News Release

August 31, 2011


Contact: Sondra Katzen
Public Relations

Note: Photos of Fiesta para Todos may be downloaded at

It’s a Party for All at Brookfield Zoo
Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month and Other Cultures from Around the World

      Brookfield, Ill.—Bring the family out to Brookfield Zoo for its annual Fiesta para Todos celebration. The “Party for All” takes place on Saturday and Sunday, September 17 and 18, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The fun-filled event will feature music and dance from diverse cultures around the world, including Scotland, Poland, and Mexico. Additionally, the zoo will highlight some of its animals native to Latin America, Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
During the two-day celebration, guests can enjoy live entertainment on the zoo’s East Mall, including:

Saturday, September 17
  • Sones de México, a unique ensemble of Mexican folk musicians who hail from Chicago, will entertain zoogoers at 12:30 p.m. The group’s dynamic show will feature an array of beautifully costumed dancers and arrangements of traditional Mexican folk tunes intermingled with Bach, Led Zeppelin, Woody Guthrie, and Buck Owens; lush three-part harmonies; and a variety of instrumentals that includes more than 30 string, wind, and percussion instruments.
  • Thistle & Heather Highland Dancers follow at 2:00 p.m. with a colorful and expressive performance of traditional Scottish Highland and National dances.
  • Lira Ensemble, the only professional performing arts company in the United States specializing in Polish music, song, and dance, will take the stage at 3:30 p.m. The Ensemble's performers will present folk songs and dances from Poland in colorful, authentic Polish regional folk costumes accompanied with informative and witty English language narrations that explain the traditions and history behind the works performed.

Sunday, September 18
  • Flores de Mexico, a folkloric dance company from Linda’s Dance Studio in Chicago, will entertain guests at 11:00 a.m. along with Proyecto Latino, the studio’s young adult Latin dance troupe.
  • Students from The Joffrey Ballet’s Exelon Strobel Step-Up Program will perform a variety of choreographed dances at 3:00 p.m. The dances are set to familiar songs and music by choreographers who have come from different backgrounds and have drawn their creativity from a variety of inspirations. Works they will be performing include Forca (choreography by Caitlin Meighan), Hold On Me (choreography by Caitlin Meighan), Lost in the World (choreography by Michael Smith), Believe (choreography by Aaron Rogers), Happy Ending (choreography by Michael Smith), Incantation (choreography by Derrick Agnoletti), and Rama
Lama (choreography by Stacy Joy Keller). The group, which consists of promising high school students, has performed at Millennium Park, Toyota Park, the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, Dance Chicago, the DuSable Museum of African American History, and other venues throughout Chicago. Additionally, in 2010 the Government of South Africa invited a group of Exelon Strobel Step-Up students to South Africa to help promote the Diski Dance and the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament.

In addition, members of the Chicago Japanese American Historical Society a grassroots organization that was founded in the early 1990s to preserve, promote, and present the history of Japanese Americans in the Chicagoland area, will engage guests of all ages in art of origami on September 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on the zoo’s East Mall.

The celebration would not be complete without appearances by Diego from Nick Jr’s Go, Diego, Go!™ and the Fisher-Price® Laugh & Learn™ Love to Play Puppy™ costumed character, who will greet kids throughout the day on Saturday and Sunday. In addition, kids can enjoy the Power Wheels® driving track and play space to try out the latest Fisher-Price toys.

On September 17 only, families can start their Fiesta para Todos celebration early at an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet featuring the Diego costumed character, sponsored by Fisher-Price. Menu items include a decorate-your-own-pancake station; seasonal fruit; assortment of bagels fresh muffins, and pastries; cereal; scrambled eggs; bacon and sausage links; French toast; and breakfast potatoes. The breakfast, which takes place in the Discovery Center, costs $38 for adults and $26.50 for children ages 3-11. Children 2 and under eat for free. To make reservations and for further information about the breakfast, go to or call (708) 688-8355.

Fiesta para Todos: Party for All is presented by Fisher-Price® and American Airlines. The event’s activities and performances are free with regular zoo admission of $13.50 for adults and $9.50 for children 3-11 and seniors 65 and older. Children 2 and under are free. Parking is $9. For further information and a complete schedule of entertainment, visit or call (708) 688-8000.

The Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, inspires conservation leadership by connecting people with wildlife and nature. Open every day of the year, Brookfield Zoo is located off First Avenue between the Stevenson (I-55) and Eisenhower (I-290) expressways and is also accessible via the Tri-State Tollway (I-294), Metra commuter line, CTA, and PACE bus service.

# # #