San Antonio Museum Lights

Tamales! Festival at Pearl

Event Sponsors

Date: December 1, 2012   Time: 12:00PM - 6:00PM

With over 35 different tamale vendors, guests will be invited to explore the full range of tamales from traditional San Antonio classics to South American to sweet, vegetarian and many more. 

The 3rd Annual Tamales! Holiday Festival returns to Pearl Saturday, Dec. 1 from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm presented by Silver Eagle Distributors, H-E-B and Interjet.  Guests will be invited to explore a Mexican streetscape full of the sounds, sights and tastes of the holiday season.  Pearl will also be bringing back the amateur tamale contest. Think your family recipe for tamales is the best in town? Enter for a chance to win more than bragging rights at the "Best Tamales in San Antonio".

The contest will award $1000 first prizes in each of four categories; Best Chicken Tamale, Best Pork Tamale and Best Wild Card/Unique Tamale and a new category, Best H-E-B Primo Pick Tamales along with $100 H-E-B gift cards to the four additional finalists in each category. The contest is free to enter and is open to individuals 18 years of age and older. Restaurants, caterers and professional tamale manufacturers are not eligible to participate. Tamales must be the original recipe and creative work of the person entering the contest. No third-party purchased tamales may be entered.

Registration forms can be submitted, and contest rules can be downloaded at or are available at the Pearl Administrative Office.  Registration forms must be received no later than 5 pm on Thursday, November 15. They can also be submitted in person Monday-Friday between 8 am ¬ 5 pm or mailed to the Pearl Administrative Office, in the Lab Building, 303 Pearl Parkway, Suite 300, San Antonio, TX 78215. Pre-registered contestants will be asked to deliver six fully cooked, chilled tamales for each category entered between 2:00 ¬ 5:00 pm on Sunday, Nov. 18, to the Pearl Studio in the Full Goods Building.

Five finalists in each of the three categories will be selected for the final competition, and will be invited to deliver one dozen fully-cooked, hot tamales to The Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio building during the festival for 3:00 pm final judging.

For more information on the contest and the Tamales! at Pearl Festival, go to or call (210)212-7260

Pearl, located north of downtown San Antonio, provides a unique experience as a top culinary and cultural destination. The mixed-use space features retail, dining, picturesque green spaces and paseos, a riverside amphitheater, educational institutions such as the Aveda Institute and the third campus of the Culinary Institute of America.  As a former brewery operating from 1883 to 2001, Pearl reflects a vivid past while embracing the future with LEED-certified complexes mixed with historic architecture.

The 22-acre Pearl site is home to the Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio and Aveda Institute San Antonio and the year-round Pearl Farmers Market. Pearl restaurants include Il Sogno Italian Osteria and the Sandbar Fish House and Market, both by CIA graduate and James Beard Award-nominated chef Andrew Weissman, La Gloria Ice House by CIA graduate chef Johnny Hernandez, NAO New World Flavors, from The Culinary Institute of America San Antonio featuring Executive Chef Geronimo Lopez and, Blue Box Bar featuring craft cocktails from Olaf Harmel. Pearl is also known for its shops including Melissa Guerra Latin American kitchen store, the Twig book shop, Adelante Boutique, Lee Lee Loves Shoes, Dos Carolinas, Run Wild Sports, The Synergy Studio and Bike World.  The Center for Architecture houses the AIA San Antonio and the Architecture Foundation of San Antonio.  Office tenants at Pearl include the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber, the Nature Conservancy, the CE Group, WestEast Design Group and other creative firms.  The Can Plant offering urban contemporary apartments with a place in history.  Event space includes the Pearl Stable, the Pearl Studio and the Pearl Park, a community gathering space, which includes amphitheater seating overlooking a stage alongside the San Antonio River Walk. For more information go to


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