Monday, June 17, 2024

Long Beach International Tamales Festival returns Dec. 9


The Long Beach International Tamales Festival, the day-long event dedicated to all things tamal, will be returning Saturday, Dec. 9 at Long Beach City College’s Pacific Coast campus—and yet again, expects to draw in thousands and thousands of people wanting to explore the almighty tamal, from Mexican to Guatemalan styles.

The result? A multi-cultural event that really begged the question as to why Long Beach hasn’t celebrated the tamal in such a festive way before.

(And hop on tickets: Not only have all the early bird tickets, from GA to VIP, sold out, but they’re going fast. Good news for members of my food group [aka Cronies], use the discount code BL10 to receive a discount on tickets.)

“As somebody who grew up with this holiday tradition, I remember making tamales with my grandma and my tias,” said Sal Flores-Trimble, head of LB Living, the organization behind the annual festival. “This was all while sharing family stories, going to la plaza and seeing all the Christmas decorations, the folklórico dancers, the music, but best of all: Eating delicious tamales on Christmas Eve together as a family.”

It is the memory of this that Flores-Trimble wants guests to experience as well, “embracing Mexican culture and theirs, Mexican history and theirs, and at the same time,introduce a new holiday tradition to people that come from different backgrounds.”

And that tradition is more than just the tamales: The festival features dancers, live performers, a homemade tamal contest (of which James Tir, aka @LBFoodComa, and myself will be helping judge), craft vendors, art…

This year’s event includes even more vendors than last year (Long Beach vendors highlighted in bold):

The Long Beach International Tamales Festival will take place on Saturday, Dec. 9, from 1PM to 9PM at the Long Beach College Pacific Coast Campus, located at 1305 E. Pacific Coast Hwy. For tickets, click here.

Brian Addison
Brian Addison
Brian Addison has been a writer, editor, and photographer for more than a decade, covering everything from food and culture to transportation and housing. In 2015, he was named Journalist of the Year by the Los Angeles Press Club and has since garnered 25 nominations and three additional wins. In 2019, he was awarded the Food/Culture Critic of the Year across any platform at the National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards.


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