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Where to find tamale festivals in Southern California

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 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.

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.

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.

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