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Kicking off the 30th International Tamale Festival with music, food and rides

It’s a moment thousands of people have been waiting for... the 30th Annual International Tamale Festival in Indio!

Unlike years past, the tamale festival will take place over 4 days from Thursday, December 1 to Sunday, December 4.

This year Thursday and Friday will be "Mercadito de Noche" from 5:00 pm to 10:00 pm. This is a night market that will feature food, rides, and entertainment. Only about 50% of tamale vendors are expected to be out during this market event.

On Saturday and Sunday, all of the tamale vendors participating will be in attendance. This year, the number of vendors is said to be doubled compared to last year.

This is thanks to a new program called "Artesano Tamaleria" which allows families, community groups, church groups, and independent 'tamaleros' to come out and sell tamales. This program is an opportunity for these small groups to honor long-held traditional recipes and sell them at the festival.

LLDM Tuscon Tamales came all the way from Arizona, their first time at the tamale festival.

“We've been making tamales all of our life. We're here voluntarily, willingly, with all the energy and the love to get to help raise funds for everything that we're looking forward to," said Rebecca Granillo.

Coming in all different flavors, there’s a tamale for everyone!

Just a few tents down with a bit more experience at the festival, El Pecado’s Tamales took home some awards in 2021.

Rosie Ayon tells us after getting second place last year, she’s going for the gold this year.

“I want to have the best tamales so I can win first place," Ayon said.

It's free to attend, but you must pay for the rides and attractions.

Parking is permitted surrounding Miles Avenue Park. People are also encouraged to park in Old Town Indio and take the free shuttle service to the park.

Hours for the tamale festival have been extended this year.

Saturday, December 3 the festival will run from 10:00am to 10:00 pm and Sunday, December 4 from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm.

Click here to see the music lineup for the weekend.

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Samantha Lomibao

Samantha joined KESQ News Channel 3 in May 2021. Learn more about Samantha here here.

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