Chicago’s festival season and Hispanic Heritage Month are due to intersect at 18th Street and Blue Island on Sept. 17 and 18 when Pilsen Fest brings Mexican art, music, and of course food to the heart of the historic neighborhood.
The festival, now in its 10th year, is just in time to kick off the city’s month-long celebration of Latino culture. Organizer Ermina Garcia said that’s not an accident. In a partnership with the Mexican Consulate, the festival is the official “grito” for Mexican Independence Day celebrations in Chicago.
“We thought this was a great opportunity to be able to showcase that to all those that are curious to know how to celebrate Mexican independence Day in Chicago,” Garcia said.
The festival offers music all day on its two stages.
“Ninety-five percent is local Latino bands, 40% of the lineup is female,” said Garcia. “So we’re really happy about that.”
The food and art offerings are also local, including many well-known family food vendors and artist workshops, including a traveling alebrijes workshop from Mexico City and a painting workshop for kids presented by the National Museum of Mexican Art.
“We’re very proud to feature a very hand-selected, curated look at the different ways that we could really celebrate what we do in Pilsen,” Garcia said. “I think we have a lot to offer and we should be very proud of that!”