INDIO, Calif. - The 22nd annual Indio International Tamale festival is coming up this weekend. The festival is ranked as one of the top ten "All American Food Festivals" in the country by The Food Network.
The carnival begins on Friday, December 6, and both the tamale festival and carnival will take place on Saturday and Sunday. The festival is held in Old Town Indio between Highway 111 and Indio Boulevard, and will fill Miles Street, Towne Street, Smurr Street and Requa Street.
The festival is free admission and officials said the event provides family-friendly activities, arts and crafts booths, and live entertainment for all ages. The traditional competition for best tamale recipe will be held, and there will also be a tamale eating contest.
However, it will cost you some money to enjoy the carnival rides. Officials said you can buy a pay one price pass (POP) for $20 and it's good for one day. Ride prices are $1 per ticket; 25 tickets for $23 or 80 tickets for $70 (all rides require between 3-5 coupons each).
Butler Amusements is bringing an array of family and adult rides to the festival, including Zipper, Gravitron, Tilt-a-Whirl, Cyclone, and Giant Slide. They will also have games and a food trailer with popcorn, cotton candy, hot dogs, and candy apples.
Friday: Carnival runs from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday: Carnival runs from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. and tamale festival goes from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The annual City of Indio parade will also begin at 10:00am at Miles Avenue.
(Those wishing to participate in the parade must complete a parade entry form in advance; please contact KevaWorks at 760-832-8620-ext. 46 or firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
This year's Parade Grand Marshal will be Timothy Bradley, Jr., the current WBO welterweight champion and former WBO and two-time WBC junior welterweight champion.
Vendors will compete in the Best Tamale Contest at 12:30 p.m. on the Fiesta Stage. Officials said well known tamale makers including Grandma Lupe will participate again.
Sunday: Carnival runs from 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. and tamale festival goes from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
At least 125,000 people are expected to attend the two day celebration which begins with a parade on Saturday morning. Performances will be featured on four stages.
Free parking is available at Riverside County's Administration Building at the Larson Justice Center on the corner of Highway 111 and Oasis Street. Public parking is also available on various streets around downtown Indio. Free shuttle services are provided by Lin Lines to all festival visitors from the Larson Justice Center. SunLine Transit bus routes include stops close to the Festival grounds.
KESQ/CBS Local 2 News and KUNA TV Telemundo 15 are proud sponsors of the Indio International Tamale Festival.
For more information on the tamale festival and carnival, visit http://www.tamalefestival.net.