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Taco Fest celebrates food and culture in downtown Reading

When holidays or other big occasions arrive, Caroline Morse dresses up her two dogs in festive attire.

So for downtown Reading’s Taco Fest on Saturday, an event she had eagerly anticipated, Morse broke out brand new outfits for them.

Her boxer, Loki, and bulldog, Tonks, were catching everyone’s attention in their colorful serapes and small sombreros, and Morse’s friend Robin Phillips had her cane corso, Blanche, dressed for the event as well.

Morse of Pottstown was buying food to eat at the festival and to take with her and said she hopes the event becomes an annual tradition.

“It’s awesome that they’re doing this, especially in Reading, since it has such a huge Latin presence,” said Morse, who is of Mexican descent.

Tonks, left, and Loki are in the spirit of Taco Fest with their owner Caroline Morse of Pottstown on Saturday in downtown Reading (BILL UHRICH - READING EAGLE)
Tonks, left, and Loki are in the spirit of Taco Fest with their owner Caroline Morse of Pottstown on Saturday in downtown Reading (BILL UHRICH – READING EAGLE)

The festival was staged for the first time by the city of Reading, which does plan to make it an annual event, organizers said.

It ran from noon until 6 p.m. along the 500 and 600 blocks of Penn Street, In addition to having numerous food trucks, the event featured live music and activities for all ages, including a free fun run called the Cinco de Mayo 5k held by Nemesis Fitness of Reading.

Though it was drizzling early in the event, the streets were still busy with people buying tacos, empanadas, carne asada, quesadillas and other specialties.

Among the vendors was Casa Cortes, a Mexican restaurant on North Ninth Street in Reading whose employees said Taco Fest was a welcome addition.

“It’s a great thing for the community and the vendors who get to showcase their products and services,” said Jonathan Cortes, son of owner Maria Cortes.

While the brick and mortar version of Casa Cortes lists birria tacos as its most popular item, on Saturday it was flautas, Jonathan said, since they’re easier to walk with.

Despite the rainy start, a crowd begins to gather at Taco Fest on Saturday in downtown Reading. (BILL UHRICH - READING EAGLE)
Despite the rainy start, a crowd begins to gather at Taco Fest on Saturday in downtown Reading. (BILL UHRICH – READING EAGLE)

Reading City Core Manager Maritza Loaiza said the festival included things like ax throwing and face painting to make it family friendly while highlighting Latino culture through its local food trucks, a dance group and bands playing different music genres, including mariachi and corrido.

“We wanted to do something different, and the entire event lines up with Cinco de Mayo,” she said. “We wanted it to be fun and vibrant, and we wanted to bring as many people downtown as we could.”


Source: Berkshire mont

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