Indio International Tamale Festival back in December

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The Indio International Tamale Festival will be back after a two-year hiatus.

The city announced that the festival will be held on Saturday December 4 and Sunday December 5 at 100 Civic Center Mall in downtown Indio.

The Tamale festival was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic. The festival typically draws close to 100,000 people for a weekend of fun, food and games.

Admission is free, and parking is available in the County Administrative Building, Larson Justice Center, at the corner of Highway 111 and Oasis Street. Free shuttles will be made available.

Festival organizers are currently accepting food, retail and entertainment requests. To apply as a supplier, go to
indiotamalefestival.com/vendors. Applications must be sent before Friday 12 November at 5 p.m.

For this year’s festival, the city of Indio is partnering with CUSP and its founding producer, Gopi Sangha, in an effort to “elevate and improve the Tamale festival through 2023 “.

City officials say the partnership and joint investment in the community experience will bring a creative new vision to the festival spanning: branding, decor, music reservations, food and beverage preservation, attractions and more.

Sangha has experience producing several nationwide and valley music festivals over the past 15 years including Coachella, Stagecoach, Tachevah, and Splash House.

“The return of the International Indio Tamale Festival to the central desert stage shows our desire to bring world-class events to our local community,” said Indio Mayor Elaine Holmes. “We are delighted to take this year’s event to another level.

Sangha commented on the historic festival:

“It is an incredible honor to produce for the people of Indio and the Coachella Valley. A community that has ignited and inspired our careers in producing major festivals. We are excited to re-establish the Tamale Festival as a renowned cultural event in the region and use it as a platform to showcase local creators.

This year’s Indio Tamale International Festival will continue to feature old favorites such as handmade tamales, contests for the best tamale and tamale, carnival rides and a car show.

New festivities include dining areas with Tamales, signature cocktails and Micheladas.

Music bookings will include English and Spanish speaking artists, featuring both tour favorites and local features.

A new Mercado will bring crafts, merchandise, art and a farmers market to the event.

There will also be family attractions including luchador wrestlers and “The World’s Biggest Bounce House” by Big Bounce America.

“The Tamale Festival will continue to provide a rich multicultural and multigenerational experience complemented by holiday shopping for a wonderful day spent with family and friends,” reads an advertisement from the town of Indio.

The Talame Festival has been held annually in the city of Indio since 1992. It features the widest variety of handmade tamales that can be found in the world.

In December 2000, the festival made the Guinness Book of World Records for its record attendance of 120,000 people. Voted as one of Food Network’s Top 10 “All-American food festivals“, the highly regarded event is a favorite with locals and tourists alike.

For more information on the festival, visit: indiotamalefestival.com


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