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(Photo courtesy of Pueblos del Maíz Fiesta)

Your Guide to the 2024 Pueblos Del Maíz Festival

Updated May 17, 2024

From Thursday, April 11 – Sunday, April 14, the nonprofit Tucson City of Gastronomy (TCoG) hosts the third annual international Pueblos Del Maíz festival, which celebrates the gastronomies, histories, and food cultures of maíz (corn) in Tucson and three other UNESCO Creative Cities of Gastronomy. Participating cities this year include Tucson, San Antonio, Mérida MX, and Bergamo-Gandino IT.

Pueblos del Maíz in Tucson will be a four-day celebration of the major role of maíz in Southern Arizona’s food heritage, gastronomy, and culture. Centered in downtown Tucson, it will also extend to Mission GardenNative Seeds/SEARCHKennedy Park, and other venues across the city.

It will feature a free fiesta at Kennedy Park with street food and bands, cooking demonstrations by visiting chefs, a white-cloth dinner collaboratively prepared by visiting and local chefs, live musical performances, interactive art installations, and free educational tours, demonstrations, and presentations on the theme of maíz.

Native Seeds/SEARCH

Native Seeds/SEARCH Tour

Thursday, April 11 and Friday, April 12 from 10 – 11:30 a.m. each day

Tour the Native Seeds/SEARCH (NS/S) seed lab, seed bank, and conservation gardens. Learn about the rich history of heirloom seed conservation and seed banking in the Southwest and the diverse regional maize collection stewarded by NS/S.

The tour will be followed by a brief presentation on different types of maize and the processes and challenges of conserving it.

Learn more.

FORGE at Roy Place

Sabor de la Comunidad: A Celebration of Hispanic Food Entrepreneurs

Thursday, April 11 from 3 – 5:30 p.m.

This community event will feature a fusion of food, music, business support opportunities, and product demonstrations, showcasing the rich diversity and entrepreneurial spirit thriving in Tucson. Attendees will have the opportunity to engage with local businesses, enjoy live music, and meet many of the Hispanic food entrepreneurs moving Tucson’s food forward. The event includes a panel on Success in Food Entrepreneurship moderated by Ray Flores, the President of Flores Concepts.

Borderlands Brewing Company

Happy Hour at Borderlands Brewing Company

Thursday, April 11 from 5 – 7 p.m.

Kick off Pueblos del Maiz weekend with a Viejo Pueblo at Borderlands Brewery. Taste the special brew made for Pueblos del Maiz with 60-day Tohono O’odham corn, grown at the San Xavier Co-op Farm right here in Southern Arizona.

Learn more.

The Carriage House

Noche de Maíz Chef’s Dinner

Thursday, April 11 from 7 – 10 p.m.

Tucson City of Gastronomy and Gastronomic Union of Tucson (GUT) present an unforgettable dinner to kick off Pueblos del Maíz 2024. Visiting chefs from sister UNESCO Cities of Gastronomy, Mérida MX, Bergamo-Gandino IT, and San Antonio TX will collaborate with award-winning local chefs to prepare wine-paired courses highlighting corn’s creative culinary possibilities.

Learn more.

Mission Garden

Tasting History: Corn Traditions

Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13 from 9 – 11 a.m. each day

The free program will include a display and interpretation of heritage and indigenous corn varieties grown at Mission Garden, a demonstration about making cal (lime) for nixtamalization of corn, a demonstration of the nixtamalization process, and tastings of fresh corn tortillas and traditional O’odham gaivsa (corn soup).

Learn more.

Pima Community College – Desert Vista Campus

Learn to Make Maíz Recipes from Texas and Yucatan

Friday, April 12 from 6 – 7:30 p.m.

Free cooking demonstrations and tastings of traditional and innovative maize dishes by chefs visiting from San Antonio and Mérida, Mexico.

Learn more.

Hotel Congress

BIDI BIDI BANDA (Selena Tribute Band)

Friday, April 12 from 7 – 11 p.m.

Bidi Bidi Banda is Austin’s first all-star Selena Tribute, embarking on their final tour! Composed of members of some of Austin’s premier Latin bands, Bidi Bidi Banda is the refried dream of Stephanie Bergara, a native Austinite who grew up listening to Tejano radio and singing into a hair brush while wearing her mother’s red lipstick. The band’s interpretation of Selena’s greatest hits will leave you belting lyrics, doing the washing machine, and reliving the greatness of the Queen of Tejano Music.

Learn more.

Kennedy Park

Pueblos del Maíz Fiesta

Saturday, April 13 from 4 – 10 p.m.

Tucson City of Gastronomy presents the third annual “Pueblos del Maíz Fiesta,” a  FREE community event at Kennedy Park. Starting at 4 p.m., Kennedy Park will transform into a maíz themed fiesta with live music from Los Gallegos and more. The event will also feature local food and artisan vendors, family-friendly activities, and art installations, all celebrating the cultural and culinary significance of Maíz in the Sonoran Desert.

Live music by:
Angel Norteño
Los Gallegos
Native Creed
Dámaris Bójor
La Nueva Onda
DJ TitoSuavecito

Learn more.

FORGE at Roy Place

“Tarpuna: El Maíz” Film Screening

Sunday, April 14 from noon – 1:30 p.m.

(2019, 34 min, Spanish with English subtitles)

Free film screening and Q&A with producer Dr. Pilar Eguez Guevara

Co-sponsored by the UA Center for Latin American Studies

In this award-winning documentary film by the Seeds Savers Network of Ecuador, traditional farmers in the highlands of Ecuador share their skills and traditions to preserve, exchange, and reproduce their most sacred seed. The film is a captivating journey into the indigenous ceremonial rituals, rich with cultural significance, that revolve around the sowing and harvest seasons and the preparation of corn-based recipes that have ritual and medicinal uses. The film’s producer, Dr. Pilar Egüez Guevara, will talk to the audience after the film.

Learn more.

FORGE at Roy Place

Milpas and Microbes: Landscapes of Fermentation with Dr. César Ojeda Linares

Sunday, April 14 from 2 – 3 p.m.

This free presentation by a pioneer in ethno-microbiology will explore how the traditional milpa agricultural system of Mesoamerica creates landscapes designed to provide the ingredients for a variety of traditional fermented beverages made with maize and complementary crops through microbial interactions.

Learn more.

The Rialto Theatre


Sunday, April 14 from 6 – 11 p.m.

Cimafunk is a Grammy-nominated, Afro-Cuban Rockstar. His name refers to his heritage as a “cimarrón,” Cubans of African descent who resisted and escaped slavery, as well as to the essence of his music that aims to subvert classical Cuban rhythms with innovative mixes of funk, afrobeat, and hip hop. Cimafunk has received overwhelming praise touring the U.S. and Europe, making a name for himself as one of today’s great showmen, performing an electric live show with La Tribu, his nine-person band from Havana. His live show is a celebration of groove and an unforgettable sonic and bodily experience. Cimafunk is redefining contemporary Cuban music as well as Afro-Latin identity and the fusion of black cultures. His latest album, El Alimento, was nominated at the 2023 GRAMMY Awards for Best Latin Rock or Alternative Album.

Learn more.

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