Get your tamales on at Grape Day Park along with Dos Valles poinsettias, VC art

Hot tamales, Grape Day Park, be there.

Here today, gone tamale?

With a salute to that classic Speedy Gonzalez Looney Tunes animated feature, and a tip of the corn-based dough, Escondido hosts its first ever, and hopefully annual ,Tamale Festival.

Tamales are set to roll from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14 at Grape Day Park, 321 N. Broadway.

It's all in the details for First Annual Escondido Tamale Festival.

It’s all in the details for First Annual Escondido Tamale Festival.

The FREE festival will feature a VIP tamale tasting area — OK, that’s $35, the rest is free — local craft beer and wine garden, handmade craft vendors, low-rider car club display, Latin dance performances and Hispanic heritage exhibits.

Also on hand: Family-friendly food court with food trucks and traditional Mexican food vendors plus beer and wine booths and holiday tamale ordering. Fresh, homemade tamales will be on sale and available for order to enjoy over the holidays.

Entertainment on two stages features Mariachis, bands, Folklorico dance, Quincineara Fashion Show and, drum roll please, Chihuahua costume contest & fashion show. Please check out the craft and sugar skull decorating and inflatables, craft and holiday gift vendors and Escondido history exhibits.

A gourmet tamale cook-off competition will spice up the event, featuring Chef James Montejano of the La Valencia Hotel, Chef Jess A. Paul of The Wooden Spoon and Chef Claudia Sandoval, winner of MasterChef season six. The tamales will be judged based on flavor, filling, texture of masa, aroma and appearance.

Sugar skull making, piñata crafts, air rocket building, face painting and inflatable bounce houses will be on-site for kids to enjoy. Youth performances will take place on the pequeno stage, including a quinceanera fashion show.

The festival is presented by the Escondido Downtown Business Association. VIP tickets are $35 and can be purchased at For more information, visit www.escondidotamalefestival,com

Poinsettia time for the Dos Valles Garden Club.

Poinsettia time for the Dos Valles Garden Club.

 Time to Order Garden Club Poinsettias (or else)

Sun., Nov. 22 is the deadline to pre-order holiday Poinsettias from the Dos Valles Garden Club for pick-up at the Club’s Holiday Poinsettia and Plant Sale, 8 a.m. to noon, Sat., Dec. 5 at the Martin Gang Ranch, 28933 Cole Grade Road, Valley Center.

Seven varieties of Poinsettias in six-inch pots are available for $9 each, including Red, White, Burgundy, Monet, Shimmer Surprise, Ice Punch and Winter Rose.

Valley Center-grown plants come foil-wrapped and sleeved for gift giving. Some varieties will be available at the Dec. 5 sale, but pre-ordering provides the best selection.

Additionally, planted bowls, evergreen and succulent wreaths, outdoor and patio plants–plus an ornament swap–will be offered at the Plant Sale.

For photos of the Poinsettia varieties and an order form, go to Mail the filled-out form and a check to Sally Sanderson, 10123 West Lilac Road, Escondido, CA, 92026 before the Nov. 22 deadline.

The Poinsettia sale is a DVGC fundraiser to support community activities and scholarships for local students.

Example of Valley Center Art Association work courtesy of C .G. McGraw.

Example of Valley Center Art Association work courtesy of C .G. McGraw.

Valley Center Art Association announces 2015 Open Art Show

It’s Friday, Nov. 20 to Saturday Nov. 21 in the Community Room at the Valley Center Library.

Artists are cordially invited to enter their original art between 9:30 am and noon (no exceptions) Thursday, Nov. 19 at the Valley Center Library Community Room. Previous Valley Center Art Association (VCAA) art show, award winning art is not eligible for entry in the art show.

VCAA members and and high school students pay $10 for the first entry. Non-member entry fee for the first entry is $15. Additional entries are $5 each. No limits to the number of entries. Artists are invited to apply for VCAA membership on the entry date.

Judging will occur Thursday afternoon. Reception and awards ceremony will be held 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21. Yeah, yeah don’t sweat the refreshments. They’re gratis. VCAA members invite the public to tour the show and to attend the Awards Ceremony.

“This yearly event is a lot of fun,“ VCAA Treasurer, Ed LaBrado said. “Each year we are impressed by the quality of art entered in the show. There are many talented artists in the Valley Center and Pauma area. We invite all artists to enter their work in the show.”

VCAA president Barbara Graham in action.

VCAA president Barbara Graham in action.

Ribbons and cash awards will be given for original art in the categories of Oil & Acrylic, Water Media under glass or Plexiglas,  Mixed Media (One piece with mixed materials), Pencil, Color Pencil, Charcoal, Ink, Prints, Lithos,  Pastels, Block prints,  Monoprints, Photography, Computer Art, Three Dimensional (Sculptures, Models, Gourds, Ceramics,  Jewelry, etc.)

When the kudos have ended, artists are kindly requested to pick up their art Saturday between 4 p.m. and 4:15 p.m. Saturday after the show.

Art will be on display  9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the ‘brary.

The Valley Center Library is at 29200 Cole Grade Rd, Valley Center, CA 92082. For entry forms, more information about the art show and  Valley Center Art Association, art shows, classes and events please visit the VCAA web site at: or contact Barbara Graham at (760) 749-2923 or at: