Fiesta Del Sol grew from neighborhood fundraiser to major festival

ByCate Cauguiran WLS logo
Friday, July 28, 2017
Fiesta Del Sol grew from neighborhood fundraiser to major festival
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The 45th Annual Fiesta Del Sol is underway is Pilsen, and in that time it has grown from a small neighborhood fundraiser into the biggest Latino festival in the Midwest.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The 45th Annual Fiesta Del Sol is underway in Pilsen, and in those years it has grown from a neighborhood school fundraiser to the largest Latino festival in the Midwest.

The weather is absolutely perfect for the family-friendly event hosted by the nonprofit group Pilsen Neighborhood Community Council. Organizers said in addition to fun, Fiesta Del Sol also serves to help neighbors in the area.

"I love the event because of the community, people from all walks of Chicago can come here and enjoy it and have a great time," said Demetrius Jackson, attendee.

The festival serves up Latin culture through music, food and festivities in the city.

"What started off as a fundraiser to build Benito Juarez High School, which was one block, has now turned into a one-mile-long festival. It's one of our largest festivals here in Pilsen," said Tanya Cabrera, Fiesta Del Sol co-chair.

There's lots to do at Fiesta Del Sol, and perhaps the favorite activity is eating.

The festival is also known for connecting neighbors with community resources. On Friday, Fiesta Del Sol worked with University Roundtable to host a college fair for high school students at Benito Juarez High School.

"A lot of students in this community, in Pilsen and Little Village, and a lot of Latino communities across Chicago, there's a lack of students making it to college and sometimes a lot of it is because of access," said Isabel Reyes, co-chair of University Roundtable.

In addition to educational resources, Fiesta Del Sol also features housing, health and immigration worshops.

"It's really just to bring the resources. We know under the current political climate with immigration that these communities are being attacked, and we want to let them-Ciudad de Mexico is going to be printing certificates, we want to let you know that the resources are here," Cabrerea said.

The Pilsen Neighborhood Community Council said funds from the festival will go to its scholarship program and community organizing efforts in the city.