Thursday, July 18, 2024

Long Beach Taco and Tequila Festival to host legendary luchador Damián 666 for final match

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The 2024 Long Beach Taco and Tequila Festival is upon us—and it not only brings said tacos and tequila. The festival has become a cultural event as well, bringing in music, crafts, and performance that home in on Mexican culture. Come Saturday, June 29, it will invade Long Beach City College’s Pacific Coast Campus from 2PM to 9PM.

And with a much larger space than last year, it will be on an even grander scaler. Not only will it have a Grammy-nominated regional Mexican artist taking the stage but also host one of Mexico’s most respected luchadores. And who doesn’t want a little wrestling with their tacos and tequila?

Damián 666’s last match before retiring will be in Long Beach

One aspect of Long Beach Taco and Tequila Festival’s shift over the years since premiering at the Scottish Rite Theatre in 2021 is its dedication to the art of the lucha libre. Last year saw its largest outing of luchadores descending onto Long Beach to battle it out in the ring—but this year will see a genuine star come out.

Wrestling has long been intimately attached to Mexican culture as lucha libre. And since the 1980s, Damián 666 has been a part of that. Whether it was under his debut moniker of Caballero 2000 or Amigo Ultra or even stateside as Galaxy with the WCW, Leonardo Carrera Gómez has been a Mexican wrestling staple for decades.

“We’ve always been looking at ways to better incorporate Mexican culture into the festival and this year, we’re truly honored to host Damián 666 for his last wrestling match,” said Sal Flores of LB Living, the organization that founded and organizes the annual festival. “He’s a legend in Mexico and we couldn’t be happier to welcome him to Long Beach.”

The Tijuana-based luchador has also faced some serious concerns. Earlier this March, Damián suffered a heart attack and had to undergo an operation. Announced by his wrestling son, Bestia 666, Damián underwent an emergency angioplasty. Since then, he has been recovering—but wants to have one last go in the ring. And he’ll do that right here in Long Beach.

Yes, Grammy-nominated El Dasa will headline the music for the 2024 Long Beach Tequila and Taco Festival

Dasahev López Saavedra, better known as El Dasa, is from Sonora. And his roller coaster of a singing career is what has propelled him to where he is. While he was the youngest member of the Hermosillo, Sonora-based band Costa Azul, it wasn’t until he was the driver for the legendary Vincent Fernández that things ultimately changed. After hearing El Dasa sing in the dressing rooms of one of his shows, Fernández gave him the opportunity to perform at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Los Angeles.

That allowed his debut album, “El Dasa Pa’La Raza” and its lead single “Mentirosa,” to steadily launch his career. And it also earned him a Latin Grammy nomination for Best Banda Album.

Joining El Dasa will be artists representing everything mariachi to merengue and cumbia:

  • DJ King Steady Beat
  • Mariachi Cielito Lindo
  • Cristhian y su Orquesta
  • -La Nueva Ola de Cumbia
  • From the TV show, “Tengo Talento, Mucho Talento:” Camila, Janine, and Luis Con Ritmo

What else to expect at the 2024 Long Beach Taco and Tequila Festival

But make no mistake: The Long Beach Taco and Tequila Festival is, first and foremost, about food. And drinks. And combining them both. General admission is $25. If you’re looking to taste tequila samples, you’ll have to upgrade with either a $45 tequila tasting add-on or buy the $60 General Admission that includes a standard tequila tasting. VIP tickets—which included both a standard and premium tequila tasting—are sold out.

Here are the food vendors participating:

  • ISM Brewing
  • Los Reyes del Taco Sabroso
  • Full Send BBQ
  • Surfer Taco
  • Wendy’s Tacos
  • Thai Mex Cocina
  • La Loncherita Catracha
  • Tortas Las Jacochitas
  • Salvi Nation
  • Viking Burger & Wings
  • Enrique’s
  • Asadero Chikali
  • Island Spice Tingz Jamaican
  • Long Beach Lumpia
  • Gourmet Churros
  • Mexican Delights
  • Yummy Fingers
  • El Chef Mobile Kitchen
  • Lemonades R Us
  • Sweet Craving Food Truck
  • Daddy’s Best Feoyo Truck
  • Gulliver Lopez

The 2024 Long Beach Taco and Tequila Festival will take place on Saturday, June 29 at Long Beach City College’s Pacific Coast Campus, located at 1305 E. Pacific Coast Hwy., from 2PM to 9PM. To buy tickets, click here.

Brian Addison
Brian Addison
Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 25 nominations and three additional wins. In 2019, he was awarded the Food/Culture Critic of the Year across any platform at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.

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