Escondido, CA

5th annual Tamale Festival coming Nov. 2 at Grape Day Park

Karlos Paez on the Main Stage at last year’s Tamale Festival. Paez will be a featured player again this year.

Returning for its 5th year, the Escondido Tamale Festival has become a signature North County event. It’s a celebration of tamales and all the great Latin foods that have become iconic staples of California’s culture. It’s a look back at the history of the Spanish and Mexican settlers who influenced and contributed to our multicultural community, and a show of appreciation for the traditions, which have so positively affected Escondido.

This family festival is FREE General Admission with a VIP Ticket Option and anticipates 15,000 attendees. Enjoy gourmet, traditional and vegetarian tamales from 12 award-winning vendors, plus nearly 100 other food & craft vendors, Beer, Wine & Spirit Garden with games and live entertainment, Best Tamale Contest and the Chihuahua Costume Contest and Fashion Show plus Tamale Making Classes taught by the pros at Northgate Market. 

The optional VIP PACKAGE includes all General Admission benefits plus: VIP Event Swag Bag, Tamale Plate with two Tamales, Rice, Beans, Salsa, Agua Fresca, Tamale Making Class, 5-Tab Beer/Wine Wristband, 1 Raffle Ticket, Water Bottle & Exclusive shaded VIP seating area. VIP Tix $35 Pre-purchase/$40 Day of event, Designated Driver $25/$30 VIP TICKETS:

Grande Stage will feature traditional Mariachi, Aztec Dancers, Ballet Folklorico, Flamenco and Youth Dance Performers. Beer, Wine & Spirit Garden Stage will include Karlos Paez & Brian Jordan of the B-Side Players, Warren La Plante, Learn to Belly Dance with Sohaila’s Shining Stars plus fun & games too.

There is also a Kids Fun Zone with face painters and henna tattoos and a micro maker faire for adults and kids with interactive maker crafts such as building rockets, micro drones, cardboard combat bots, cigar box guitars, laser cut art, marble labyrinth, weaving fabric and sun cookers, plus Dukes Car Club classic low rider display. There will also be Hispanic Heritage exhibits. 

Also scheduled is a Best Tamale Contest, with special guest judges. Chihuahua Costume Contest and Fashion Show with prizes from Hawthorne Store.

Title sponsor is Northgate Market. Other sponsors include SDG&E, Escondido Disposal, Hawthorne Country Store, Minuteman Press, Visit Escondido, USA Multicultural & My SD North County.

The Escondido Tamale Festival is presented by the Escondido Downtown Business Association, a 501(c)6, for the marketing, support, and preservation of the 127 year Old Historic Downtown Business District. Escondido Downtown Business Association is located 243 S Escondido Blvd #701, Escondido, CA 92025. Call 760-877-8582.

Portions of the proceeds from the Escondido Tamale Festival will be used to promote Historic Downtown Escondido as a shopping, dining and entertainment destination.

Find out more at

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