The nonprofit Tucson City of Gastronomy will kick off Pueblos del Maiz, the second annual month-long, bilingual festival that celebrates the gastronomies, histories, and food cultures of Maíz (corn) in Tucson and three other North American cities belonging to the UNESCO Creative Cities and Délice Networks, San Antonio and Mérida and Puebla in Mexico.
The festival, which runs in Tucson from May 4-7, is expanded this year with grants from the Arizona Office of Tourism, the City of Tucson and from Pima County’s American Rescue Plan funding for tourism recovery. To manage the event, TCoG has hired local event managers Galeria Mitotera, Ranch House Media & Best Life Presents, who have directed and successfully grown the last several editions of HOCO Fest, and more recently helped produce TENWEST.
Centered in downtown Tucson and extending to Mission Garden and Kennedy Park., Pueblos del Maíz Tucson will be a celebration of the major role that Maíz has played in Southern Arizona’s food heritage, gastronomy, and culture. The main program includes a free fiesta at Kennedy Park with street food, cooking demonstrations, a chef showcase, a white-cloth dinner, live musical performances, interactive art installations and educational activities.
The PDM follows and connects with the annual Agave Heritage Festival, April 27-30 and the Tucson Mariachi Conference April 19-23. Tickets for all PDM events can be purchased at https://www.pueblosdelmaiz.com/tucson#events .
A special kick-off event, A Taste of Pueblos del Maiz, will take place on April 16 from 5:30-8:30pm at St Philip’s Plaza and will feature food prepared by TCoG Certified Chef Ambassadors, live music, and tastings of local beer, wine, and spirits.
2023 PUEBLO DEL MAIZ EVENTS
Thursday, May 4: Opening Celebration of Popol Vuh and the Maya Art of Storytelling at Tucson Museum of Art – 5-8pm
This crossover event includes a free “First Thursday” art opening. In conjunction with Popol Vuh and the Maya Art of Storytelling, contemporary artist Justin Favela offers insights to his creative practice and his relationships with the Popol Vuh story and the work of Carlos Mérida. Then, enjoy the kick-off for his Family Fiesta—a public celebration and performance work featuring his family’s traditions, live music, art activities and more.
Thursday, May 4: Noche de Maiz Dinner at the Carriage House – 7-10pm
Tucson City of Gastronomy and Gastronomic Union of Tucson come together at The Carriage House to present an unforgettable kickoff to Pueblos del Maiz 2023. Chef Janos Wilder and Chef Gary Hickey will welcome three visiting chefs from UNESCO Pueblos del Maiz co-host cities, Puebla MX, Mérida MX, and San Antonio, Tex. Each chef will prepare a paired course to highlight the wide range of uses for the cultural staple, Maíz.
Friday, May 5: Maiz Showcase at the Tucson Museum of Art. Doors at 6:30pm / dinner 7-10pm,
Tucson City of Gastronomy presentsthe Maíz Showcase, a bocadito (small plates) dinner experience featuring some of Tucson’s finest chefs, restaurateurs, and food artisans including Wendy Garcia (Tumerico & La Chaiteria), and Analy Guzman (El Antojo Poblano). Juan Alamanza (El Taco Rustico), Devon Sanner (Zio Peppe), Sally Kane (The Coronet), Ayla Kapahi (Borderlands Brewery), Ahydée Almazán (Dolce Pastello), and Mary Steiger & Susan Fulton (Gourmet Girls Gluten Free).
Saturday, May 6: Processing Corn through Nixtamalization at Mission Garden 8am to 12pm
Educational and family-friendly activities with presentations and demonstrations for the corn-centered festival in collaboration with Tucson City of Gastronomy. This year, Mission Garden focuses on the processing of corn through nixtamalization.
Saturday, May 6: Maiz Fiesta at Kennedy Park 4-10pm
Tucson City of Gastronomy presents the 2nd annual “Pueblos del Maíz Fiesta,” a FREE family friendly community event at Kennedy Park. Starting at 3pm, Kennedy Park will transform into a Maíz themed fiesta with live music from Los Apson, Gertie & the T.O. Boyz, Los Hermanos Cuatro, and Mariapaula Mazon. The event will also feature over 10 local food and artisan vendors, chef demonstrations, family friendly activities, and art installations, all celebrating the cultural and agricultural significance of Maiz in the Sonoran desert.
Sunday, May 7: La Sonora Dinamita Concert at Rialto Theatre, Doors 7pm / Show 8pm
AHF, TIMC, and PDM co-present a concert featuring La Sonora Dinamita con Vilma Diaz