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Margarita Fest: A glimpse of beach life in Lansing

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The Lansing riverfront will transform into a Jimmy Buffett-approved safe haven for “tourists” to wear Hawaiian shirts, flip-flops and seashell necklaces for its second annual Margarita Fest, sponsored by Lansing City Pulse and the Lansing Entertainment and Public Facilities Authority.

The festival will feature up to 15 local area bars, restaurants and distilleries vying for a shot at winning Lansing’s title of best margarita alongside entertainment from steel drum band Third Coast Steel, traveling mariachi troupe Mariachi Cristal and Jammin DJs.

“Margarita Fest gives a great opportunity to showcase the local restaurants and builds up an area underutilized in the riverfront to kick off summer,” Scott Keith, president and CEO of LEPFA said. “We have a ton of festivals and events this year, and it is fitting this first one is just looking for fun.” 

Last year’s festival sold out, he added. It saw 700 attendees. This year, 200 tickets have been added. VIP tickets have sold out, but general admission is still available, though going fast.

The celebration will also feature a costume contest. Patrons are encouraged to dress up in their most egregious and flaunty tourist-wear for the competition. LEPFA staff members will be weaving through the audience to highlight patrons with the best costume. Narrowed down to a handful of contestants, audience cheers will judge the winner who will receive free admission to next year’s festival. 

“I love to see people coming out having a great time,” Keith said. 

“Last year, we had people from all ages and walks of life attending. I love it when people from all backgrounds and demographics can get together to enjoy all the music and food right along the riverfront.” 

Food trucks Fire and Rice, Maria’s Tacos, The Smoke ‘N’ Pig BBQ and Sweet Sensations will be on hand to offer fresh food and desserts. There will also be a full-service bar for drinks and cocktails for those looking outside margaritas.

Admission includes 15 samples of signature margaritas. All attendees must be 21 or older. Last year’s winner was MP Social with a beet juice-based margarita. The winning recipe was fresh lime, lemon and beet juice with an orange-infused simple syrup.

Margarita Fest

May 31, 5:30 to 9 p.m.

$25 GA until May 24, $35 after May 24

(You must bring your print-at-home ticket or

have tickets with barcodes available

on smartphones to be scanned at the entrance)

Lansing Center

333 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing

(517) 483-7400

Bit.ly/margfest2019

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