Is there anything better than a pitcher of margaritas and a pile of handmade tamales, piping hot inside their corn husks? If your answer to that question was anything other than "all of that and a rack of ribs," you're wrong. That's why a pair of dueling festivals, both being held this Saturday, will present right-thinking Memphians with something of a dilemma. They will be forced to choose between tamales at the Latino Cultural Center's first Tamale Festival at Caritas Village or margaritas at the Memphis Flyer's first Margarita Festival on the Greensward in Overton Park. Or maybe, since they're both in Midtown, folks can figure out a way to have a little taste of one and a little sip of the other.
"The heart of our festival is the tamale competition," Tamale Fest spokesperson Kristin Fox-Trautman says. "We have 10 teams headed by experts who've learned to make tamales or who have old family recipes that have been passed down for generations." Samples of the competition tamales will be available, and there will be plenty of Mexican and Delta-style tamales for sale. "I've been a volunteer with Latino Cultural Center for a couple of years," Fox-Trautman says. "When we got ready to grow our efforts, someone joked and said a hot dog festival would be perfect. Everybody loves hot dogs. But the tamale has a special place in so many Latino cultures. And even here in the South with the Delta tamale. And the corn dog!" Burritos, tacos, paletas, and funnel cakes will also be available for purchase. And hot dogs. General admission is $5 and includes two tamale tastes.
Tickets to the Memphis Flyer Margarita Festival include 15 margarita samples. Margarita mixologists will be competing on behalf of restaurants like Babalu, Swanky's, Happy Mexican, Molly's, Agave Maria, and many more. Proceeds from the event go to Leadership Memphis' program, Volunteer Memphis.