Mole de Mayo Festival is the only three-day outdoor mole cook-off event celebrating Latin American and Mexican culture in the rich and diverse neighborhood of Pilsen located on the Lower West Side of Chicago.
Now in its 13th year, the annual Mole de Mayo Festival features the mole competition, in which a variety of restaurants and vendors compete to see whose version of the Mexican staple is the best. Besides mole dishes, there are many fun festival foods and beverages to enjoy. The all-age festival has been a favorite of “things to do” during Memorial Day weekend for adults and families alike.
Take a stroll through the open-air market or mercado with local artisans and merchants selling their hand-crafted goods. Catch local, national, and international musical performances and acts at three stages. Get there early to find a spot to witness the biggest attraction of the festival — lucha libre or professional wrestling! From afar, you may just catch some high-flying antics from the wrestlers’ ring, found center-stage in the festival.
The festival organizer and beneficiary is Economic Strategies Development Corporation (ESDC) or formerly known as Eighteenth Street Development Corporation. ESDC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, dedicated to economic and community development in the Pilsen neighborhood and beyond.
Since 2009, Mole de Mayo Festival strives to deliver a culturally dynamic and gastronomic outdoor festival that propels a short and long-term range of economic and social benefits to Chicago’s historic Pilsen neighborhood. Partial proceeds benefit the ESDC Resiliency Fund, which provides financial aid assistance and grants to local businesses and ESDC’s HOPE Programs (i.e., Emergency Free Food Distribution).