The Indio International Tamale Festival in Palm Springs, CA happens every year during the first weekend of December, and every year it draws tamale lovers from all around to celebrate food and heritage.
The 2015 Tamale Festival Will Run December 5–6.
Saturday hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. On Sunday, the festival will open at 10 a.m. and close at 5 p.m.
The Indio International Tamale Festival began in 1992, but the intoxicating aroma of tamales has been wafting down through the streets of Palm Springs for as long as the city has existed. It was Dave Hernandez’s idea to bring out the best tamale cooks of Palm Springs and make a major festival out of the traditional, delicious food.
Hundreds of Tamale Vendors Gather Each Year
Now hundreds of tamale vendors and hundreds of thousands of people crowd the streets of Indio every December. There are merchants selling souvenirs, games for children to play, and of course more tamales than you can possibly eat.
Grandma Lupe’s is the most famous of all the tamale restaurants at the festival, and repeat visitors recommend that you arrive early so you can get some of her tamales before they sell out. Reviewer Shirley N. on Yelp says that she waited an hour to get five tamales, and it was “the best $17.50 we spent. The one hour wait was definitely worth it.”
If people are willing to wait an hour in line to buy five tamales, the food is legendary. Fortunately for those who don’t want to stand in line for Grandma Lupe’s tamales, there are tons of other vendors along Miles, Towne, Smurr, and Requa Streets between Highway 111 and Indio Boulevard.