Catering van

El Palacio in Chandler specializes in authentic Mexican cuisine. [Submitted photo]

If you’re looking for a brief beach getaway, but don’t feel like driving to the nearest coastline, there might be a solution for you.

El Palacio of Chandler is hosting its third annual Rockin’ Taco Street Fest with a “Find your beach” theme on Saturday, Sept. 13, the weekend before Mexico’s independence day (Sept. 16).

“We decided to go with something a little more traditional and celebrate Mexico’s actual independence day,” El Palacio owner and head chef Anthony Serrano said.

The restaurant, located at 2950 E. Germann Road, will have several fun events including a salsa competition, margarita bar, beach games and live entertainment from 4-10 p.m.

The festival is Serrano’s brainchild. He wanted to have a family-oriented event to beat the heat as well as celebrate Mexican culture.

“Our goal is for everyone to have a good time and people can become a little more aware of the restaurant and the fact that we’re family owned and we do our best to help out the local community,” Serrano said.

Tickets are $5 the day of the event and children 12 and under are free.

The purchase of a ticket also includes a raffle ticket for a chance to win a trip to Ensenada, Mexico. Additional tickets can be bought for $5 or two tickets for $8.

While the trip is the prize, the proceeds go to a good cause. A portion of the profits will benefit Ballet Folklorico Quetzalli-AZ, a local nonprofit dance studio formed in 2008 with an emphasis on traditional Mexican dance.

“It’s important that we have this funding to have the appropriate attire and materials for kids to be able to come and enjoy this,” said Vanessa Ramirez, director and dance instructor of Ballet Folklorico Quetzalli-AZ. “These little events like the Rockin’ Taco and other events … are really what keeps us growing.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-6549 or Follow him on Twitter at @Eric_Smith__.

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