Welcome back to another taco festival founder segment. We will be talking with Johnny McLaughlin, one of the founders of NJ Taco Festival. Lets have a little background on Mr. McLaughlin. He is the owner of Heartbreaking Dawns . Also the creator of this very Website! Now lets get to the questions!
So how did you get the idea start the festival?
The original idea for the festival came in a car ride to the Weekend of Fire at Jungle Jim’s. Myself and Steve Seabury from High River Sauces we’re talking about some ideas to bring a killer festival to New Jersey. New Jersey was the destination being that’s my home state and where my family and I live and where Heartbreaking Dawns is based. I had actually just started THIS page (Tacos Everyday) and an exceptionally serious obsession with all things Taco made it the obvious choice for us. With the very wide demographic we have in the state, the unique culinary culture and the serious foodie residents we both new that restaurants and vendors would bring true variety to a Taco festival
What is some background on the festival?
This is the inaugural year and the festival will take place on September 12th
at the Sussex County Fairgrounds(for directions click here
). We’re featuring 40 restaurants and food trucks all serving up New Jersey’s best Tacos! In addition to that we have a Hot Sauce Row, Killer Beer, Specialty Cocktails, Mariachi, Lucha Wrestling…. Everything you would need to have the Ultimate Taco Party! I think a highlight will also be the Taco Eating Competition sponsored by Moe’s Southwest. The preliminary rounds begin this week and I think by the time we get to the event the 10 finalist are going to be making record numbers in Taco consumption! You can see the schedule by clicking here
What is your favorite part of The festival?
That’s a tough question being the festival really is curated to highlight ALL THINGS TACO, but for me it will most likely be some of the more unusual vendors creating Tacos out of their unrelated specialties. I’m hoping to see some very wide styles.
Do you guys run any contests to win tickets ?
I think we will actually do one for the month of August RIGHT HERE
on Tacos Everyday!
Is there fun for the whole family there?
YES!!!! This is a family friendly event, while there will be Adult Only attractions like the Tequila Tastings, there is no shortage of stuff for the kids. We’ve got a Kids Corner featuring bounce house and inflatables, killer ice cream and hawaiin ices, and what kid doesn’t want to see some wrestling. My two year old Loves Tacos as well. We’ve gone to the same Taqueria every Tuesday since she was 6 most old.
Last but not least, what is your favorite type of taco?
Any killer featured meat with white onion, cilantro and lime….. Soft flour tortilla. For me it’s more about the core 3 additions, take any meat done right and add those three and your good to go. Of course lots of Hot Sauce on top too!