Legend Behind The Taco Mascot Tattoo

sarah_calavera in Stories

This little taco figure has been tattooed on more than 30 people and the story behind the team taco mascot tattoo is awesome!

This taco tattoo might look a little bizarre and you might wonder why would anyone want to permanently ink it on their skin, but before you jump to conclusions, read what this little guy represents. There are more than 30 people with versions of the taco tattoo and most likely more will appear in the future. It is the mascot of Team Taco, a group of volunteers, who work their fingers to the bone every year at the San Antonio Cocktail Conference in Texas for FREE. The Conference is four days long and one of the most important cocktail festival in the whole US.

The head honcho of the volunteer team is bar manager, Karah Carmack. Her team is the one behind the scenes of the conference chopping, juicing, mixing and prepping all the ingredients for the incredible craft cocktails served throughout the four days. It's donkey work but part of the appeal for volunteers is gaining experience and making industry contacts. Without them, the conference wouldn't run like the well oiled machine it is.

Bar manager Karah Carmack is the head honcho of Team Taco
Bar manager Karah Carmack is the head honcho of Team Taco

The team decided to get the taco symbol tattooed to represent solidarity between them and identify them as hard working volunteers in the industry. Team leader Karah also decided to get the same tattoo on her right forearm, only her taco is wearing a crown because she is the queen of the team.

Karah gets into her tattoo session at Doomsday Tattoo, San Antonio. Photo by Edward A Omelas at the San Antonio Express news
Karah gets into her tattoo session at Doomsday Tattoo, San Antonio. Photo by Edward A Omelas at the San Antonio Express news
Karah was tattooed by artist Carlos Gonzalez. Photo by Edward A Omelas at the San Antonio Express news
Karah was tattooed by artist Carlos Gonzalez. Photo by Edward A Omelas at the San Antonio Express news

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Photo by Edward A Omelas at the San Antonio Express news
Photo by Edward A Omelas at the San Antonio Express news

OK, so I bet you are wondering: WHY THE TACO? It's a cocktail festival not a Mexican food convention. Well, In exchange for their labor, volunteers receive free lodging, entrance to events and most of their meals. Volunteers of last year were mostly out-of-towners who weren't too used to the Tex-Mex diet and all they were given to eat, was tacos! One volunteer said “We are truly grateful for whatever we get, but we ate so many, it became a joke: ‘Oh, for the love of God, no more tacos.’” From that day on they called themselves "Team Taco".

Karah's taco tattoo took 45 mins to complete. Photo by Edward A Omelas at the San Antonio Express news
Karah's taco tattoo took 45 mins to complete. Photo by Edward A Omelas at the San Antonio Express news

The story goes that at last year's conference four volunteers went out and got identical tattoos of a black and white taco because for them it was a symbol of camaraderie and friendship. The next day 26 more volunteers went and got the same tattoo. Since then more volunteers have wanted to get the same symbol and organizers have set up a sponsored event where new volunteers can get the tattoo for free or veterans can get additional ingredients added to their own tattoo. The taco tribe may be small, but its legend is growing.

The original black and white taco design
The original black and white taco design
A volunteer enjoying yet another taco and showing his team logo
A volunteer enjoying yet another taco and showing his team logo
This volunteer has an addition perhaps a veteran of the conference?
This volunteer has an addition perhaps a veteran of the conference?
Another veteran volunteer shows her team logo
Another veteran volunteer shows her team logo
Team taco showing their solidarity and friendship...perhaps some aren't too keen on permanent ink but Sharpie does the trick.
Team taco showing their solidarity and friendship...perhaps some aren't too keen on permanent ink but Sharpie does the trick.

sarah_calavera

@Sarah Calavera

Skull obsessed tattoo fanatic, writer for Tattoodo, voice actor and visual artist who loves metal and headbanging. Inspired by Neil Gaiman, Tool, horror & the macabre.

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