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Tamale Festival winners announced 

Garcia’s Restaurant won first place in both Judge’s Favorite and People’s Choice categories.

–On Saturday, Jan. 19, the City of Atascadero hosted the 4th Annual Tamale Festival with eighty vendors in attendance and thirty-two of them being tamale vendors coming from all over San Luis Obispo County as well as from the far reaches of the Central Valley and Southern California, including Anaheim, Bakersfield, Hemet, Huntington Beach, Riverside and Santa Ana.

Each year, the festival has a Judges Favorite and a People’s Choice Tamale Contest. Due to the wide variety of tamales offered, there are three categories for judging: sweet, gourmet and traditional. Following are the results:

2019 Judges Favorite
1st Place ~ Garcia’s Restaurant, Atascadero
2nd Place ~ Mary’s Cuisine Catering, San Luis Obispo
3rd Place ~ Maria’s Catering, Anaheim

1st Place ~ La Luz Del Mundo, Ontario
2nd Place ~ Los Osos Mexican Market, Los Osos
3rd Place ~ Barrett’s Tamales, Huntington Beach

1st Place ~ La Luz Del Mundo, Santa Ana
2nd Place ~ Barrett’s Tamales, Huntington Beach
3rd Place ~ Los Osos Mexican Market, Los Osos

2019 People’s Choice:
(These Tamale vendors won across all categories of traditional, gourmet and sweet.)
1st Place ~ Garcia’s Restaurant, Atascadero
2nd Place ~ La Luz Del Mundo Paso Robles
3rd Place ~ Las Delicias de Zacatecas, San Luis Obispo

For the “Tamale Eating Contest,” presented by Que Pasa Mexican Café, following are the winners: Ages 12 & Over: Shawn Romagno took first place, finishing five tamales in under two minutes; Under 12 Years of Age: Daniel Nava won first place by being able to eat two tamales the fastest! For the “Chihuahua Contest and Fashion Show,” presented by Woods Humane Society of the North County: The Cowboy costume won the prize!

Save the date for next year’s festival: Jan. 18, 2020.

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