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Agave Heritage Festival 2019

TUCSON, Ariz., (via Hotel Congress)— From the Tucson Basin, home to the succulent plants used to create tequila, bacanora, mezcal, pulque, and rich culinary and cultural arts traditions dating back 8,000 years, comes the 11th annual Agave Heritage Festival, with over 10 days of colorful and flavorful events from April 23rd to May 5th.

This year’s festival features artisan agave spirits, including the Sonoran region's Bacanora; Meso-American inspired gourmet foods; live Latin music and dance; botanical art; an award-winning documentary film – Agave: The Spirit of a Nation; agave roasting and fiber crafts; agave farm & garden tours and plant sales; lectures and seminars exploring the diversity and sustainability of the agave plant.

Recognized as one of the world’s premier small festivals, the Agave Heritage Festival attracts experts in the fields of regional food, spirits, agriculture, and sustainability. 2019 participants include The Modern Mixologist's Tony Abou-Ganim, Bat Conservationist Dr. Rodrigo Medellin, and Roberto Contreras, creator of Rancho Tepua Bacanora, to name a few.


IGNITE AGAVE! | Fox Theatre | April 26
A fun and engaging panel discussion about food, agriculture, beverage, and culture that features live music, samplings, celebrity chefs, botanists, and business owners highlighting the sustainable impact of the agave plant on our region.

EL TAMBO FEST | Hotel Congress | April 26
El Tambó is Tucson’s contribution to a national movement of young, latinx-centered cultural platforms celebrating diaspora and global dance rhythms including cumbia, reggaetón, dancehall, afrobeats, moombahton and more.

AGAVE EXPO | Hotel Congress | May 4
For one day only, the Hotel Congress Plaza transforms into a one-stop-shop for all things agave. Local nurseries will showcase many varieties of the agave plant, The Arizona Sonora Desert Museum will extend seminars and workshops throughout the day, and we will have a special book signing for Chasing Centuries, a new Agave-inspired book by Ron Parker. We will also present our 2nd annual Mezcalmania flash sale that day- take home some of the amazing mezcal spirits that have been highlighted throughout the festival!

An event filled with the traditions of the Southwest. Enjoy mariachi band performances, agave spirit tastings, and artist displays. Includes food vendors, a local produce farmers market, local makers, games for the kids, and much more.

The Agave Heritage Festival, founded by Todd Hanley, GM of Hotel Congress, was established in Tucson, first U.S. city to receive the UNESCO City of Gastronomy designation, in 2008. The Festival explores and celebrates the cultural commercial and culinary significance of agave on the border region through a festival of world-class culinary events, film, arts, music, seminars, trade shows, and more. The festival, which was established as a registered trademark event this year, has become a signature regional celebration attracting visitors from the Southwest and beyond, with a vision to make Tucson a premier destination for ‘all things agave’.

This year’s festival partners are Rio Nuevo, Visit Tucson, Start-up Tucson, TenWest Festival, The University of Arizona, the Tucson City of Gastronomy, Tohono Chul, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Sysco Food Services, Bat Conservation International and numerous local businesses. Many of the events featured in the festival raise funds to help support local organizations like Mission Garden and Native Seeds/SEARCH.

To learn more about the 2019 festival, please visit

About Agave Heritage Festival
Exploring and celebrating the cultural, commercial, and culinary significance of the agave across borders. Learn more at
"The agave, in short, was meat, drink, clothing, and writing materials for the Aztec! Surely, never did Nature enclose in so compact a form so many of the elements of human comfort and civilization!"

– William H. Prescott