Mole & Mariachi Festival

Festival sunsets after seven successful years

Thanks to all who attended!!

Producing the Mole & Mariachi Festival for the past seven years at Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park has been a tremendous opportunity for Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks to put a spotlight on the Mission and its story, while building community through a cross-cultural event that draws people from throughout the region.

This admission-free, family-friendly community event has been more successful than we ever dreamed. In fact, in some ways it’s become too successful, especially in terms of crowd size. This has placed increasing pressure on the park and created new challenges related to staff and public safety resources. As a result, the Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park will no longer serve as the host location for the event. However, Friends remains supportive of the concept of the Mole & Mariachi event and has begun a process to identify a new producer to carry on the tradition at a new location.

Friends is deeply thankful to our local community that has made the Mole & Mariachi Festival a marquee event in Santa Cruz County. We are also thankful to California State Parks, our close partner, for their strong support for the festival through interpretive programming, maintenance and law enforcement.

The community can continue to support Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park by visiting, attending park events, donating and shopping at our Mission ParkStore.

In addition, we welcome support for Kids2Parks, our innovative park-equity program, reducing barriers to access by providing free field trips to nine state parks and beaches throughout Santa Cruz and San Mateo Counties.

The Mole & Mariachi Festival is a benefit for nonprofit Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks in support of Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park.


2019 Mole & Mariachi Festival

The 7th annual event was held Saturday, Sept. 7th at Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park.

The mole chef competition featured sauces by Margaritaville, Chef Ana Mendoza, Taquitos Gabriel’s, D’La Colmena, La Cabaña, Sason Mexicano, My Mom’s Mole and El Jardin!

JUDGES CHOICE: Taquitos Gabriel’s
– Runner Up: El Jardin Restaurant
PEOPLE’S CHOICE: El Jardin Restaurant
– Runner Up: Moles & Oaxacan Cuisine

Food vendors included: The Penny Ice Creamery, Bella’s Fruit Cocktails, Chef Ana Mendoza, Taquitos Gabriel’s, Lidia’s Taqueria, Aparicio’s Corn, Sason Mexicano and churros.


2018 Mole & Mariachi Festival

Congratulations to our winners:

The sixth annual Mole & Mariachi Festival was held Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018. Check out the Photo Zone photos here!


2017 Mole & Mariachi Festival

Congratulations to our winners:

  • Best Mole: Judges’ Choice – Margaritaville
  • Best Mole: People’s Choice: – Chef Emma Pinto/Mama Marquita
    • Runner-Up: Judges’ Choice – Mickey’s Café & Catering
    • Runner-Up: People’s Choice – Chef Ana Mendoza/Moles & Oaxacan Cuisine

The fifth annual Mole & Mariachi Festival was held Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017.