La Concha Fest de Laredos celebrates the famous sweet bread


Gateway City’s food is some of the best in the state, if not the country, and one of the delicacies that Laredo residents enjoy when the weather turns cold with coffee is the famous concha.

To celebrate this traditional sweet bread commonly found in the city, Laredo’s 4th Annual Concha Fest will be held from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday featuring food trucks, live music, beer and wine, live art, a vintage market, an art exhibition and of course concha vendors and a contest for the best concha. The event returns fully after not being done for two years due to the pandemic. The free event is hosted by the Frontera Beer & Wine Garden and is being held at the Pan Am Courts located at 3301 San Bernardo Ave.

“We’re going to have everything concha as we celebrate Laredo’s sweet bread because we’re going to have jewelry conchas, the art gallery that’s going to be on the property that’s going to have a concha art exhibit, and we’re going to have live art, so we’re going to have concha artists create live art,” said Sandra Rocha Taylor, owner of the Pan American Courts Arts Complex. “We celebrate concha at every meeting we have because they may have different pastries, but concha will always be the famous one because everyone just wants to have a concha. It just smells like Laredo.

According to Taylor, concha is an artistic type of sweet bread that can be made in several styles with artistic designs. Taylor said they’re even considering for next year’s event adding a special recipe category.

“People are very creative with their conchas, and basically you can do whatever you want because I’ve seen how some people have made burgers,” Taylor said. “Some made a Monte Cristo sandwich.”

Another attraction that will be at the event is the large papier-mâché sculpture by local artist and teacher Monica Sanchez. Sanchez was featured with her students in the latest Ripley’s Believe It or Not! book for another papier-mâché sculpture of giant maracas.

“It was my first giant sculpture, and I put it on TikTok and it went viral because it started as a way to motivate my students, because it was during the time of COVID and my students don’t didn’t want to do work, and I thought if I did something at home, that would motivate them to do something at home,” Sanchez said. “I decided to make a giant concha in my garage. and I documented the whole process via TikTok, and my students got really excited about it and it got really crazy from there.”

The giant concha is six feet around and is made of papier-mâché, chicken wire and plastic tubing. It takes a whole 15-foot U-Haul truck to transfer the giant conch.

“I’m so excited to show off this giant concha at Concha Fest. I want people to come see and take pictures and really appreciate this beautiful piece of art,” Sanchez said.

His entire process of making the giant art sculpture can be found on his TikTok account @mo.creates.

The event will also feature live music which includes two musical acts from El Paso and a lip-syncing tribute to Selena. Music lineup includes Anything for Selenas Tribute from 7-7:45pm, Raul Zamora from 8-8:45pm, Emilio Hinojosa from 9-9:45pm, Rey from 10-10:45pm, Hot Shot Kixxx from 11-11:45pm, and BoOsty from 12-12:45am

There will be several food trucks and local bakeries such as El Mejor Pan and Quickie Bakery selling their conchas. Some vendors will even offer the concha burger, and Frontera Beer Garden will also be open to anyone who wants a drink.

Several local restaurants, teahouses and cafes will also participate in Concha Fest. Towards the end of the night, the best concha will be announced.

“We’re going to have judges decide which concha is best,” Taylor said. “We will go in and get conchas from the different bakeries, and the judges will then select who they think is the best concha. For two years, the same winner has been Quickie Bakery. »

Saturday’s event will be the fourth festival of its kind in the city after missing the past two years due to the pandemic.

“Hopefully people will come out because it’s an opportunity for them to brush off their winter clothes, because that cold front will be there,” Taylor said. “It’s a good time to come, and we’re outdoors so people can come out and see other people and have some good food because there are food trucks if people don’t just want a concha because we have Mexican food, barbecue brisket, sushi, seafood and pozole”,

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