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CHICAGO: Mole de Mayo 2017


Spend Memorial Day weekend with art, music, ​lucha​ ​libre​ ​and ​mucho​ ​mole​!

CHICAGO, IL (April 28, 2017)​ — Eighteenth Street Development Corporation (ESDC) presents its eighth annual Mole de Mayo Festival, the only outdoor​ mole​ cook-off event celebrating Latino culture and Mexican cuisine.​ The festival is ​set to take place on 18th St. and Ashland Ave. from May 26-28, 2017 in Pilsen, the heart of the Mexican community in Chicago.

“As president of ESDC, we are excited to host this family-friendly festival and draw people from all across the city to enjoy the holiday weekend,” says Cesar Santoy, principal at Studio ARQ. “We pride ourselves on curating a cultural and gastronomic event, but also provides a range of economic and social benefits to the Pilsen community.”

Festival goers will get to sample a variety regional or specialty ​mole​ dishes from some of Pilsen’s popular eateries. The 2017 ​mole​ stand participants include El Costeño, Frida Room, La Cebollita, La Cecina, La Esperanza, La Michoacana, Los Comales, Ram’s Restaurant,and Yvolina’s Tamales.


The festival will have over 25 live international and local acts from Mexico, Los Angeles, Miami, and Austin, who will perform on two anchoring stages along with a DJ Tent. Popular genres, blended with influential Latin American music styles like​ cumbia​, ​salsa​, ​vallenato​, ​norteña​, ​chicha​, son jarocho​, hip hop, rock, house, jazz, and punk rock, will be key ingredients in this celebration.

Friday, May 26
Yanga, Mariachi Perla de México, Cedeño (DJ), Soulphonetics (DJ), Charlie Glitch (DJ)

Saturday, May 27
Son de Madera, Dos Santos, Chicago Mariachi Project, Quetzal, Fabi, ¡Aparato!, Beats y Batería, Pablo Serrano People’s Stage Karaoke, Communicator (DJ), The Ponderers (DJ), Sonido Viernes 13 (DJ), Mosco Cruz (DJ)

Sunday, May 28
Money Chicha, Bocafloja, Ramiro Ramirez, Sones de México, Las Tequileras, Los Vicios de Papá, Leticia Servin, Rubén P. Alvarez y Raíces Profundas, Baruch (DJ), Bumbac Joe (DJ), Sonorama (DJ)


Returning favorites include diverse merchants and artisan vendors, high-flying masked wrestlers (Mexican l​ ucha libre​), and the famous mechanical bull. Don’t miss salsa performances by Karen Bloom and Luis Zamora; PyroBeat Ensemble fire dancers; Nahui Ollin Huehuecoyotl, authentic Aztec dancing; and the Chinelos, traditional costumed dancers from Morelos, Mexico sponsored by the Federación Internacional de Morelenses.

“Because of the dedication and passion that the participants put into making this complex and flavorful​ mole​ sauce, we invited celebrity chefs to join our local judging panel for the ​mole ​competition,” says Alex Esparza, executive director at ESDC. “We are thrilled to have the owner of Gourmet MX, Gabriela Ruiz from Tabasco, Mexico; television personality and restaurateur Chef James Tahhan from Miami; and Chicago’s own and former Top Chef finalist, Chef Carlos Gaytan of Mexique Restaurant.”

The​ mole​ competition is an annual tradition where participants compete for the coveted title and prestigious clay casserole (​cazuela de mole​), featuring the winner’s name, by artist Victor M. Montañez. Last year’s winners for the Best Mole was La Esperanza Restaurant, while People’s Choice was La Catrina Cafe.


The festival hours are from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, May 26, Noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday, May 27, and Noon to 10 p.m. on Sunday, May 28. Suggested donation is $5 for individuals and $10 for families. For more information, visit ​​.


Eighteenth Street Development Corporation (ESDC) envisions Pilsen and the Lower West Side of Chicago as a vibrant center of sustainable commercial and industrial activity, offering safe modern housing, and a diversity of employment opportunities. The ESDC has served the Pilsen community for over 40 years and looks forward to adding to its legacy. ​