15th annual Agave Heritage Festival takes place this weekend

People can experience demonstrations, tastings, and educational seminars.
Published: Apr. 26, 2023 at 10:27 PM MST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

TUCSON, Ariz. (13 News) -Starting on Thursday, the 15th annual Agave Heritage Festival will kick off, with various events taking place across Tucson until Sunday.

More than 16 businesses and organizations will participate in celebrating the sustainable, cultural, and commercial significance of the agave plant.

“We live in the semi-arid desert, and we share a border with Mexico, so let’s celebrate a product in a culture that is so important to our success both environmentally and economically,” said Todd Hanley, founder, and director of the Agave Heritage Festival.

The festival started in 2008 as a way to bring people to Tucson. Now, they expect more than 6,000 people to attend over the next four days.

“It started off as a one-day tequila festival with what we will call a cocktail showdown with bartenders and it has progressed to what you are going to see over the next four days,” said Hanley.

Hanley said the agave plant best represents Tucson and the region.

“There is a lot of native plants that people think of when it comes to this region, but for me, the agave plant is such a versatile plant it represents a culture. It represents more than just mezcal, more than just tequila,” said Hanley.

The festival explores and celebrates the agave plant’s cultural, sustainable, and commercial significance. Over the four-day event, people can enjoy world-class culinary events, agave tastings, and educational seminars.

“I also see the festival as a way to educate the consumer about what is important as we move forward with our environment, with our economy,” said Henley.

For returners, there are also plenty of new things for people to experience.

“The guided mezcal tastings, the idea behind those would be to get a small group of consumers interacting one on one with the brand owner some time even the distillery to discuss the craft or the culture you will of the product.”

While it may be four days of fun for many, it will also bring in a lot of money for local businesses and the city.

“Over four days we expect people to fly in from all around the country, obviously south of the border there is a lot of people coming in so that direct sales tax, that direct bed tax revenue, that direct food and beverage revenue is a part of the growth,” said Henley.

You can visit the Agave Heritage Festival website here for a full line-up of events and learn more about the agave plant.

The festival runs from April 27-30.

Be sure to subscribe to the 13 News YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/@13newskold