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79th Annual Friendly House Tamale Dinner Expands to Full-Day Fest & New Downtown Phoenix Location

Presented by APS, this event brings Valley Mayors & their chosen tamale-makers together for charity!

On November 15th, 2014, the 79th Annual Friendly House Tamale Dinner will move into its new event location at The Arizona Center in downtown Phoenix and present an exciting day of family-friendly festival activities.

Presented by APS and organized by Friendly House, a Phoenix-based non-profit organization that has proudly served the local community since 1920, their annual Tamale Dinner is the longest continuously running fundraiser in Arizona. Now with a new location and challenge to expand the event offerings, Friendly House hopes to bring a day of fun to downtown Phoenix from noon to 10pm. “Last year, we ventured into a partnership with 16 Valley Mayors to compete in the inaugural ‘Battle of the Tamales,’” says Lourdes Sierra, Tamale Dinner Chair. “This year, we are seeking Mayoral support again, only now with even more entertainment for attendees of all ages.”

Event committee members are striving to secure the participation of approximately 12 Valley Mayors, who will each in turn identify a selected hometown restaurant to showcase their tamale offerings to event-goers. These vendors will sell tamales of various types (chicken, pork, beef, etc.) along with side items to attendees. A selected number of restaurants offering unique twists on traditional tamales will be invited to participate in the festival as well.

At the event, a main stage will be erected at the corner of 5th Street and Van Buren, facing a large grass area where attendees will be encouraged to lounge all day to watch bands, dance troupes, and other entertainment in between bites of tamales and related Mexican fare. A beer garden will be set up under a picturesque cluster of trees, adjacent to another large grass area where a majority of the tamale vendors will be positioned. VIPs will enjoy access to a lovely tiered promenade of the Arizona Center, where a private bar, catering stations, and other surprises await.

The Friendly House will raise funds through sales of tickets, beverages, sponsorships, and a portion of tamale sales. Collectively, the money raised from the Tamale Dinner & Festival will provide tools and resources for individuals of all ages that participate in their stellar programs which fall within four pillars: Education (Helping Children & Adults Succeed in Education), Family Services (Improving Families Health & Wellness), Immigration (Providing Legal Service, Outreach and Advocacy), and Workforce Development (Increasing Financial Stability and Workforce Readiness).

If you go: 

When: Saturday, November 15, 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Where: The Arizona Center, 400 E. Van Buren St., Phoenix, AZ 85004

Cost: General Admission: $12 (includes 3 food & drink tickets)

General Admission Upgrade: $20 (includes 8 food & drink tickets)

VIP: $60 (includes 16 food & drink tickets, and access to VIP Lounge)

Kids 10 & Under: Free (does not include food & drink tickets)

Additional food & drink tickets cost $2 each

Parking: $5 in the adjacent garage; meters around event site; side street where available

Images courtesy of Friendly House.