Serving up tacos with soul


First-ever festival draws strong response

(Carlos Munoz of Watsonville's Taqueria Mi Tierra mixes up chavelas during the first-ever Summer Soul Festival at Pinto Lake County Park on Sunday. Photo by Erik Chalhoub/Register-Pajaronian)

WATSONVILLE — About a half-hour into the first-ever Summer Soul Festival at Pinto Lake County Park Sunday, Carlos Munoz was busy mixing up a dozen chavelas.

But the owner of Taqueria Mi Tierra found that he underestimated the response from the public, as he was quickly running out of cups to mix the drink.

"It's a first-time event, and I'm doing way better than I expected," Munoz said.

He wasn't alone.

Organizer Joel Mijares Jr. said about 1,200 people attended the event, which was put on by KDUB 99.9 FM and also doubled as the Taco and Chavela Festival. Ten vendors, from Watsonville and across the state, set up shop to sell their tacos to hungry attendees.

"I talked to pretty much everybody before the end of the event, and everybody was leaving empty-handed," he said. "They sold out."

The festival included performances by Brenton Wood, The Cover Girls and more.

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Nyreay and Luke Wild perform on stage as the opening act. Photo by Erik Chalhoub/Register-Pajaronian

Attendee Javier Gomez called the event "a beautiful place to be."

"The food is delicious," he said. "It's always good to have local restaurants serving up different tastes."

Mijares added that he met people from as far away as San Bernardino, Sacramento and Bakersfield at the event, many of whom said they were looking forward to attending next year.

"The fog didn't let up, but that didn't stop everyone from having a good time," he said. "We look forward to seeing what we can do for next year. Thank you to everyone that came out."

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People pour into Pinto Lake County Park to taste a variety of tacos and chavelas. Photo by Erik Chalhoub/Register-Pajaronian


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