Everything You Need to Know About This Year's La Gran Tamalada at Market Square


  • Dan Payton
With the holiday season in full swing, San Antonians will be wise to save the date for this year's La Gran Tamalada.

Put on by Cariño Cortez (of La Familia Cortez that runs Mi Tierra, Pico de Gallo, La Margarita and Viva Villa) and the folks at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, the annual festival, set for Saturday, December 8, is its biggest offering to date. The family-friendly event, a tradition for many locals, brings tamales to the forefront with workshops, lectures, entertainment as well as food and artisan vendors.

"Whether it's in the community or in your home, tamaladas are all about sharing memories and culture with the people around you," Cortez said in a press release. "By hosting this event in Market Square, we're inviting people into my family's home and helping to preserve cultural culinary traditions."

Along with the Cortez family, Mayor Ron Nirenberg and his family will kick off the event at 11:30 a.m. with a tamalada demonstration and skit. There will be demonstrations every 30 minutes, so attendees can learn from the tamal pros and even take some home. Abuelas leading the demonstrations will teach everything you need to know about the ingredients while serving up the inside scoop about different methods.

There will also be a special area for kids, courtesy of the San Antonio Public Library. Activities will include bilingual storytime, library loteria, tamal education, crafts and a photo op with Pancho Claus.

The fest, which outgrew its longtime location at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, will return to Market Square for a second year from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The plaza and surrounding area will be filled with live music throughout the day. As always, the festival is free and open to the public.
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