Agave Heritage Festival Returns for 2022

After a two-year hiatus, the Agave Heritage Festival returns on April 28 with a renewed sense of purpose and passion. 

One of Tucson’s most significant festivals, the four-day event celebrates the beauty, the spirits, the sustainability and the culture of the mighty agave plant and the strong Southern Arizona connection with the indigenous traditions of Mexico.  As the “City of Century Plants,” and the most bio-diverse region with more varieties of agave than anywhere in the U.S., Tucson is the ultimate destination for “all things agave.”  

Hotel Congress/Maynards will host the festival with support from Rio Nuevo, Visit Tucson, Sysco Food Service, Earth’s Healing, Bahnez Mezcal, University of Arizona College of Social & Behavioral Science and AZ Arts Live.  Todd Hanley, festival director and CEO of Hotel Congress/Maynards has worked tirelessly to ensure the festival’s return. “We are thrilled to continue bringing attention and awareness to Tucson and Southern Arizona through the lens of this truly amazing and resilient agave plant in the form of a four-day festival.  The Agave Heritage Festival offers a unique balance of culture, heritage, history, education packaged in an engaging and exciting four days of fun!”

The festival features a variety of individual events and immersive experiences for agave aficionados as well as those who want to learn more about this distinctive culture.  Events showcase the broad diversity of agave beverages like Sotol, Bacanora and Raicilla along with workshops on the history and lore of traditional Mexican fermented beverages.  Renowned agave experts will be in attendance at festival events including “Ignite Agave”, a special event featuring the Women of Mezcal; the Grand Agave Fiesta tasting event and a cocktail-inspired dinner created by Chef Brian Smith from Maynard’s and Mixologist Aaron Defeo from Lil Rituals Bar in Phoenix. 

Festival venues will range from the Plaza at Hotel Congress to Mission Garden, the Desert Lab at Tumamoc Hill, Crisol Tasting Room, Leo Rich Theatre and more. Music will also be an integral part of the festival.  On the opening night of the festival, the inimitable Lila Downs will perform at Centennial Hall and several additional entertainment events are planned at the recently opened Century Room Borderlands Jazz Club and Mezcal Tasting Room at Hotel Congress.  

Felipe Garcia, president of Visit Tucson, has been a valuable partner in the festival since its beginning and recognizes the economic impact that the festival can bring to Tucson. “The Agave Heritage Festival has been identified as one of our community events with the best potential to attract visitors from around the country. It continues to add to our prestige as one of the top culinary destinations in the U.S.,” he said.

2022 Agave Heritage Festival Sampling of Events

Thursday, April 28

2:30-4pm – Crisol: Mexican Fermented Beverage ’s Workshop/Lecture

8pm – Centennial Hall – Lila Downs Concert

10pm – Century Room – Lila Downs After Party presented by Bahnez Mezcal and Tequila Fortaleza

Friday, April 29

6-8pm – Tucson Leo Rich Theatre Ignite Agave – Women of Mezcal

7pm – Century Room – Larry Redhouse Trio Band

7pm – Crisol – Bacanora Tasting/Lecture

8-11pm – Downtown Restaurants Bars MezCrawl

Saturday, April 30 

7-10pm -Hotel Congress – Agave Fiesta

7-9pm – Crisol – Tequila/Raicilla Tasting

Sunday, May 1

5-6:30 pm Crisol – Sotol Tasting/Lecture

6-8pm Maynard’s Kitchen – Agave Cocktail Dinner with Chef Collaboration & Lil Rituals Cocktail Bar

ABOUT THE AGAVE HERITAGE FESTIVAL

The mission of the Agave Heritage Festival is to create an opportunity to all who are interested in continuing to explore and celebrate the cultural, commercial, and culinary significance of the agave across borders.   Founded in 2008. The festival is a city-wide, destination event that spotlights the southwest region through the lens of the agave plant.  Agave Heritage Festival celebrates the unique importance of the agave plant and borderlands culture with seminars, tasting events and world-class culinary events. Tickets and additional information for the Agave Heritage Festival will be available at https://www.agaveheritagefestival.com/home  on Mar. 1, 2022.

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