COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The Columbus Taco Fest is returning this weekend with 25 local food vendors, more than 15 retail vendors, a lineup of live music and a furry friends dress-up contest.

The family-friendly event is welcoming guests at Genoa Park from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday for the fifth annual taco fest. Admission is free with a portion of vendor proceeds benefiting the Columbus Diaper Coalition, an organization committed to providing diapers to families in need.

“We are dedicated to providing a festive and inclusive atmosphere for all attendees, while also giving back to the community through our partnership with the Columbus Diaper Coalition,” said Hugo Albornoz, a taco fest organizer. “We look forward to welcoming the community to this celebration of the city’s culinary diversity.”

Taco trucks, retail vendors and live music

More than 40 vendors are lining Washington Boulevard on Saturday and Sunday, along with three beer trucks, four drink stations, a VIP tequila garden, and a shot bar.

Guelaguetza Mexican Street Food, Taqueria Don Polo Mexican Food, The Naughty Lobstah, El Manantial Latino Restaurant, and Casa Hacienda Grill are a few of the 25 food vendors that will be on site. Raphies Fish N Chips, Sweet Tooth Ice Cream, J-Pops Handcrafted Ice Pops, and Big Bamboo Caribbean Grill will also be at the fest.

Guests will find 16 craft and retail vendors at Genoa Park, including Columbus Apparel Co., The Dude Planters, and Boujee Dog Bits. Havana B Kinds, Lucha Libre Superstore, APS Clothing, and Henna Fashions will also be selling.

View the full list of food and retail vendors here.

DJ Papi Juan and DJ Cale will host with several music acts taking the stage throughout the weekend. View the full lineup of live music below.

  • Waves De Aché at 1 p.m. on Saturday
  • School of Rock at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday
  • The Big Badd at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday
  • Shakin’ and Stirred at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday
  • The Labra Brothers at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday
  • The Wet Bandits at 1 p.m. on Sunday
  • Jesse Michael Barr and the Midnight Stars at 3 p.m. on Sunday
  • The Deeptones at 5 p.m. on Sunday
  • The Fabulous Johnson Brothers at 7 p.m. on Sunday

Puppy dress-up contest

Columbus dog lovers can show off their furry friends at the fest from 2 to 4 p.m. on Sunday while benefiting the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

(Courtesy/Columbus Taco Fest)

This year’s contest features three categories: Chihuahuas, small dogs and big dogs. Participants are encouraged to get creative and dress up their pups in the most impressive costumes. The judges will evaluate each entry and choose the winners based on creativity, originality and overall presentation. 

The prizes for each category winner will be donated by the fest’s sponsors. Learn more and sign up for the contest here.

Need to know

The taco fest is advising guests to come early due to anticipated demand for the vendors. In addition, drink tickets are needed to purchase from the beer trucks and drink stations, and are non-refundable. Any guest over age 21 who is buying alcohol will be required to show their ID.

Dogs are welcome at the fest, along with strollers, blankets and chairs. Motorized wheelchairs and scooters with three wheels or more are allowed to be used by patrons with disabilities. No golf carts, two-wheeled scooters or other motorized vehicles may be used. All mobility devices should be operated no faster than walking speed.

The fest is not allowing any outside food or beverage onto the festival grounds. Coolers are strictly prohibited.

While admission is free, guests can purchase a VIP ticket with access to the tequila garden and a tequila tasting hosted by Beam Suntory from 2 to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 2 to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The VIP experience also includes private bar access and a shaded eating area with a view of the stage. Learn more here.