What’s better than art and tacos? To help kickoff the 2021 #EatBmt Restaurant Week, the Beaumont Convention & Visitors Bureau brought Beaumont a brand new type of event – an art walk and taco fest. Taco ‘bout awesome!
This was our first real post-lockdown community event, and I cannot tell you HOW GOOD it felt to get out and do something that felt so. normal. The weather could not have been more perfect, the art was so fun and bright and interactive and oh – the food could be a post all on its own! Ezra is prone to fits of loving exaggeration and often tells me “this is the BEST day EVER!” But he might have set a new personal record for the number of times I heard that at ArTaco – and I think he might have been right.
ArTaco completely took over downtown, spanning the area between the Art Museum of Southeast Texas and The Fire Museum of Texas. The festival was completely free to attend, but attendees were offered a $10 punch card that included 4 tacos and 8 beer samples. FOUR tacos and EIGHT beers for $10? Speaking my language! The tacos, as well as food trucks like Mabel’s (you MUST try the mangoes with chamoy & tajin!) AND free arts and crafts from community giants like Lamar University, United Way of Mid & South Jefferson County, McFaddin-Ward House, and The Art Studio, Inc were stationed around the Art Museum, while the Fire Museum Pavilion housed the beer garden, the live music, and more vendors and craft booths. It was intentionally designed this way so that attendees could enjoy both museums, all while taking in a brand new interactive art pop-up designed in collaboration with acclaimed Houston artist Shelbi Nicole, founder of Whimsy World.
We parked at the Beaumont Civic Center by the Beaumont Children’s Museum entrance (because hello easy parking) and started at the Art Museum. We hit every craft booth, colored a square for a community quilt, painted with the Art Studio, colored with sidewalk chalk, jumped on oobleck, rolled giant beach balls around and played in all the art!
After quite a while, we took the short walk down to the Fire Museum to see what else the festival had to offer. I have to say, it felt very fancy and metropolitan to be strolling downtown midday as a family to sight see and attend a hip community event like an art walk and taco festival. Beaumont is totally on the up and up, y’all!
The beer garden was set up under the pavilion at the Fire Museum, along with more vendors and more art installations from Shelbi Nicole. Sullivan’s BBQ food truck was set up there for another food option and cute little lawn cushions had been placed strategically around to offer space for people to lounge and enjoy the live music. The kids, of course, immediately took over all the cute little cushions and it was instantly tiny-WWE. But really, is there anything better than a whole passel of kids wrestling and giggling in the sunshine?
Everything was so fantastaco!
In all seriousness, it’s true that everything was amazing, colorful, interactive, fun, etc. All the best adjectives that could possibly describe a great day.
What made it perfect and really put the icing on the cake for us was how perfectly NORMAL it was. It could have been any day prior to March 2020 – and we were all so grateful.
My husband told me recently that he felt like his day-to-day was relatively unchanged by the pandemic. Yes, he’s required to wear a mask at work; yes, he’s increased his handwashing, and all of the other things that have become normal to all of us now. But for a homeschool family who found ALL of their extracurriculars shut down, there were days and weeks where we literally felt trapped. The negative effects of isolation on mental health, so I won’t get into that. Instead, I’ll just say a huge THANK YOU to the Beaumont CVB, everyone who worked behind the scenes, all of the amazing vendors, and anyone and everyone who was in any small way responsible for such a great event. They all worked tirelessly to bring joy, normalcy, and community back into our lives in such a fun, colorful, safe, amazing way. There literally are not words (despite the length of this paragraph) for how grateful I am to them for giving us the opportunity to have this perfect day.
I’d love to see this as an annual event in Beaumont! Would you like to see ArTaco return next year?