It’s that time of year where local businesses are cranking out masa and folks are stocking up on husks to start making tamales for Christmas. You likely have your own favorite recipe for tamales, which might be something classic like red chile or something you came up with like barbecue pork belly. Either way, you’re invited to showcase your tamal-making skills at Casino del Sol (5655 W. Valencia Rd.) for the 11th annual Tamal and Heritage Festival.
Members of the community are encouraged to put their tamal assembly lines to work in their home kitchens to compete, where entries will be judged in traditional red, traditional green, sweet and specialty categories. Last year, Judith De La Rosao took first place in the traditional category and Daniela Soto won for her sweet tamal. Those interested in vying for the tamal title this year can simply show up the day of the event with a dozen of their best tamales. 30 have already signed up online to participate. There is no fee to enter.
However, this event isn't just about the tamales. Roasted corn, street tacos, fry bread, cocteles de elote, Mexican-style hot chocolate and more will be available for purchase at different vendor tables, along with some tamal samples. Tamales will be for sale for through vendors by the dozen, half dozen or singles. Jewelry, bead work and art vendors will also be at the event, along with live Tejano and mariachi music and Azteca and Folklorico dancers.
You can just come to celebrate all things tamal at the casino on Saturday, Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Entry is free and open to the public. For more information visit the casino's website