Hug Zone at the Tamale Festival (Somerton, AZ)

Hug Zone at the Tamale Festival (Somerton, AZ)

December 17, 2016 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

121 E Main St, Somerton, AZ 85350, United States

The Somerton Tamale Festival ( is a gathering of over 30,000 people and is the largest food festival in the Southwest. Once all those bellies are full of tamales, the attention will turn to the music, cultural dances, and . . . wait for it . . . FREE HUGS!

We’ll be picking a spot to create a Hug Zone, offering hugs to anyone that enters it, and just having a good time. Hug Zones were pioneered in Vancouver, BC by Gabriel McCay (one of our best huggers, if not the best) as a method of artistic expression that causes ripple effects. Using sidewalk chalk and creativity, a group collaborates to make an area that draws people in, with wording that encourages hugging. Strangers will accept free hugs within the hug zone, but something magical happens even after the group leaves – people continue to walk into the hug zone and hug each other. Depending on the rain, the hug zones can last weeks, encouraging even more hugs every day. Is there anything more beautiful than artwork that causes actions and emotions? Even if you don’t feel like hugging, come along and you can spend the entire time drawing on the sidewalk like you’re a little kid again!

Never given out free hugs before? Check out and to learn all about it, then just show up with open arms and a smile and that’s all there is to it! We’ll have extra chalk if you feel like drawing, or just laugh and eat tamales! This hugging event is totally free, it takes no preparation, and it requires no commitment whatsoever. Give it a shot and feel free to leave at any time if it’s not for you, but just so you know, you’ll likely find yourself hooked within minutes and you won’t want to leave even after everyone else is gone.

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