Indio’s annual tree lighting ceremony will be held Thursday in conjunction with its 30th Annual Indio International Tamale Festival.

The free events will begin at 5 p.m. with the lighting of the tree at 100 Civic Center Mall, between City Hall and the public library, and the tamale festival in Miles Avenue Park, 82540 Miles Ave., according to city officials.

“The tree lighting ceremony is a tradition in Indio that parents and children alike look forward to,” Mayor Waymond Fermon said. “We want to celebrate this season of joy and giving and provide an opportunity for our residents to make some great memories.”

The Afghan pine tree was donated to the city 15 years ago, according to city officials.

Parents are encouraged to take their cameras and capture photos of their children with Santa, who will be available after the tree is lit up, city officials said.

Attendees can stick around and watch carolers from local schools, community performances and the twinkling lights of the tree, or they can make their way toward the city’s tamale festival, located less than a mile away.

The festival will be held from 5 to 10 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free, but passes for the carnival rides and attractions such as the carnival rides, bounce houses and rock climbing walls will require the purchase of a wristband.

More information can be found at www.indiotamalefestival.com/pass-details.

The festival will also feature over 30 performances, including Banda Machos, La Santa Cecilia, The Aggrolites, Israel’s Arcade and Las Tias.

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