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Gridley Herald

Tacos and Tamales Festival Raises Funds for PTSD

May 21, 2024 09:54AM ● By Seti Long, photos by Seti Long

Supporters for change, the Miss Butte County Scholarship Program and Khris-Tina Kelly from Celebrating Life One Event at a Time came out to support Fishing for Change's Tacos and Tamales Festival! Pictured left to right: Missette Butte County Josielynn Payan, Miss Teen Second Runner Up Maddie Garcia, Fishing for Change Director and Taco & Tamale Festival organizer Craig Dickerson, Khris-Tina Kelly, Miss Teen First Runner Up Gracie Yost, Missette Second Runner Up Ava Cote, Miss Butte County Makayla Mellinger and Mini Miss Tamale Princess Seliyah Saeturn.


GRIDLEY, CA (MPG) - Heavy rains couldn’t stop the first inaugural Tacos and Tamales Festival, held by non-profit Fishing for Change.

Director of Fishing for Change and festival organizer Craig Dickerson said that the inspiration for the event came from similar festivals he had witnessed in southern California, and since the it was Sinco de Mayo weekend, a Taco and Tamale Festival would be appropriate for his first big fundraising event.

The festival is part of his plan to fund a month-long luxury fishing retreat for veterans and first responders suffering from PTSD.

During Dickerson’s own battle with PTSD, he found that the calm of nature and the soothing waters he emerged himself in while fishing eased his symptoms. A mission to share that with fellow sufferers began for Dickerson. His end goal is a fishing retreat for PTSD sufferers with private trailers, high-end cuisine, 24-7 access to counselors, daily behavioral therapy classes, and of course, a lot of fishing.

Tacos and Tamales Festival royalty

 The Tacos and Tamales Festival was studded with royalty, both visiting and resident! Pictured left to right: Miss Teen Second Runner Up Maddie Garcia, Miss Butte County Makayla Mellinger, Missette Second Runner Up Ava Cote, Missette Butte County Josielynn Payan, Miss Teen First Runner Up Gracie Yost, and Mini Miss Tamale Princess Seliyah Saeturn (front).


Although a heavy storm rolled through the day of the event and forced the cancellation of the car show, the Butte County Fairgrounds offered its Expo Hall so that the festival could move indoors. The first Tacos and Tamales Festival went off without a hitch.

“It was more than I could have ever expected!” said Dickerson.

Guests were welcomed by Dickersons Fishing for Change booth, where children could practice their fishing aim with a casting game and visitors could learn more about the cause.

Fellow non-profit Celebrating Life One Event at a Time, run by Khris-Tina Kelly, was on hand with the Kids Zone – staffed by the royalty of the Miss Butte County Scholarship Program. Kelly’s Kid Zone provided children activities such as jewelry making, painting, face painting and a Mexican Bingo game with fun prizes for participants.

Visitors browsed vendor booths, while the band Suika T set the festival’s mood. A variety of food and sweets were available for purchase, with a portion of all food sales from the taco and food trucks donated to Fishing for Change’s veterans’ program.

Fellow Queens and Princesses of the Miss Butte County Program helped the Mini Miss Tamale Princess Seliyah Saeturn get ready to make her debut. Her adorable smile lit up the hall and was a highlight of the event.

Even though the event didn’t unfold quite as planned, Dickerson was overjoyed with the end result. He expressed his genuine thanks to the community that came out in support of the event, the participating vendors, volunteers and the Butte County Fair Grounds.

The Tacos and Tamales Festival will be returning in 2025.

Festival beaded bracelets

 Festival royalty helps these little ones at the children’s corner make fun beaded bracelets!


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