Maize-themed events leading up to the Pueblos Del Maíz Fiesta (SCHEDULE)

April 5, 2022
By Matt Sterner

Art, film, music & a collaborative dinner

Earlier this year, there was word about a big event in the works. The nonprofit Tucson City of Gastronomy, with support from Pima County’s American Rescue Plan, revealed a series of events meant to support funding tourism recovery and it created some buzz around the local community.

Now, more details have been released and there’s a lineup of events beginning on Thursday, May 5 and leading up to the big  Pueblos Del Maíz celebration on Sunday, May 8.

Photo courtesy of CLM-bv / Pixabay

The culinary cornucopia of scrumptious flavors and cultural festivities is a combination of Tucson familiarities and three other North American UNESCO Cities of Gastronomy, which include San Antonio, Texas and also Mexico’s Meridia and Puebla.

Plain and simple, Pueblos Del Maíz pays tribute to the important role maize (corn) has played in Southern Arizona’s food heritage for thousands of years. The festival extends into multiple venues across Tucson, too — Hotel Congress, Fox Tucson Theatre, Mission Garden, San Xavier Co-op Farm, and more.

Sentinel Peak view from Mission Garden (Credit: Jackie Tran)
Sentinel Peak view from Mission Garden (Credit: Jackie Tran)

In other words, the events have a lot of corn on the cob. Tucsonans can expect a block party with street food, cooking demonstrations, a chef showcase dinner, musical performances, a film screening, a photographic exhibit, and educational activities.

Take a gander at the list of events that have been revealed.

Tucson Pueblos Del Maiz Schedule of Events

Photography Exhibit: “Maize Traditions in Puebla” by Andres Lobato

Thursday, May 5, 5 – 6 p.m. at The Citizen Hotel, 82 S. Stone Ave.

Andres Lobato is an accomplished photographer, influencer, and journalist from Puebla, Mexico. He has dedicated himself to portraying different corners of the world, mainly Mexico where he finds his greatest source of inspiration in the identity that is shaped through landscape and culture.

Also, this event is totally free so come one, come all.

Movie Screening: “Maize in the Times of War” by Alberto Cortés

Thursday, May 5, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. at Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress

Film Synopsis: An indigenous Wixárika (Huichol) family in northern Jalisco, an Ayuuk (Mixe) family in Oaxaca, and two Tzeltal families in the jungles of Chiapas discuss their cornfields, their roads, and their homes. They reflect on the importance of their crops, and the practical know-how that enables the everyday epic tale of corn, as well as the dangers faced by this crop and the need to preserve the land used by countless indigenous Mexican communities and farmers to grow their cornfields.

This event is free to attend and immediately after the film there will be a live Q & A with film producer Carlos Rossini and Carlos Figueroa, director of Cinema Tropical.

A Maíz Showcase Bocadito Dinner Experience

Friday, May 6 – Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress
Hotel Congress
Photo courtesy of Hotel Congress

Tucson City of Gastronomy presents the Maiz Showcase, a bocadito dinner experience featuring some of Tucson’s finest chefs at Hotel Congress. The dinner will feature 10 small plates, Pueblo del Maiz signature beer from Borderlands Brewing Company, and more.

It’s a collaborative Maiz-themed menu by local award-winning chefs, restaurateurs, and food artisans, including Carlotta Flores and the Si Charro! Chefs, John Martinez (Tito & Pep), Don Guerra (Barrio Bread), Janos Wilder, Mateo Otero (Rollies Mexican Patio), Erika Muñoz (Seis Kitchen), Ayla Kapahi (Borderlands Brewing), Kristel Johnson (HUB Ice Cream Parlor), and Adam Krantz (Monsoon Chocolate).

Tickets are $50 per person and include entry to El Tambo Fest following the dinner.

El Tambó Fest

Friday, May 6, 9:30 p.m. – 2 a.m. at Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress

This event will feature music by Vox Urbana, El Santo Golpe, and El Tambó DJs. Since 2013, Tucson’s legendary dance party without borders is every Friday night at the Historic Hotel Congress. El Tambó — loosely, “The Drum” — celebrates the cultural remixing that has always taken place here in the borderlands.

Tickets are $15 per person.

Pueblos del Maíz Fiesta

Saturday, May 7, 5 -10 p.m. at Hotel Congress, 311 E. Congress
Hotel Congress
Photo courtesy of Hotel Congress on Facebook

Tucson City of Gastronomy presents the first annual “Pueblos del Maíz Fiesta,” a free block party at Hotel Congress and 5th Avenue. Starting at 5 p.m., Hotel Congress will transform into a family-friendly, maize-themed fiesta with plaza music from Gertie and the T.O. Boyz, Los Hermanos Cuatro, Las Trillizas y Dulce, and Native Creed.

Juan Wauters of Uruguay and Los Velvets of Nogales will provide live entertainment in the club. The party will also feature over 15 local food and artisan vendors and a panel conversation organized by the Santa Cruz Valley National Heritage Area, all celebrating the cultural and agricultural significance of Maiz in the Sonoran Desert.

For more information, follow Hotel Congress on Facebook

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At a very young age, Matt Sterner was gifted with the artistic ability to masterfully roll a burrito to the highest of standards, but the wrapped medley of delicious innards wasn’t his first love. Matt’s first true love was a...

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