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Pilsen, Little Village, Back of the Yards

Pilsen’s Mole De Mayo Going Virtual Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

The outdoor festival featuring a mole cook-off, live music and Lucha libre has been postponed until 2021.

Mole de Mayo/ Facebook
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PILSEN — Organizers of Mole de Mayo, a street fest that pits Pilsen’s best chefs against each other to see who makes the best mole, will host a virtual edition of the festival amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Mole de Mayor is among the neighborhood’s first outdoor festivals held each year. But the Economic Strategies Development Corporation has postponed the outdoor party until 2021 due to COVID-19. 

Instead, the organizers will host a virtual Mole de Mayo featuring live performances on May 22-24, the local chamber of commerce announced. Details will be available at and on its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.

As part of the event, the chamber is urging people to buy speciality mole dishes for delivery or carry out to support Pilsen restaurants in celebration of the nearly 10-year tradition. 

The chamber will announce participating restaurants, along with mole and food specials, being whipped up as part of Virtual Mole de Mayo in the coming days.

“The health and safety of our volunteers, attendees, neighbors and sponsors are our utmost priority, said Alex Esparza, executive director of the local chamber. “We plan to utilize the original festival dates as a platform to help those who rely financially on festivals.”

Mole is a traditional Mexican sauce typically made with chili peppers, spices, nuts and chocolate. The classic version of mole is a dark red or brown sauce served over enchiladas and meats. 

In addition to featuring the Mexican staple, past Mole de Mayo has featured high-flying lucha libre wrestling matches, traditional Azteca danza, live music from 25 international and local acts across two stages. There was also an open-air mercado filled with goods from Pilsen businesses and artisans.

Credit: Mole de Mayo/ Facebook

The goal for the Virtual Mole de Mayo is to bring “live music and the best Mexican local culinary dish directly to your home,” said Jaime Garza, Mole de Mayo artistic director.

“Pilsen is known for art, food and its cultural gatherings. In times like these, we need to be creative to have a different kind of good time,” he said in a statement.

The festival is expected to return next year from May 28-30, 2021.

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.

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