MARSHALL — The East Texas Taco Fest will burst into downtown Marshall with a fiesta for all from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, hosted by The Marshall News Messenger.

“The mission of The Marshall News Messenger has always been to unite the community and to actively engage the public; we see this as an extension of those duties,” Publisher Jerry Pye said, adding The Marshall News Messenger was an active proponent in beginning the Wonderland of Lights and the FireAnt Festival to bring more tourism and economic dollars to the city. “We invite the community turn out for an event that promises fun, fellowship and tacos.”

The Marshall Rotary Club will operate the East Texas Taco Fest’s beer garden.

“The Taco Fest is an opportunity for us to give back to the community,” new Marshall Rotary Club President Jay Webb said.

He said the Pilot Club will help the Rotary Club. Also volunteering at the Taco Fest will be the Longview Rotary Club, Lions Club and Friends of the Animal Shelter.

“All of the community service organizations are stepping up to make sure this event is a success,” Webb said. “Through this event, we hope to bring back the spotlight on downtown Marshall. We are stronger together than we are separate.”

Event coordinator Dana Vega said the festival is designed to bring more interest to downtown Marshall.

“This is going to be a fun family event,” Vega said.

The festival will be filled with all-day music and entertainment from bands hailing from Longview, Gilmer and Fort Worth, filling the Christus Good Shepherd Stage with the sounds of blues, funk, country and Tejano. The Darrin Morris Band will headline the event, delivering their signature spicy blend of country music.

Patterson Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Patterson Toyota also will sponsor a car show, featuring late-model cars, low riders, street stock and antique hot rods.

Other featured events will include a washer tournament and a Chihuahua race for Chihuahua and Chihuahua mixes. For children, the Taco Fest will offer a Kid’s Zone featuring face painting, games and arts and crafts.

Tickets are for sale now at the Marshall News Messenger, 309 E. Austin, Marshall, and at Until Friday, the cost will be $10. Children 12 and younger will be admitted free.

The cost at the gate will be $15. VIP passes are limited and are for sale at the Marshall News Messenger and at for $40 each. VIP passes include special concert seating, comfort station, hors d’oeuvres, free water, two drink coupons.