Despite Hart Bridge construction, city aims to bring new events like Jax Taco Fest to downtown

Despite Hart Bridge construction, city aims to bring new events like Jax Taco Fest to downtown

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Margaritas, music, and, of course, tacos.

Marvin Delgado is getting ready for the first Jax Taco Fest in downtown Jacksonville.

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Delgado is the owner of El Mariachi Loko food truck, and he’s ready to give Jacksonville a taste of what his business has to offer.

“We try to do traditional tacos, like with the cilantro and onions,” said Delgado.

On Saturday, Hemming Park will be filled with more than 20 vendors making over 50 different types of tacos.

Damien Robinson, the director of office administration for Friends of Hemming Park, said they've been trying to spread the word about new events taking place downtown for the past 5 years.

“There is a perception that downtown wasn’t safe, or that there’s nothing to do, when in fact there's tons of things to do,” said Robinson.

However, events like Jax Taco Fest will have to deal with nearby construction once football season ends.

City officials told Action News Jax that's when work on the Hart Bridge ramps will begin.

That will clear the way for the shipyards and a new entertainment complex at Lot J.

Action News Jax first reported in July that Welcome to Rockville is moving to Daytona Beach because of the construction. But, the city said it's doing several things to encourage more events​​​ like parks downtown that can provide space for those events.

Robinson said one thing people may not realize is that Hemming Park, where Jax Taco Fest is being held, is also a venue.

“We have the opportunity to work with different organizations, mission groups, lots of church groups that may want to hold their event here," Robinson said.

Delgado said new events like Jax Taco Fest will help introduce Jacksonville to new cultures.

“It’s good, because over here, it’s a lot of people. They know tacos, they want to try something new, something different,” said Delgado.

The first Jax Taco Fest takes place Saturday in Hemming Park from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The one-day event will have a variety of tacos, margaritas, food trucks, beers, live entertainment and even taco-themed activities. Attendees do not have to pay to enter the festival.

The event will have a kid zone and is also pet friendly.

For more information, click here.

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