Do you think you can judge who makes the best tamales in town? Don’t miss the inaugural Cinco de Mayo Festival and Tamale Cookoff
, taking place on Sunday, May 5, noon-5 p.m., at Cornerstone Gardens, 23570 Arnold Dr., Sonoma. Join a panel of celebrity judges, including Ben Flajnik
of Envolve Winery
(and former star of ABC’s “The Bachelor
”) and Maria Leticia Gomez
, and taste your way through an assortment of tamales prepared by professionals and amateurs alike.
Cinco de Mayo
festivities include live music, traditional Mexican folk dancing, raffle
and children’s activities. The fun starts at noon with a performance by Aztec Dancers
, followed by Mariachi Nueva Generación
and local favorite, Ballet Folklórico Quetzalén
. Children will enjoy face painting with Popo the Clown
, bounce houses, games and crafts. Additional food and beverages will be available from vendors. Families can bring a blanket and relax on the grass or explore the gardens.
From 12-2 p.m., attendees will taste and vote for their favorite tamales from the Professional category entrants. Official winners of the Professional and Amateur categories will be announced at 2:30 p.m., followed by a performance on the lawn by local band Tudo Bem
Organized by parents for Sonoma Valley Schools, proceeds from this event will benefit Sonoma Valley schools.
In addition to Ben Flajnik
and Maria Leticia Gomez
, celebrity judges include Sonoma Mayor Ken Brown
, La Luz founder Ligia Booker
, Laurie Figone
of “Cooking with Laurie,” food and wine writer Kathleen Hill
, and Louann Carlomagno
, Sonoma Valley Unified School District Superintendent.
Amateur tamale entries are still being accepted. Entry fee: $25, and entrants get a free ticket to the festival. For more information or to register, call 707-480-1805, or email email@example.com
Tickets purchased in advance are $18 for adults and $8 for kids 3-12, and include a full lunch and tamale tastings from all professional competitors. All children 2 and under are free of charge. When purchasing tickets, attendees can designate their school affiliation and a portion of the proceeds will go directly to that school. Tickets at the door will be $25 for adults and $15 for kids 3-12 - get your tickets early for the best price!
Tickets can be purchased online at http://tamalecookoff.eventbrite.com/
, or in Sonoma at The Toy Shop
, Readers Books
and Republic of Thrift