September 23, 2011

Tamale Fest 2011 features variety of activities

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Tamale Fest 2011 at Southern Illinois University Carbondale gives everyone the opportunity to enjoy fall Latino-style through several special activities.

Tamale Fest in the Old Main kicks things off on Sept. 28.  At Old Main Restaurant on the second floor of the Student Center, you can watch the preparation of homemade tamales and dine on the tamales and other Latino dishes.  Tickets are $6.50 for the buffet and drinks are extra.   Since this annual event is quite popular, you may want to make reservations by calling 618/453-5277.  Walk-in dining is fine as space allows.

The Student Center’s Craft Shop, on the lower level, is also offering three special workshops in celebration of Latino Heritage Month.  Learn how to make tamales at the Tamale Workshop.  Set for 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Oct. 4, you’ll discover how to create and steam tamales and can sample your handiwork.  The cost for the workshop is $12 and ages 12 and older are welcome.

There are two sessions of the Make a Piñata workshop where you can design, build and decorate a piñata, even adding your own prizes inside.  Sessions are set for 6-8 p.m. on Oct. 5 and Oct. 12.  The cost is $15 per piñata and covers instruction and materials to create the traditional piñata. Everyone is welcome and you can attend either session.

You can also find out how to made the stuffed pastry treat known as empanada at the workshop from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 20.   The cost is $12 and you can both make and taste empanadas.

Participants should pre-register for the workshops by visiting the Craft Shop downstairs at the Student Center or by calling 618/453-3636.  For more information, you may also email or visit the website at