Third Time’s a Charm for Michelada Rumble at Santa Anita Park

By Hungry Hungry Harris

The old saying goes, “Third time’s the charm.”  And that saying totally rings true for the third installment of Super Steve’s Michelada Rumble.  After a few negative comments and reviews regarding the logistics and overwhelming attendance of the second Michelada Rumble back in March, Super Steve and company knew exactly what they had to do.  They came back and tackled everything they could have to make Round 3 one of the premier beer events in Southern California.

The experience this past Saturday was absolutely perfect.  One of the biggest complaints about Round 2 was the uncomfortable amount of people.  Everywhere you went you were surrounded by hundreds of people and every line you stood in was about 20-30 people deep.  Round 3 took over much more of the massive Santa Anita infield, so the crowd was spread out.  Super Steve brought in more Michelada vendors and even doubled up on some of the more popular ones.  Beer was also served at the Michelada tents.


As I walked around the festival grounds everyone seemed so happy to be there.  Everyone was smiling, but most importantly everyone had a beautifully crafted Michelada in their hands.  Single men and women were on the prowl and couples were as affectionate and loving as the first day they met.  From 11am to 5pm everyone acted as if they didn’t have a care in the world.


With the expansion of the festival, the Rumble needed to feel like a party no matter where you were.  Whether you were in the main festival area going down the line of Michelada vendors, chilling under the big canopy or waiting for the next Lucha Libre match, there was plenty of music to keep the good vibes flowing.  Jeremiah Red got the party started and kept it going all day long from the main stage playing his unique mix of hip hop, funk and KROQ party jams.  Later in the day the talented Sweet & Tender Hooligans serenaded the crowd with their epic covers of Morrissey and the Smiths’ classics.


For those waiting for the Lucha Libre, they were treated to G-Funk and freestyle music provided by DJ Tony Tone, West Coast Dave and fellow KROQ contributor Ramon Gonzalez.  They kept kicking out jam after jam and even inspired me to create a Spotify playlist with all my favorite 90’s Hip-Hop and G-Funk.  While the party was going down around the main stage and wrestling ring, roaming Mariachis were playing some fan favorites like El Rey and Volver.  The Mariachis were a classy touch, especially since this festival is heavily influenced by Mexican culture.


Speaking of Lucha Libre, these men put on one hell of a show.  Their energy carried into the crowd and everyone turned into a diehard fan during their matches.  There was high flying acrobatics and comedy.  At one point, one of the wrestlers was slammed so hard onto the mat it was later revealed that he received a concussion.  Much respect to these guys that go out there and lay it all out there for the crowd.  The main event ended with everyone including the referee flying off the top rope onto a dog pile of wrestlers.  If you get the chance, check out Lucha Vavoom, you will not be disappointed.


As for the name sake feature of the festival, the Micheladas were on point.  I roamed around looking for my favorite vendors and found some new favorites as well.  My go to, MicheladaMix1 hooked it up with their ceviche and Michelada combo.  Most of the drinks were actual works of art.  Art that you can drink and eat… and that gets you drunk.  Senor Chelada was also serving up beautiful Ceviche-ladas.  After a couple of the monster sized concoctions I had to chill and try some of the more tames drinks.  Although Don Chepe and Estilo Durango’s offerings were on the tame side as far as ceviche and shrimp go, they’re mixes were so damn tasty and refreshing.


I was also blessed with a Norwood’s Michelada, always a solid drink with plenty of cucumber and shrimp.  Camarones Cabrones had their fan favorite cucumber based mix and their line was packed all day long.  I always make the same mistake of waiting until the end to buy one of their bottled mixes and they always run out before I get back to them.  So if you guys are reading this, let’s talk.  Walking down the aisles of vendors it was awesome to see every vendor making money and making a name for themselves.  Outside of social media this is really the only chance these small businesses have to build and grow their clientele.  Every one of the vendors had beautiful presentations.  Michelada Bomb even had a Michelero pushing a cart around like a paletero hawking their bomb packaged mix.  There were plenty of drinks and mixes for everyone’s palette.  This event was truly all about the Micheladas and the people behind these amazing small businesses.


Micheladas have gone from backyard BBQ favorite to the beer aisle at your local supermarket all within the last couple years.  Festivals like Michelada Rumble are only going to make this trend bigger and better.  This past Saturday, you couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day.  The weather, the music, entertainment, the drinks, and people made this one of the best beer festivals in Southern California.  If you missed this one be sure to be on the look-out for Round 4.  And if you were there this past weekend, I don’t even have to say anything, I’ll see you next time.


More from Hungry Hungry Harris | Food Writer

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