Special to The Prospector

“The Bourbon and Whiskey Festival” will take place on Feb. 6 at the Sunland Casino Racetrack.

Bourbon and Whiskey Fest to hit the casino

February 2, 2016

El Paso has had their share of festivals celebrating the many different beers in existence, but the “Bourbon and Whiskey Festival” will be different. The Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino will be hosting a festival celebrating bourbon and whiskey in the coming weeks.

“We have the ‘Bourbon and Whiskey Festival’ on Feb. 6 and Wine Social on Feb. 13,” said Ethan Linder, director of marketing at the casino. “It is the first time either festival is happening at the Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino.”

The ‘Bourbon and Whiskey Festival’ will be the second alcohol-themed festival in a series of festivals the casino has recently hosted.

“Our recent ‘Tequila and Margarita Festival’ was at max capacity for most of the event,” Linder said. “We hope to draw a similar crowd for the ‘Whiskey and Bourbon Festival’.”

The event will not only feature a variety of bourbons and whiskeys, but also other features such as live entertainment.

The bands headlining the festival include the Sam Barlow Band, Magnum Blue Band and the Joe Barron Band.

Local country singer Joe Barron said it was great to be performing back at the casino.

“It’s been a while,” Barron said. “We always have a great time on the stage and the people are always very receptive from start to finish.”

The band, whose music focuses primarily on covers of original country music, will perform songs currently at the top of the charts.

“We are going to give a high-intensity show, with lots of upbeat, rocking stuff—everything from Eric Church to George Strait, and we even throw in some Nelly and 50 Cent for fun,” Barron said. “We will be playing a few originals, but definitely a lot of country covers of everything from the Top 40 and some older Texas country stuff to everything you can dance to.”

In addition to the live entertainment, The Cigar Dolls, a female entertainment group from South and Latin America, will partake in cigar rolling, which is the process of rolling a bundle of dried and fermented tobacco leaves into cigars. Linder said he believes this will be a good addition to the festival.

“We like the match and hope everyone else does as well,” Linder said.

The event will also feature a mechanical bull riding competition. The winner of the challenge will be awarded a monetary prize of $1,250.

Christian Perez, junior computer science major and whiskey drinker, said he would be interested in attending the ‘Bourbon and Whiskey Festival’ to experience new and different kinds of whiskey and to mingle with other people who have similar tastes to his.

“I would like to attend one to see and taste all the other types of whiskey there are,” Perez said. “I think it would be a nice way to meet others who have that interest and also bring some more people to come down and enjoy the city.”

As a whiskey drinker, Perez said he enjoys the fact he can come upon different and unique flavors each time he drinks it, and hopes he can experience that if he attends the festival.

“I like whiskey for its different variety of tastes it can provide, but prefer the ones that taste sweet,” Perez said.

The ‘Bourbon and Whiskey Festival’ will take place from noon to 9 p.m.

“Bourbon and whiskey, cigar rollers and a mechanical bull competition, that’s hard to beat,” Linder said.

For more information about the festival, call (575) 874-5200.

Julia Hettiger may be reached at [email protected]

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