Washougal, WA – The Southwest Washington Tamale Festival is a new event to celebrate the richness of Latino culture in Southwest Washington. Presented by the Southwest Washington League of United Latin American Citizens, the family-friendly event will be held in downtown Washougal on Saturday June 30, from 1 to 9 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
“Tamales are a traditional and delicious part of Latino food culture and are the perfect focus for a festival,” said Carmen McKibben, SW WA LULAC immediate past council president and event organizer. “As you would expect, we have vendors offering delicious tamales to purchase and enjoy while supplies last. We will also have other food offerings with a Latino flair, a beer garden, lively music and entertainment.” Entertainment will include guitarist Benjamin Rose at 2 p.m. and 4:15 p.m.; Ballet Papaloti Dancers at 3:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.; and Son de Cuba performing at 7 p.m.
The event will also offer a craft area for kids, lead by student volunteers from LULAC National Education Services Center Vancouver. “We will be doing lots of fun crafts with a cultural theme for elementary-age kids,” said event volunteer, Pat Cano. “Activities will include making Ojos de Dio crosses with Popsicle sticks and yarn, creating paper masks and painting plaster Day of the Dead skulls. It will be a whole lot of craft fun! Some cutting, weaving, painting and coloring!”
Rounding out the fun, there will be a tamale contest open to professionals such as restaurants, caterers and food trucks as well as individuals with their own family recipes. Entry deadline is June 22, 2018 and details can be found at www.swwatamalefest.com.
Entries will be judged in three categories; Meat, No-Meat/Veggie and Sweet/Dessert. Winners will be determined based on taste, technique, appearance and overall quality. Prizes will be awarded for the winning entries. Contest judges include Washougal Mayor Molly Coston and Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle.
“Tamale recipes are a source of pride not only with restaurants but among families as well,” said Hector Hinojosa, SW WA LULAC council president and tamale contest organizer. “This contest will be a lot of fun and give some bragging rights to the winners!”
Event sponsors include SW WA LULAC, BNSF, Law office of Eulalia Soto, Molina Healthcare, IQ Credit Union, Riverview Community Bank and Vancouver Brew Fest. It is also funded in part by City of Washougal Lodging Tax Funds.
Proceeds and donations collected from event will support future scholarship stipends for local youth.
“We are excited to share our rich Latino culture with festival guests and start a new local tradition,” said McKibben.