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Food City’s Annual Tamale Festival Returns Dec. 3-4

Food City

Food City’s 21st Annual Tamale Festival will make its post-COVID debut Dec. 3-4 at the Mesa Convention Center in Mesa, Arizona. The event will be in partnership with Chicanos Por La Causa’s annual Angeles del Barrio event, which brings holiday cheer, free toys and health information to attendees.

Attendees will be able to taste and buy a wide selection of homemade tamales, the sales of which benefit local churches. Additionally, they can preview the tamale flavors available at Food City grocery stores this holiday season, including red chile beef, red chile pork, green chile chicken, chile and cheese corn and sweet corn.

“Tamales are a staple in Hispanic kitchens during the holidays,” said Mike Solis, director of operations of Food City. “We’re thrilled to reintroduce the Tamale Festival, which provides some delicious inspiration for attendees to take back to their own kitchens, as well as ready-to-serve options that let busy families enjoy a holiday favorite without the fuss.”

A highlight of the festival will be a Tamale Contest at 2 p.m. Dec. 4, when a panel of celebrity judges will name the “Best Tamale” from entries received from tamale makers across the state. Food City will recognize the winning tamale-makers with prizes, including: $1,000 in furniture from Del Sol Furniture (first place), a $500 Food City gift card (second and third place) and a new tamale pot with an assortment of tamale-making products (every contestant). 

The two-day event will also offer live mariachis, ballet folklorico dancers and other live entertainment, including Las Calakas, a Cumbia fusion band from Phoenix that will serve as the Dec. 3 headliner. Vendor booths will feature homemade gifts such as jewelry, arts and crafts.

Attendees can also participate in games and giveaways and receive health information and resources at the CPLC Angeles del Barrio on-site Health Fair, which will offer free booster seats for families with young children.

Attendees (and shoppers across Arizona) can also participate in Food City’s annual Tamalada Celebration. Through Dec. 16, people can submit their favorite tamale-making memory (including at least one photo) to Food City at myfoodcity.com/tamalada for a chance to win one of three prize packages worth $850 for first place, $450 for second place and $200 for third place. The Food City team will select and announce winners on Dec. 20.

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