House of Rock held its 17th annual free Tamale Dinner for the community on Christmas Eve.
Guests were given a plate of two tamales from Chacho's Tacos, paid for by House of Rock, with rice and beans made at the venue. This year was the first for House of Rock to partner with JalaPeña's Salsa, which donated locally made salsa.
“Every year there might be a family to show up that I feel like this might be their actual Christmas dinner,” House of Rock owner Casey Lane said. “That always feels good to come in and feed someone that needs a meal more than maybe somebody else.”
Stephanie Brazeal, marketing and public relations director, said the mix-and-mingle dinner event is open to family, friends and those with nothing to do Christmas Eve. Along with a free dinner, patrons were also able to participate in a contest.
House of Rock has hosted the event every year, without skipping, for the past 17 years.
“My family would like me to be home on Christmas Eve, but they already know I’m with my work family Christmas Eve,” Lane said.
He also said there are regulars who attend the event almost every year.
"The owner started this 17 years ago. At the time, we were the No. 1 seller in Texas for Lone Star — even beating out H-E-B. We wanted to find a way to incorporate Lone Star and the South Texas tradition of tamales to bring people together," Brazeal said.
The contest consists of a Christmas tree made out of Lone Star beer cans. Those at the event were able to guess how many cans made up the tree. The lucky winner received two free tickets to every concert House of Rock hosts in 2022.
Lane said they began collecting cans for this year’s tree in July. The cans are stored in the basement until he and Brazeal begin constructing the tree from scratch.
To keep counters guessing, they change up the construction each year.
“Some years it’s completely solid,” he said. “Some years we do two rows deep, some years we do three.”
Patrick Kelly and Sylvia Martinez were the two winners of the evening. The Lone Star tree consisted of 548 cans.
Some of the shows they can look forward to next year include Soulfly, Tropadelic, Passafire, Piñata Protest and tribute bands for Johnny Cash and Stone Temple Pilots.
"It's a great tradition that we will continue in for years to come," Brazeal said.
John Oliva covers education and community news in South Texas. Consider supporting local journalism with a subscription to the Caller-Times.
This article originally appeared on Corpus Christi Caller Times: House of Rocks hosts 17th annual Tamale Dinner