As autumn weather settles in, the Mississippi Delta is turning up the heat with James Beard Award-winning chefs, literary lights and live music from Cowboy Mouth at the 2017 Delta Hot Tamale Festival, October 19-21.

Greenville, Miss., the official Hot Tamale Capital of the World, will kick off the annual celebration of the region’s unique tamale heritage with in-depth, ticketed Delta tamale experiences featuring authors and chefs, plus a concert Friday night. On Saturday, the community’s celebration of tamales, arts and crafts exhibitors and family fun will take over downtown Greenville.

Here’s a quick look at the exciting ways to spend the 2017 Delta Hot Tamale Festival.

Thursday, October 19
Rub shoulders with 20 featured authors, artists and chefs while enjoying live music, hors d’oeuvres and cocktails at the ticketed Gala Welcome Dinner & Book Signing as part of the festival’s Literary/Culinary Mash-Up. The centerpiece three-course plated Delta Harvest Dinner is a collaboration of Cole Ellis of Delta Meat Market with Rebecca Wilcomb and Ryan Prewitt of Herbsaint and Peche in New Orleans. The festivities begin at 6 p.m. at Belmont Plantation, 3498 Highway 1 South in Greenville.

Friday, October 20
The festival’s popular Literary/Culinary Mash-Up continues with panel discussions and lunch featuring the festival’s featured chefs and authors at the Jake and Freda Stein Hall at E. E. Bass Auditorium, 323 Main Street in Greenville. Acclaimed authors and Greenville natives Julia Reed and Curtis Wilkie will appear alongside Pulitzer Prize-winner Thomas Oliphant and several James Beard Award-winning chefs on four panels at the ticketed event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

On Friday night, the historic Stein Mart Square in downtown Greenville lights up with a ticketed concert featuring Cowboy Mouth, with special guest John Williams and the A440 Band. Come hungry, though, because the venue will feature plenty of food and tamale vendors on this night of music, food and fun.

Saturday, October 21
Start your day with the Chuck Jordan Delta Hot Tamale Festival Parade, which travels down Washington Avenue to the Main Stage at Stein Mart Square for a welcome by Mayor Errick D. Simmons and the presentation of 2017 festival royalty. The Hot Tamale Cooking Contest begins at 10 a.m., followed by the Celebrity Chef Competition on the Main Stage at 10:30 a.m. Three stages of live entertainment begin at 11 a.m., closed out by Zach Day and Keith Johnson.

Getting hungry for some of those incredible Delta hot tamales? Get on the Hot Tamale Trail and find out where to get tamales year-round, throughout the Delta and beyond.