The Southwest Washington Tamale Festival is coming to downtown Washougal on Saturday June 30, from 1 to 9 p.m.  Presented by the Southwest Washington League of United Latin American Citizens, the family-friendly event will celebrate the richness of Latino culture and is free and open to the public.

“Tamales are a delicious part of the Latino food culture,” said Carmen McKibben, SW WA LULAC immediate past council president and event organizer.  “We are excited to share aspects of the Latino culture at the festival with amazing food, lively music and beautiful crafts.  And tamales.  Lots of wonderful tamales to purchase and enjoy!”

The event will offer a craft area for kids, food vendors featuring tamales and other items with a Latino flair, a beer garden open 1-9 p.m., local craft vendors, music and dancing.  “We want to showcase the Latin and tamale vibes!” McKibben said.  Entertainment will include guitarist Benjamin Rose, Ballet Papalotl – Authentic Mexican Culture and Folkloric Dancers and the music of Son de Cuba who will perform at 7 p.m.

The event will also feature tamale contests open to professionals such as restaurants, caterers and food trucks as well as individuals with their own family recipes.  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. For contest rules and entry form, go to the event website.  Deadline to enter is June 20, 2018.

“Tamale recipes are a big 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!”

Food and craft vendor space is still available for the event.  Applications can be found at the event website

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 the event will support future scholarship stipends for local youth.  Contact the festival at for more information or follow them on Facebook.

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