The 2nd annual Escondido Tamale Festival Saturday attracted as many as 12,000 attendees to eat lots of Mexican food, although a lot of that was tamales, drink, enjoy local performers and watch Mexican style professional wrestling.
“The festival did great,” Alex MacLachlan, president of the Downtown Business Association (which put on the event) told the Times-Advocate. There were over 100 vendors.
Surprise guests were Lucha Underground, which is a Lucha Libre, Mexican style professional wrestling experience put on by Cricket Wireless and CAA Experiential, one of the premier sports agencies in the world.
Overflow crowds of 2,000 people watched two shows from inside and outside the Cricket Wireless arena, constructed on Grape Day park’s Great Green, as some massive professional wrestlers flew at each other, bringing soaring cheers from the crowd, which could be heard throughout the park.
On the Main Stage, there were many performances by local cultural dance and singing groups entertaining the crowds throughout the day. Event Entertainment Director, Angel Aguilar, put together a fine line up of talented local Ballet Folklorico dancers, Aztec dance group, trick ropers, and popular all female group, Mariachi Divinas.
On the “Best Tamale” contest front, local church vendor La Luz del Mundo took third place, second place went to San Diego’s own Coop’s West Texas BBQ for his delicious smoked pulled pork tamale, and back to back, 2015 and now 2016 Best Tamale Champion went to Escondido’s own El Tejate restaurant for their Chicken Black Mole tamale wrapped in banana leaves. The long line for El Tejate’s booth won best in show too, as everyone lined up to taste the best tamale around.