The event promises live entertainment, arts and crafts, dancing, parades, children’s activities and plenty of delicious hot tamales.
The festival celebrates the rich Spanish and Native American heritage of Zwolle, which is located near Toledo Bend Lake in the heart of what was once known as Louisiana’s “No Man’s Land” — a strip between the borders of what is now Texas and Louisiana that was a lawless territory during the period 1806-1819 as the Spaniards and Americans debated the boundary line between the two nations.
Held at the Zwolle Festival Grounds, the activities also include carnival rides, food booths and specialty contests such as the best Spanish costume, best tamales, tamale eating and arm wrestling. Many of the events call attention to the social and political influences of the Native American and Spanish cultures in Louisiana.
The gates to the festival grounds on South Main Street open at 5 p.m. today and 11 a.m. Saturday. Admission is $5. There is also an additional $5 admission for those who want to watch mud bog truck racing Saturday at 2 p.m.
To reach the festival from Fort Polk take U.S. Hwy 171 north to the North Main Street exit in Zwolle. Take the first left onto Sabine Street then the first right onto South Main Street. The trip takes about one hour. For more information visit www.zwolletamalefiesta.com.