Brookfield, Ill.— With more than 2,000 animals to see throughout the year, Brookfield Zoo is an amazing and adventurous destination. And this June, guests can add some spice to their visit during the zoo’s ¡Viva la Fiesta! celebration. The fun-filled six-day event, which is geared for guests of all ages and backgrounds, will take place on Saturdays and Sundays, June 1-2, 8-9, and 15-16, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Each weekend, the zoo’s West Mall will be the exclusive venue to enjoy festivities that will feature authentic food; local and international bands and dancers; Hispanic artists and artisans, who will display and sell their eclectic works; and animal Zoo Chats highlighting critters from Mexico and Central and South America.
A delectable aroma of cuisine is sure to entice guests to indulge their taste buds with foods and refreshments from “south of the border.” Menu items available for purchase will include Peruvian salchi tacos, Argentinean beef empanadas, Cuban ropa vieja, tostadas, chimichangas, churros, bunuelos, flan/rice pudding, and several different flavors of paletas. To drink, guests can sample coco water, pineapple and mango juices, Manzanita Sol Apple, and a selection of Mexican beers.
To really experience the festive atmosphere, guests can purchase a VIP package that includes admission to the zoo, parking, access to the VIP pavilion, reserved seating directly in front of the concert stage, and access to the all-you-can-eat Latin-inspired buffet, which will be open from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. The buffet will feature ropa vieja (shredded beef cooked in tomato sauce and red peppers), chicken fajitas, Spanish tortillas, tostones (green plantains, fried and seasoned), guava cream cheese-filled empanadas, and Cuban black beans. Additionally, VIP guests will receive two beverage coupons. The cost for a VIP ticket is $45 for adults ($35 for zoo members) and $30 for children ages 3-11 ($20 for zoo members). Receive a $5 discount for the VIP ticket if purchased by May 31. A total of 50 VIP tickets will be available per day. To register, go to www.czs.org/CZS/vivalafiesta and click on VIP Pavilion.
Each weekend during ¡Viva la Fiesta, the zoo’s West Mall will be filled with live music from a talented lineup of artists, including:
Saturday, June 1
- § 3:30 p.m. Headliner—Three-time Billboard award-winner Montez De Durango
- § Noon—Academia de Baile Angelitos (dance performance)
- § 1:30 p.m.—Los Franco de Jalisco
Sunday, June 2
- § 4:00 p.m. Headliner—Bachata Heigthz
- § Noon—Flores de Mexico and Proyecto Latino (dance performance)
- § 1:30 p.m.—Grupo Afinca’o
Saturday, June 8
- § 3:30 p.m. Headliner—2013 Grammy award winner Quetzal
- § Noon—Los 5 Magnificos de la Quebradita (dance performance)
- § 1:30 p.m.—Grammy and Latin Grammy award nominee Sones De Mexico Ensemble
Sunday, June 9
- § 3:30 p.m. Headliner—Critically-acclaimed Venezuelan band Los Amigos Invisibles
- § Noon—Lisa “La Boriqua” & Latin Street Dance Academy will take the stage and teach some moves to guests
- § 1:30 p.m.—Spanish Flow
Saturday, June 15
- § 3:30 p.m. Headliner—Puerto Rican four-time Grammy nominee Plena Libre
- § Noon—Lisa “La Boriqua” & Latin Street Dance Academy will demonstrate salsa and cha cha lessons
- § 1:30 p.m.—Willy Torres and Angel Melendez & the 911 Mambo
Sunday, June 16
- § 4:00 p.m.—Four-time nominee to the Billboard Latin Music Awards Toby Love
- § Noon—Lisa “La Boriqua” will demonstrate Cumbia & Bachata dance
- § 1:30 p.m.—Guayacol & Alex Nova
- § 2:45 p.m.—DJ Kane of Kumbia Kings
Concerts are free with regular zoo admission. However, guests who want a guaranteed upfront seat can purchase reserved lawn tickets in a private sectioned-off area for $5 (limited to 250 guests).
Also joining in the celebration will be DJs Alex Perez on June 1, 8, 9, and 15; Dwight Burr on June 2; and Xtreme on June 16, who will be entertaining guests with upbeat Latin-themed music prior to each day’s live performances. Additionally, Mexico Tourism Board will have representatives at the festivities on June 8 and 9 highlighting tourism attractions.
¡Viva la Fiesta! is sponsored by American Airlines and Mexico Tourism Board. For further information about the festival, visit www.czs.org/CZS/vivalafiesta or call (708) 688-8000. Brookfield Zoo’s Zooper Fun Pass is $31.95 for adults and $23.95 for children 3-11 and seniors 65 and over. The pass offers unlimited general admission throughout 2013, as well as one-time admission to each of the zoo’s seven paid attractions, which may be used all at once or on separate leisurely visits during the year. General zoo admission may also be purchased and is $15 for adults and $10.50 for children three to 11 and seniors 65 and over. Children 2 and under are free. Parking is $10.
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 Preserve District 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 www.CZS.org.