Tamale festival this weekend

Last year around this time, I wrote about the Indio International Tamale Festival and how I love tamales, yet had never been to the festival.

I can’t say the same this year, because I went to the festival last year.

I had a great time!

I tried to sample tamales of every flavor that I found, from turkey to strawberry to pumpkin.

One of the things that makes the festival more fun is that many of the tamale booths have some sort of gimmick — dressing in traditional garb, for example — to entice you to visit their booth and try their tamales.

It’s not all about the tamales, either. They have plenty of other food to enjoy, rides and entertainment on four stages. Also, many of the old town shops open their doors for browsing and shopping.

If you love tamales and have never been to the festival, I encourage you to take the drive out to Indio. I plan on going again this year.

The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday (December 4) and Sunday (December 5). It takes place in downtown Indio, between Highway 111 and Indio Boulevard, along Miles Avenue, Towne Street, Smurr Street and Requa Avenue.

It kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday with a parade that begins at Miles Avenue Park.

Free parking (with a free shuttle to the festival) is available at the Larson Justice Center on the corner of Highway 111 and Oasis Street. Last year we just found street parking on Oasis Street near Miles Avenue, a short block from the festival.

Admission and parking are free. Tamales run from about $2.50 to $4, depending on the vendor and ingredients.

For a schedule of the weekend’s events, click here.

Hope to see you there!