Brookfield 2

¡Viva la Fiesta! Returns to Brookfield Zoo

Celebrate Hispanic Culture Over Two Weekends in June -Brookfield, Ill. — This June, guests visiting the more than 2,000 animals and enjoying the beautiful landscapes spread over 216 acres at Brookfield Zoo can add even more excitement and diversity to their trip during the zoo’s ¡Viva la Fiesta! on Saturdays and Sundays, June 7-8 and 14-15, from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This fun-filled four-day event invites guests of all ages and backgrounds to join in the festivities at the zoo’s East Mall to sample authentic Hispanic food and refreshments and to enjoy local bands and dancers representing South and Central America, and the Caribbean as well as artists and artisans. Roaming animals native to those regions will add an up-close-and-personal highlight to the festivities.

Samples of authentic cuisine and refreshments from “south of the border” are sure to entice guests and tantalize their taste buds. The multinational menu selections include Charrasco Steak Sandwiches and Empanadas (a deep fried pastry stuffed with beef) from Brazil; Ropa Vieja (shredded beef cooked in tomato sauce and red peppers), with rice from Puerto Rico; Cuban Sandwiches and Moros y Cristianos from Cuba; Tostadas de Pollo (chicken), Carne Asada Tacos (steak), Churros, and Buñuelos (a fried dough dessert) from Mexico; and several different flavors of paletas (flavored ice pops). To add to the celebration, guests can wash down the delicious food with a variety of beverages, including a selection of beers and wines from throughout Latin America; Chelada (a Mexican cocktail prepared by mixing beer with spices and a variety of sauces and Clamato); Sangria; Piña Coladas; and Manzanita Sol Apple (a soft drink popular in Mexico).

Each weekend during ¡Viva la Fiesta!, the zoo’s East Mall will be filled with live music from a talented lineup of local artists, including: 

Saturday, June 7

 11:00 a.m.                 Dance performance by ProjectFIT

 11:30 a.m.                 Dance lessons by Latin Street Dance Academy

 12:30 p.m.-1:15 p.m.  TBA

 1:45 p.m.-2:30 p.m.    Vagando Band (genre: international pop/world music dance)

 3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.    Johnny Blas Afro Libre Orchestra (genre: Latin funk/jazz)


Sunday, June 8

 11:00 a.m.                 Dance performance by Mexico en la Piel

 11:30 a.m.                 Dance lessons by Latin Street Dance Academy

 12:30 p.m.-1:15 p.m.  Mariachi Perla de Mexico (genre: mariachi from Mexico)

 1:45 p.m.-2:30 p.m.    Dos Santos: Anti-Beat Orquesta (genre: cumbia from Colombia)

 3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.    Tribute to Tito Nieves by Manny Delphin from Puerto Rico (genre: salsa from Cuba and Puerto Rico)


Saturday, June 14

 11:00 a.m.                 Dance performance by Flores De Mexico and Los 5 Magnificos de La Quebradita

 11:30 a.m.                 Dance lessons by Latin Street Dance Academy

 12:30 p.m.-1:15 p.m.  Mannix Martinez & A Tribute to The Legends Orchestra (genre: salsa from Puerto Rico)

 1:45 p.m.-2:30 p.m.    Alex “El Bizcochito” & Su Bachata Band (genre: bachata from Dominican Republic)

 3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.    Super Grupo Colombia de la Dinastia Pedraza (genre: cumbia from Colombia)


Sunday, June 15

 11:00 a.m.                 Academia de Baile Angelitos

 11:30 a.m.                 Dance lessons by Latin Street Dance Academy

 12:30 p.m.-1:15 p.m.  Mariachi Zapopan (genre: mariachi from Mexico)

 1:45 p.m.-2:30 p.m.    El Bandolero (genre: world blend)

 3:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.    Tribute to Tito Puente by Tito Puente Jr. & 911 Mambo Orchestra (genre: mambo rom Cuba)


Also joining in the celebration on the East Mall will be DJ Alex Perez “El Dracula,” who will keep the festivities going between performances with current chart-topping songs. Additionally, on June 7 and 8, representatives of the Mexico Tourism Board will highlight special holiday destinations.

¡Viva la Fiesta! is free with general admission. Food, drinks, and arts and crafts vendors will be available all through the East Mall at the festival. General zoo admission is $16.95 for adults and $11.95 for children ages 3-11 and seniors age 65 and over. Children 2 and under are free. For best admission values, check out the zoo’s membership packages, and special offers such as the Zooper Fun Pass or Build-Ur-Ticket. ¡Viva la Fiesta! is presented by Dulcelandia and For further information about the festival, visit or call (708) 688-8000.

The Chicago Zoological Society inspires conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. The Chicago Zoological Society is a private nonprofit organization that operates Brookfield Zoo on land owned by the Forest Preserves of Cook County. The Society is known throughout the world for Brookfield Zoo’s innovative, naturalistic, multispecies exhibits and for its international role in animal population management and wildlife conservation. For further information, visit

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