ATASCADERO — The City of Atascadero announced the 8th Annual Tamale Festival. The festival will be held in the Sunken Gardens and Downtown Atascadero on Friday, May 3, from 5:30 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, May 4, from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m.

The festival will kick off on Friday, May 3, starting at 5:30 until 8 p.m. with “Fiesta Friday.” Enjoy a variety of Tamale vendors and the opportunity to purchase tamales without the crowds. The Atascadero Chamber of Commerce will also be hosting it’s annual “Sip & Shop” taking place in the Downtown with over 15 participating businesses offering a variety of wine, beer, coffee, and cider to be enjoyed while shopping during their extended hours in time for Mother’s Day. 

Early bird tickets are available for purchase at The evening will also feature complimentary tours of Historic City Hall and a Fireworks Show taking place around 8:15 p.m. The best place to view the show will be from Sunken Gardens.


The main event, the 8th Annual Tamale Festival, on Saturday, May 4, from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m., will not disappoint. This year, there will be over 100 vendors on display, from tamales to a wide variety of food beyond to appease everyone’s pallet and appetite. 

If participants are thirsty, there will also be margaritas, craft beer, wine, and cider. Plus, a variety of merchandise vendors. 

Out of the 100 plus vendors, 30 of them are tamale vendors from across California offering a variety of tamales for purchase from gourmet to traditional to sweet.  

Entertainment will include your favorite emcee, Francisco Ramirez, along with Medina Light Show Designs, plus a wide variety of music from Voces Tapatias Mariachi, Mariachi Mexicanisimo, Ranchero Artist Manuel Enrique & his horse, the Famous Dancing Horses, and two Folklorico Dance groups out of Paso Robles, Paso A Pasito Group, and Paso Ballet Group. 

Live music will be featured across three stages, including Dante’ Marsh and the Vibe Setters, La Marcha Sound, Steppin’ Out Band, and Brass Mash. Enjoy bounce houses, Zorb Balls, obstacle courses, and bungee jumps from Bubble Fun 101 along with face painting, balloon animals, a photo booth with “Waffles” the miniature donkey and plenty of fun for all ages.

The “Best Tamale Contest” will be in the works, where all of the tamale vendors can showcase their outstanding work to our celebrity judges, who will decide the “best” tamale. Winning tamale vendors will be announced between 12 to 12:30 p.m. 

Don’t miss the Chihuahua Pet & Costume Contest taking place at 2 p.m., and the Tamale Eating Contest taking place at 3 p.m. Both events will take place on the steps of City Hall. 

The event is free to attend, but wallets are encouraged in order to purchase food, activities and merchandise. Be sure to place your orders from your favorite tamale vendor(s) to stock up, as tamales freeze well too. 

The festival thanks its amazing sponsors. Gold Sponsors: Avila Traffic Safety and Kirk Consulting; Silver sponsors: A.M. Sun Solar, Springhill Suites by Marriott, and Waste Management; Bronze Sponsors: 5 Star Rain Gutters, Planet Fitness Atascadero, and T-Mobile. All proceeds from the Tamale Festival’s adult beverage sales on Saturday will benefit the Friends of the Charles Paddock Zoo.

For event information and a full entertainment schedule, go to