The City of Yuma's annual Tunes & Tacos Festival ranked first in its category for Outstanding Program/Community Special Event for populations of 25,000 to 100,000 at the 2016 Arizona Parks and Recreation Association (APRA) awards.
Each year, the APRA Awards Committee reviews dozens of nominations from throughout the state for awards recognizing the organizations, institutions, or agencies for the development, implementation or coordination of outstanding programs. Programs must have been conducted between June 2015 and May 2016. This year, there were five other nominations were in the same category as the City of Yuma's annual Tunes & Tacos Festival.
The Tunes and Tacos festival was first established in 2010, when it was simply known as the Taco Festival. It was initiated at the Ray Kroc Complex as a way to boost the Yuma Civic Center's brand awareness amongst the local community and to supplement revenue into the center. A live concert portion brought a new twist to the event in 2014, for the City's Centennial celebration. The increase in attendance that year led to it retaining the name Tunes and Tacos and continuing to include a concert each year since.
“Over the last six years, this event has grown, and it has gotten bigger and better,” noted Parks and Recreation Director Debbie Wendt, who presented the award to the City Council at its Aug. 17 meeting. “It wouldn’t have been possible without the great support we get from Mayor and Council, City Administration, and of course so many of the businesses and organizations that step forward to help us sponsor and put on this event.”
In 2016, City staff estimated that there were a total of more than 15,000 attendees throughout the day.