at the event and everybody will have some sort of fusion taco.

For example, Spencer Makenzie’s, voted best fish tacos in Ventura County three years in a row, is offering a special tequila-infused mango salsa to go along with a seared ahi and fish taco for the Tequila and Taco Music Festival only. Chicken garlic fries tacos from Burt’s Garlic Fries booth, voted Best Chicken Garlic Fries Taco from Burt the Bear himself! The local Texas-style barbecue food truck, It’s in the Sauce, will have a Mama Mia Taco: slow-roasted pork taco, Texas style.  El Rey Cantina will also be offering their delicious house-made street tacos.  Kona Ice will have ice cream tacos.

What or who was your inspiration behind creating this festival?
For a number of years, I have been trying to produce this festival and make it happen, but for one reason or another, the timing was not right. We really wanted to create a new style of event that is different from any other event in Ventura County and I love tequila and tacos! Finding the right venue with a good vibe is 90 percent of making a great event happen. When I first walked through [the] Collection’s park, where the event is going to be held, I knew instantly we found our venue; and the ball started rolling from there. We are excited to bring something new and original to Ventura County.

For more information or to purchase tickets, go to



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