Tamales are plentiful this time of year, with independent restaurants and street carts serving them to uphold the Christmas tradition.
A few chain restaurants, such as El Torito, Del Taco, Miguel’s Jr. and even Wienerschnitzel, are getting in on the action. But in coming days there are several festivals and special events throughout Southern California that will offer greater variety of savory and sweet tamales from vendors.
Here is a sampling.
American Legion’s Los Angeles County Council’s Tamale Festival: Tamale vendors, contest and car show. Noon-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, American Legion Post 139, 24 N. Stoneman Ave., Alhambra. Free admission, register at allevents.in/alhambra or eventbrite,com
Indio International Tamale Festival: This event is marking its 30th anniversary is spread across four days with more than 40 musical acts. Performers include Banda Machos and La Santa Cecilia. New features include Mercadito de Noche with food music and shopping. 5-10 p.m. Dec. 1-2; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Dec. 3, noon-8 p.m. Dec. 4 at Miles Avenue Park, 82540 Miles Ave, Indio. Free admission, but wristbands for rides and attractions cost $23.95-$49. indiotamalefestival.com
La Habra Tamale Festival: Entertainment on three stages will include the Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea, contests hosted by KTLA’s Henry De Carlo and a tree lighting ceremony with Jimmy Reyes of Old School 104.7 FM. 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, Portola Park, 301 S. Euclid St., La Habra. Free admission. lahabratamalefestival.com
La Plaza Cocina: This museum dedicated to Mexican food will have tamale cooking classes on Thursday, Dec. 1 and Dec. 10, 555 N Spring St., Los Angeles. Registration, $60. aplazacocina.org
Las Posadas on Olvera Street: Procession at 7 p.m., piñatas at 6:30 p.m. weather permitting, Dec. 16-24, 601 N. Main St. olveraevents.com
Long Beach International Tamale Festival: In its second year, this event boasts vendors serving tamales from different regions of Latin America, as well as live music from such bands as La Sonora Dinamita and Mariachi Arcoiris de Los Angeles. 11 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, Long Beach City College, 1305 E. Pacific Coast Highway, Long Beach. General admission, $25. lbhomeliving.com/lbtamalesfest
Placentia Tamale Festival: Live entertainment, Santa pictures, beer and wine garden. 4-10 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, 100-200 block of Santa Fe Avenue and 200 block of Bradford Avenue. Free admission. placentia.org/tamalefestival
Posada Festival, Santa Ana: Tamale-eating contest, mariachis and more. 4-9 p.m. Dec. 18. 325 E Forth St., Santa Ana. Free admission. Reservations on Eventbrite. eventbrite.com