A festival in Farragut will combine music, tacos and tequila to support the area’s Remote Area Medical Volunteer Corps.
The Second Annual Cinco Southern Tequila and Taco Fest, for adults ages 21 and older, is scheduled for Saturday, April 29, in the parking lot of Gander Mountain, 11501 Parkside Drive.
A VIP portion of the event begins at 5:15 p.m. and general admission will begin at 6 p.m. The event ends at 9 p.m.
John Volpe, Abuelo’s general manager and Cinco event coordinator, said the event will take place rain or shine.
“I’m excited about it,” Volpe said. “It’s really great to be able to do something like this because these [RAM] guys work very hard to take care of people who can’t afford to take care of themselves, and it’s nice to be able to contribute and help them by raising money for them.”
“We’re happy to be a part of this event,” Chris Hall, RAM chief operations officer, said. “John puts in a year’s worth of work to make this event happen. We’re honored that the funds that he raises go directly to patient care in our own backyard.”
RAM provides free dental, medial and preventive care free to the public at its mobile clinics.
“About 80 percent of our operations are based in the United States with a high percentage of that being focused on Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia,” Hall said. “Last year, we treated a little over 30,000 patients, which delivered a value of care upward to $12 million. To do that, we had just under 10,000 volunteers.”
“We operate with no government funding” Jeff Eastman, RAM chief executive officer, said. “It’s all private donations and fundraisers, such as this event.”
“I’ve done several tequila events to benefit Remote Area Medical,” he said. “They asked me to do a larger one, and that’s what gave me the idea to do a festival.”
Since the event was a week away from Cinco de Mayo, he decided to get a bunch of Mexican restaurants and liquor and beer vendors to Turkey Creek and have a festival to raise funds for RAM.
“It was fairly successful last year. I think it’s going to be a lot bigger this year,” Volpe said.
Abuelo’s and Campbell Station Wine and Spirits are major sponsors of the event, with seven other sponsors on board.
“As of right now, we’ve got eight to nine good Mexican restaurants that are going to be there. Hopefully, two to three more will join up,” he said.
Attendees can purchase tickets in advance on the festival website at southerntequilafest.com/
General admission is $35 in advance and $40 at the door. For that price, each attendee receives six free drink tokens and two food tickets.
“They can try a couple different tacos, and if they want to purchase more, they can,” Volpe said.
Or, people can purchase a VIP ticket for $125, which will allow them to judge which booth has the best tacos and which has the best-decorated booth. They also can attend a private tequila tasting.
“The VIP area is going to have its own bar,” he said. “You get to go around and taste everybody’s food, judge the tacos, and you’re going to get a private tequila tasting.”
There also are designated driver tickets for $10.
“Costco is bringing out non-alcoholic beverages, and basically, [the attendees can get a] couple food tickets and hang out and have fun,” he said.