La Santa Cecilia, The Egyptian Lover and Together Pangea will headline the 30th annual Indio International Tamale Festival Saturday evening, which will feature traditional dances, a tamale judging contest and more.

The festival will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m., according to festival officials. This year, the event will be held at Miles Avenue Park, 82524 Miles Ave.

Thursday and Friday featured a holiday night market with two musical performances each day, holiday lighting, mercado shopping, food and attractions.

More than 30 musical acts will be presented `on two different stages — Fantasy Springs and Viva! Park, according to festival officials. A third stage, Community Stage, will feature a mix of traditional dances, tamale contests, a meet and greet and more.

Saturday will begin at the Fantasy Springs stage with an opening ceremony at 10:15 a.m. which will be followed by performances throughout the night from Mariachi Palmeros, DJ Ethos, Hip Hop Harry, El Santo Golpe, Las Tias, Subsuelo, and Los Fridays, before the headliners go up starting at 7:10 p.m. with The Egyptian Lover and La Santa Cecilia at 8:30 p.m. to finish up the night.

Viva! Park stage will also feature performances starting at 10:45 a.m. with the Academy of Musical Performance, followed by performances throughout the night by Nene, Jaelyn, Town Troubles, Los Blenders, Porte Compirando, Los Shadows, and Israels Arcade, before headliner Together Pangea goes up at 7 p.m.

Festival-goers can also make their way to the Community stage to enjoy a Danza Azteca Citlatonac at 10:45 a.m., a folklorico dance from Son De Mexico, a tamale judging contest at 2 p.m., a meet and greet with Hip Hop Harry at 3 p.m. and more.

Banda Machos and Nortec: Bostich + Fussible will headline Sunday night. In addition to the musical performances, there will also be a tamale eating contest, a folklorico dance from Sol De Desierto, the Escaramuza Charra Valentinas and the Salton City Surf Club.

Last year’s Tamale Fest award winner was Juan Carlos Barajas of Outside The Mesa, who was appointed as culinary director and will oversee the offering of tamales and other regional foods this year.

This year’s festival will also feature the Artesano Tamaleria to showcase and serve tamales from local households, offering participants an opportunity to take their home recipes into a commercial kitchen and into the mouths of festival-goers.

Admission to the festival is free, but passes for attractions such as carnival rides, the world’s biggest bounce house, luchador wrestling and roller skating will require the purchase of a wristband. More information can be found at

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