News from the Tamale Festival
Indio, CA: The countdown is on for the 28th Annual Indio International Tamale Festival®, presented by Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, in conjunction with the City of Indio and KevaWorks, LLC. The celebration will take place Saturday, December 7, 2019 from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Sunday, December 8, 2019 from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Carnival rides will open Saturday, December 7 at 9:00 am and remain open until late evening. Festival activities will be located in Downtown Indio, located between Hwy 111 and Indio Boulevard, winding through the streets of Miles, Towne, Smurr and Requa.
The Festival will begin with an Opening Ceremony featuring local government representatives as well as City of Indio Mayor Glenn Miller and the City Council. Mr. and Ms. Tamale will be onsite to open the Festival and great guests with photo ops.
At least 125,000 people are expected to attend the two-day celebration. Live Entertainment will be featured on six stages, including two Community Stages. Admission into the Festival is FREE to the public. Over 75 tamale booths, a tamale eating contest, Best Tamale Contest, Artisan’s Corner, Kiddieland, four Beer Gardens, KidZone with free crafts, as well as over 250 vendors, sponsor displays, game alley and a carnival with rides and games make for family-friendly activities and are geared for all ages and community interests.
FREE parking is available at the Larsen Justice Center, located at Hwy 111 and Oasis Street and shuttle services are offered every half hour or guests can park on numerous streets surrounding downtown Indio. SunLine Transit bus routes include stops close to the Festival grounds. For more parking or bus route information, please visit: http://www.tamalefestival.net.
The Festival has been ranked as one of the top ten “All-American Food Festivals” in the nation by Food Network-TV. The traditional competition for best tamale recipe will be held with festival participants as judges. There will also be a tamale eating contest for kids and adults alike.
The Festival is produced by KevaWorks, LLC, in partnership with the City of Indio. Fantasy Springs Resort Casino will serve as the official presenting sponsor, as they have since 1999. Additional primary sponsors include O’Reilly Auto Parts, CA DMV – Real ID, Budweiser, Quick Quack Car Wash and T-Mobile to name a few.
Complete Festival details and schedules may be found online at: www.tamalefestival.net. or by contacting [email protected] or (760) 262-4633.
When: Saturday, December 7, 2019 – 10:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday, December 8, 2019 — 10:00am – 5:00pm (Carnival open until 10:00pm)
Where: Old Town Indio between Highway 111 and Indio Boulevard; occupies the streets of Miles, Towne, Smurr, Civic Center, Bliss and Requa.
DETAILED FESTIVAL ACTIVITIES:
Join us as we kick off the festival with goodie bags given to the first 100 participants, free face painting by Desert Recreation District, giveaways provided by Sponsors; Quick Quack and Monster Energy Drink. Vendors will offer samplings of tamales and other foods. Ceremony will be held on Saturday, December 7st at 10:30 AM on the Amigo Stage (Towne Street).
The Festival Grand Marshal will be Ms. Tamale, new to our team and here to join Mr. Tamale. American Legion Post 793 will post our nation’s colors. Members of the Indio City Council, led by Mayor Glenn Miller, will be in attendance, as will many local government officials.
Special participants will include Katrina Munoz from Shadow Hills High School who will perform the National Anthem as well as Indio High School band, All Valley Dance and Cheer, Scorpion Elite Allstars, CV Jr. Raiderettes and a few other surprises for kids and adults alike.
Two areas for kids this year! Kiddieland will offer rides and games (nominal fee) which include rock climbing, bounce houses, a slide, an obstacle course, Sphere Runner, Simulator Flying and more. KidZone Sponsored by SCRAP Gallery, this special zone for children will feature free arts and crafts as well as Face Painting, dumpster and mural painting, games and chalk painting on the streets. Take a photo with the Official Tamale Backdrop while you’re there.
BEST TAMALE CONTEST sponsored by Entravision Palm Springs
Vendors will compete in the Best Tamale Contest at 12:00pm on Saturday, December 7st on the Community Too Stage, located in the Artisan’s Corner at the corner of Miles Avenue and Smurr Street. Well known tamale makers including last year’s winners, Casa de Silvia and Nana Chuy’s Handmade Tamales, participate in the contest. A panel of ten judges, including local radio and TV personalities will select first and second place winners for nonprofit and commercial vendors in “gourmet” and “traditional” categories. Winning vendors will each receive a trophy to display. Master of ceremonies for the contest is KMIR’s very own Manny the Movie Guy.
TAMALE EATING CONTEST
The annual tamale eating contest will be held at 12:00pm on Sunday, December 8nd on the Community Too Stage. There are two divisions to participate in; one for 18 and under and one for 19 and above. Contestants must consume as many tamales as possible within two and a half minutes. Tamales will be supplied by Rincon Norteño Restaurant in Indio. Sign up today to reserve your spot in the contest.
Charles Bill won the adult category last year, beating out 10 others! We are already getting signups for this year, including Bill, who is ready to defend his title!
Schoepner Shows is bringing an array of family and adult rides to the festival, including Zipper, Gravitron, Gondola Wheel, Cyclone, and Giant Slide. They will also have games and a food trailer with popcorn, cotton candy, hot dogs, and candy apples. The Carnival will be open Saturday, December 7st from 10:00pm – 10:00pm and will end Sunday, December 8nd at 10:00pm. A Pay One Price pass (POP) is available for $25 and is good for one day. Ride prices are $1 per ticket and 24 tickets for $20. Pre-sale tickets will be available for $20 online; https://payonlyne.com/tamalefestival or contact Festival Office for information.
Feel the thrill of our midway of games presented by Schoepner Shows. Games of chance and skill, fun for all and win cool prizes. Games for all ages and skill levels will be available on Civic Center Drive, which during the Festival will be called Game Alley. Treat yourself to an ice cream, BBQ sandwich, Monster Entergy Drink, spin the wheel and win a prize from O’Reilly Auto Parts or check out the newest innovations from T-Mobile on the opposite side of the midway of games.
BLUE MARBLE PRESENTS OFFICIAL MARGARITA AND BLOODY MARY
Join us in one of our four Beer Gardens and enjoy a Margarita or Bloody Mary by Blue Marble. They will also have their airstream on hand showcasing and sampling their other flavors.
Local produce from local growers, including honey, dates and Napoli, will be on hand. Support our local growers, take home fresh fruits, microgreens, sprouts and veggies. Handcrafted wood signs and cutting boards will also be available in this area as well as BBQ Sauces and wooden flags, all handmade. The City of Indio Public Works Department will be onsite to teach Festival attendees about composting at their Compost Exchange.
SHOPPING AND VENDOR BOOTHS
There will be 300 booths representing over 150 vendors offering and/or selling foods such as an array of ethnic specialties, bacon wrapped hot dogs, roasted corn, BBQ, and delightful desserts; clothing and accessories; skincare products and aromatic oils, jewelry, music and more. Several featured vendors include Sutton Sunglasses, Face & Body Art by Dragonflyboog, Origami Owl and Scentsy and new to the festival, The Dough, featuring Thrifty Ice Cream, The Batter Up Bakery, featuring namo bars and cakes, and Cheesecake in a Cup, yep, featuring cheesecakes! Don’t forget to try lobster macaroni and cheese as well as delicious BBQ and tamales.
ARTISAN’S CORNER AND BEER GARDEN – PINATA STAGE
New! Food Trucks will join this area along with original handcrafted works such as metal art, painting, Christmas decorations and ornaments, decorative yard signs, wood carvings, jewelry, tie dyed clothing, and more. Crafts will be available for purchase both full days of the Festival.
Guests can enjoy craft beer selections and other tasty libations as well as a lot of covered seating for your convenience. CV Foodtruck Park will feature Afters Ice Cream, The Grub Plug, Haus of Poke and WTF Waffles to name a few! This area is open to all ages.
COMMUNITY TOO STAGE
New! Daily pinata breaking for kids throughout the day, sponsored by Walmart, Mayor Glenn Miller and KevaWorks. Check-in at the Pinata stage to sign up in age groups for the pinata breaking. Ages 2-12.
Over 75 booths of award-winning tamales will be available to the public. Vegan, barbequed, specialty gourmet and traditional tamales will be available individually or by the dozen.
-Recipes from all over the Southwest featuring pumpkin date tamale, pineapple coconut tamale, chocolate and strawberry tamales, shrimp and habanero chili tamale, green chili and baby back rib tamale, pulled pork with mac n’ cheese, tamale, cactus tamale, and hundreds more.
PHOTO FRAME- SOCIAL MEDIA OPPORTUNITES
Follow the map and find “photo ops” to post on social media. Eight (8) fun, Festival photo frames will be placed throughout the grounds for photo taking, sharing and memorializing the weekend. Don’t forget to tag the Festival…#ITTF, #IndioTamaleFest and more.
LIVE ENTERTAINMENT – Six stages
Live music, dancing, singing, and other diverse performances will be held on the Amigo, Fiesta, Sunset, Piñata, Community and Community Too! Stages.
Entertainers to include: dysFUNKsion, Flashback Boyz and Grupo Mojado to headline on Saturday, and Metalachi, Country Nation and Ruben Loredo to headline on Sunday. Specialty groups include El Ballet de Gary Ferrer, famous photographer who lost his vision and bacame a dance instructor, teaching young children the importance of folklorico dancing, mariachis daily as well as many others.
New! The Pinata Stage will also double as an Indie stage, hosted on Sunday by Minnie Green. Groups to perform throughout both days. Come sit under shade coverage and enjoy music that is heavily influenced by electronic, folk and rock music while relishing food from one of our many Food Trucks and a craft beer or glass of wine.
Local community groups include Tough Guys & Gals Do Dance, Folklorico Sol Del Desierto, Kidz Rock, Mariachi Nuevo Amanacer, Ballet Folklorico Las Florecitas Cesar Chavez Elementary to name a few.
Grounds Daily; Gilbert the Juggler will amaze guests with high flying items such as balls, clubs or rings, Mariachi groups will perform in the streets as well as various other costumed performers for your entertainment. The Living Desert W.O.W. (Wildlife on Wheels) animal program is located on the corner of Bliss and Towne.
For more information, please contact KevaWorks, LLC. at 760-832-8620-ext.1 or [email protected]