If you love Latino culture, this Rockford tamale festival is for you

This year's festivities start at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10.
This year's festivities start at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10.(Manuel Salgado)
Published: Sep. 2, 2022 at 5:23 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - It’s a fiesta! Tamale Fest is right around the corner, so here’s what you need to know to get the most out of this celebration.

Tamale Fest starts at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 at 3923 E. State St. in Rockford. Admission is $10 per person and there will be tons of chances for trophies, good food, dancing and fun.

This festival has everything; music, vendors, live muralists, a Lowrider show, a Latina Model Contest and even Lucha Libre (Mexican wrestling).

Organizers say that last year’s success attracted spectators from around the country, which is why this year, they’ve expanded their footprint to provide more space for food vendors and car show participants.

The tamale competition is the main event, judged by a panel of local celebrities and chefs to see who has the best tamale in the Rockford region.

Organizers say that winners will be recognized not only for Best Tamale, but for Rockford’s Best Mexican Restaurant. The festival will also have a Jalapeño Eating Contest winner ($250 cash),  a Miss Latina ($500 cash) and a Best of Show (Car show).

Proceeds from the festival will go to M.A.S.A. (Mexico Americans Saliendo Adelante) which provides entrepreneurial help for aspiring and current business owners and youth mentoring for young at-risk Latinos in the stateline, and the Miracle Mile, a business district association that supports entrepreneurs located in the heart of Rockford.

This year, a second entertainment stage has been added to host musicians and artists from all over: La Obra (Selena Tribute Band)Ballet Folklorico Mosaico Cultural(A folkloric dance troupe)Galli Lucha Libre aka Mexican Wrestling, Rey Cruz, Grupo Nivel 15, Dj Arsen, Dj Bizeone, Edith Sanchez La Charrita Moderna and more!

More Information and video of years past can be found at the Tamale Fest website here, on Facebook or by reaching out to MASA president Manuel Salgado.