Join us Saturday at Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park! 
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Fourth annual Mole & Mariachi Festival is tomorrow!!  
The Festival is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park and benefits the park, helping to fund educational programs, visitor services, increased public operating hours and this year’s restoration and repair of the building. 

This year's festival will be very "green." The event will be powered by Sandbar Solar's mobile solar trailer, there will be free bike valet provided by Bike Santa Cruz County and, through a grant from Community Foundation Santa Cruz County, the Offset Project will be striving to make this a zero-waste event. Festival attendees will be encouraged to recycle and compost waste. Also, attendees can park downtown and take the free trolley to the festival. Trolleys run every 12 minutes. 

A diverse array of artisans will show and sell work at the Mole & Mariachi Festival Mercado, including Artemex’s display of blouses, dresses, drinkware, dolls, jewelry and other handmade items from Mexico. Watsonville upstart food maker The Green Waffle will sell prepackaged, healthy, locally made waffles. Artesanias Mexicanos, Creative Woman and Alejandro’s Trade also will have items for sale.

Other festival highlights include the availability of Mole dishes from food vendors for festival attendees to enjoy: El Chipotle will offer mole Oaxaqueño plates; Taqueria Lidia mole sopés, mole empanadas and mole huaraches; and Taquitos Gabriel’s will sell mole tamales. Additional food options include Mission Hill Creamery, Garcia’s Fish Tacos and Sason Mexicano, as well as churros, fruit cups and roasted corn. Fresh-fruit aguas frescas made by Mollie’s Country Café will be for sale, as well beer from Discretion Brewing, wine by Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard and chavelas, a drink made with beer, tomato juice and spices, for purchase.

Dozens of sponsors have signed on to support this event. Thank you, sponsors!! 
Taste mole and vote for your favorite
Local chefs will prepare mole (a traditional Mexican sauce, sometimes made using chocolate).
Competing chefs include restaurants El Chipotle, El Jardin, Chocolate and El Chino; caterers and food makers Cesario Ruiz of My Mom’s Mole, Taquitos Gabriel’s and Sunny’s Catering; and home chefs from Club Tuxpan Santa Cruz, Emma Pinto (Mama Marquita’s) and Lidia Montesino (JoLí Molé). Tasting kits include six tastes for $10; additional tasting tickets can be purchased for $2 each.
Festival attendees can vote for their favorite mole in the coveted “People’s Choice” award category. A panel of 10 judges also will rate the sauce to name the “Judges’ Choice” winner. Judges for 2016 include state Secretary of Natural Resources John Laird; Assemblymember Mark Stone; Patricia Santana, owner of Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant; Augustine Ceballos, facilities manager for the Pajaro Coast Sector of California State Parks; Santa Cruz City Councilmember David Terrazas; Hilltromper Editor Traci Hukill; Edible Monterey Bay writer Debbie Luhrman; Tony Solis of the Santa Cruz Sentinel; Good Times Publisher Jeanne Howard; and Santa Cruz Life writer Christine Candelaria.
Win big in the Mole & Mariachi Festival Raffle
The raffle at the Mole & Mariachi Festival features 10 amazing prizes. Prizes include an all-inclusive stay at Hotel Sandos Finisterra in Los Cabos, Baja California; a wine collection valued at $800, a stay in an Airstream trailer at the KOA Campground near Manresa Uplands State Beach and more. See the full list of the 10 raffle prizes.

Raffle tickets will be available festival. Tickets are 1 for $2, 3 for $5, 6 for $10 and 13 for $20. You do not have to be present at the Mole & Mariachi Festival to win.
Enjoy mariachi music, folklórico dance, kids' activities and more
For the first time ever, Mariachi Feminil Orgullo Mexicano — an all-female mariachi band — will perform at the festival. Other performers include live mariachi music from Mariachi Alma de Mexico and the group’s youth bands, Mariachi Juvenil Alma de Mexico and Mariachi Infantil Alma de Mexico, and dancing by local dance troupes Senderos and Estrellas de Esperanza. Mojigangas — the giant, dancing puppets, also will return. See the schedule of entertainers online.

There will be free crafts and face painting for kids, and piñatas every hour starting at 11:30 a.m. Also, tour the historic Adobe. Free guided tours will be offered during the festival.
Copyright © 2016 Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks, All rights reserved.

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