Atascadero, CA (Thursday, October 17)- The City of Atascadero is pleased to announce the expansion of the 5th Annual Tamale Festival to be held over two days in the Downtown, January 17th & 18th, 2020!

The City prepares each year for the annual Tamale Festival with countywide outreach to numerous local restaurants, caterers and non-profit organizations. Each year we also attend the famous International Tamale Festival held in Indio, California to gain new ideas to grow in an effort to promote Atascadero’s signature event. We also work to include the variety of vendors from tamale festivals around the state to bring back to our festival! The success of this event has been evident on the growing attendance each year, which has prompted us to grow to two days!

The expansion will include a Grand Opening Party to kick off on Friday evening, January 17 from 5-10 pm at Historic City Hall and the Sunken Gardens!  Enjoy music from two major bands, Brass Mash and the Dork band! As part of this additional day, we are adding a spectacular, NEW Firework Show! January is a good month to introduce a Firework show to our City and weather permitting; it will be a wonderful show to enjoy over Historic City Hall! Arrangements are also being made to include a handful of tamale vendors along with a variety of inflatable obstacle courses and bounce houses for all ages!

The fun will continue into Saturday, January 18 from 11 am to 5 pm with the actual Tamale Festival! Expect over 30 tamale vendors from across California offering a variety of tamales for purchase from gourmet to traditional to sweet tamales.  Entertainment on Saturday will include your favorite Emcee, Francisco Ramirez along with Medina Light Show Designs, plus a wide variety of music from the Mariachi bands to major dance bands like Los Gatos Locos band and the Steppin’ Out band, plus soloist Manuel Enrique and the Famous Dancing Horses! The festival will also include the Folkloric Dancers, bounce houses, Zorb Balls and obstacle courses plus face painting, balloon animals and plenty of fun for all ages! Close to 80 vendors will be on display offering everything from merchandise and crafts to adult beverages to a wide variety of food vendors beyond tamales to appease everyone’s palette and appetite!

The contests will return on Saturday too with the very popular “Best Tamale Contest” where all of the tamale vendors can showcase their outstanding work in creating the “best” tamale. The “Tamale Eating Contest” and the Chihuahua Costume Contest will also return! 

Do not miss this popular event! Atascadero’s 5th Annual Tamale Festival, January 17 & 18, will be a fun and exciting occasion for the whole family to attend, especially for anyone who loves tamales! The event is free to attend and enjoy the entertainment, but don’t forget to bring your wallet in order to purchase delicious food, activities and merchandise; AND be sure to place your orders from your favorite tamale vendor(s) to stock up, as tamales freeze well too!

For those interested sponsorship, please give Terrie Banish a call at (805) 470-3490. If you are interested in being a tamale vendor, other food or merchant vendors, the deadline to register is January 3rd at 5 pm. Applications are online at:

Sign up today as our vendor space fills up quickly!

For any other questions, please contact Terrie Banish at 470-3490.