Six months later, 11,000 people showed for round two. Since then, the rumble expanded into a series of six annual events at venues in Southern California, Pheonix and the Central Valley.
The Fresno Michelada Rumble happens noon to 5 p.m. Saturday at the Regional Sports Complex. Tickets are $30 the day of the event. The Rumble features samples of more than a dozen Micheladas plus Luche Libre wrestling, Folklorico dancers, a car show and music from Baby Bash, Trish Toledo and Karol Pasadas doing a tribute to Selena.
“It’s beautiful to be able to exhibit and show my culture, and for everybody to have a great time,” says Steven “Super Steve” Flores, who created the rumble while working as a DJ at radio station KROCK in Los Angeles.
For the uninitiated, a Michelada is Mexican drink made from beer, tomato juice and spices – you can think of it as a blue-collar Bloody Mary,
The most basic Michelada, the kind Flores drinks, is beer and lime and Michelada mix (there are plenty to choose from, Flores says), plus some Tabasco or Tapatio.
“I like mine simple and spicy,” he says.
Of course, the Michelada Rumble isn’t known for being basic.
This is a competition, after all, and the vendors are known to go all out. There are vegan-friendly Micheladas and those with cucumber and mango flavors. Adding shrimp on the rim of the glass in pretty common, but Flores has seen ceviche added to the mix. Also, gummy bears.. One company serves its Micheladas in cored-out pineapples (with ceviche, obviously). Another serves it frozen like a Popsicle. You just let it melt in the cup.
One company tops the drink with a whole nacho plate.
“It’s almost sometimes a meal in itself,” Flores says.
That more-is-better trend has actually carried beyond the Rumble and into Mexico, where the bartenders now want to know if you want it like they make it “or do you want it like you make it in California,” Flores says.
Details: Noon Saturday. Fresno Regional Sports Complex, 1707 W Jensen Ave. $20 in advance. $30 day of event, $40 VIP. micheladarumble.com
Other noteworthy events
Sudz in the City, 2 p.m. Saturday. Old Town Clovis. $30. www.eventbrite.com
Boots in the Park, 5 p.m. Friday. Rotary Amphitheater, Woodward Park. $29-$249. www.bootsinthepark.com
Chicano Family Festival, noon Saturday. 3585 N. Blythe Ave. Free. $5 parking. Search event on Facebook.