Louisiana Festivals: Zwolle Tamale Fiesta

Celebrate North Louisiana's cultural heritage and enjoy delicious food and family-friendly fun in Zwolle.


Zwolle celebrates their Spanish and Native American heritage every October with a tamale fiesta.

Zwolle Tamale Fiesta
Zwolle Tamale Fiesta

While you feast on tamales, enjoy performances and demonstrations at the festival.

For more than 40 years, the town of Zwolle has celebrated its Spanish and Native American heritage with the Zwolle Tamale Fiesta, a three-day event held the second weekend of October each year. More than 15,000 people gather in Sabine Parish to attend the celebration each year, and they consume tens of thousands of tamales.

Things to Do at the Zwolle Tamale Fiesta

The Zwolle Tamale Fiesta offers a heritage-rich, fun-filled weekend with plenty of delicious hot tamales, live entertainment, tamale-making demonstrations, a tamale-eating contest, arts and crafts, street dancing, parades, and a mud bog. Worried about the calories you'll consume at this tasty fiesta? There's a 1k walk and a 5k run on Saturday morning so you can indulge guilt-free. Carnival rides will keep the young and young at heart entertained for hours. The fiesta is fun for the entire family.

History of the Zwolle Tamale Fiesta

Zwolle was originally an Indian village that was occupied by the Spanish Province of Texas for many years. It was settled by the descendants of French and Spanish adventurers, who intermarried with the friendly Indians and with English-speaking settlers from Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas. The town was named for a community in Holland, in honor of a prominent Dutch visitor. The fiesta stems from a combination of the Indians’ and Spaniards’ culinary efforts to produce the most delectable hot tamale in the country.

Come for the Fiesta & Stay for the Weekend! 

The area's natural beauty and incredible scenery are perfect for a relaxing weekend. Take a breath of fresh air and throw in a line at North Louisiana's lakes and trails. North Toledo Bend State Park and South Toledo Bend State Park sit on the 2015 and 2016 top-ranked bass fishing lake in the U.S. according to BASS Magazine. Both parks feature a variety of accommodations from rustic campsites to RV hookups and improved cabins.

Can't make it to this year's Zwolle Tamale Fiesta? Try your hand in the kitchen with this authentic Zwolle Hot Tamale recipe. Visit Toledo Bend Lake Country for more information about this festival and all the other things you can do while visiting the Toledo Bend area.