The Indio International Tamale Festival is taking place this weekend, on December 6th and 7th. Held annually on the first weekend in December, it traditionally kicks off the holiday season – Latino style.
I’ve decided this weekend to take time off, not watch the news, particularly CNBC, and to avoid reading the business section of the New York Times. I’ve become obsessed with watching the daily gyrations of the stock market and with tracking the local real estate statistics. Instead of this obsessive behavior, I’m going to Indio to eat tamales.
The festival is currently in its 17th year and celebrates the rich heritage of the tamale. The first festival had an attendance of 2500; last year’s attendance was 115,000! Right here in the Coachella Valley, we have one of the top 10 All-American Food Festivals, as judged recently by Food Network TV.
Sixty-five tamale vendors will bring many thousands of these steamy delights to the festival. Tamales will come in all kinds of flavors, including but not limited to chicken, beef, cactus, chocolate, papaya, and strawberry – my favorite, and I hope it doesn’t sell out before we get there!
The Tamale Festival is a real family affair with rides, games, contests, and four different stages offering traditional Mexican Folklorico dancing and live music. For detailed information, including events, location and parking, go to their colorful Web site – Tamale Festival. See you there!