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Tucson gears up for the 17th annual World Margarita Championship

Westward Look Resort to host long-running celebration of food, drink and culture
Posted at 4:35 PM, Jun 14, 2024

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — On Friday, June 14th, around 30 Tucson-area restaurants will compete to determine who is the master of margaritas.

The 17th annual World Margarita Championship will be hosted at the historic Westward Look Resort.

It’s an event featuring great food and drinks but it’s also an occasion to celebrate Tucson’s culinary culture and history.

Since 2007, the Southern Arizona Arts and Cultural Alliance (SAACA) has organized this event at various venues across Tucson to showcase the best food and drinks the region offers.

“We are more than happy to host almost 30 different restaurants who will be partaking in this event today,” said Jonathan Frahm, Events and Marketing Manager for SAACA. “They’ll be showcasing those regional flavors here, with really unique and creative margaritas and food entrees and desserts.”

Restaurants participating this year include Amelia's Mexican Kitchen, Bashful Bandit Barbecue, Dante's Fire, El Cisne, Highwire Lounge, Reforma, along with plenty more.

This year's championship returns to the Westward Look Resort, which also hosted the event in 2019. The choice of venue is significant due to its historical importance.

In addition to being one of the longest-running resorts in the area, the resort was once the favorite for high-profile guests such as John Wayne and Dean Martin.

“It’s one of the originals here in Tucson,” said John Ault, General Manager at the Westward Look Resort. “This opened up as a ranch house in 1912 and it’s the same year this opened as Arizona became a state so there’s a long, rich history.”

The championship will run from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Westward Look. Both VIP and general admission tickets have already sold out.

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Joel Foster is a multimedia journalist at KGUN 9 who previously worked as an English teacher in both Boston and the Tucson area. Joel has experience working with web, print and video in the tech, finance, nonprofit and the public sectors. In his off-time, you might catch Joel taking part in Tucson's local comedy scene. Share your story ideas with Joel at joel.foster@kgun9.com, or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram or X.