Garden City Community
The longest-running celebration in Garden City history invites the whole southwestern Kansas community to take part in the Mexican Fiesta. ‘La Fiesta’ had its first parade down the city streets in 1926 in tribute to Mexico’s Independence from Spain. This celebration has grown over the past ninety years, and counting, to commemorate the crowning of the Fiesta Scholarship Pageant queen, the winner of the academic scholarship, and to share cultural traditions with the community.
The first, ever Fiesta Queen was Dolores Avila in 1929. At that time, this two-day event included folkloric dancing, sports games and raffles. Originally, the Community Mexican Fiesta was held by two organizing parties that celebrated in their own ways, but with the same common goal. Now, the party has merged to be known as the Garden City Community Mexican Fiesta Association. Though some of the activities have changed over the years, the mission of the Fiesta Association has stayed the same. The goals of promoting cultural awareness in the Garden City community and providing a scholarship to hopeful future students of Garden City Community College (GCCC).
Family-Friendly Fun, Food, Music and More!
Key events of the Community Mexican Fiesta are the Fiesta Scholarship Pageant, which is held at GCCC, and the Fiesta parade through Garden City’s Main Street. Marching down Main Street, the parade consists of hot-rod cars, cowboys on horseback, and dancers in traditional costumes. The party doesn’t stop after the parade. The crowd flows into Steven’s Park for the signing of the America and Mexican national anthems. The entire community is invited to embrace an evening filled with lively festivities, family-friendly fun, food, and music.
Mexican Independence Day is held on September 16 in remembrance of Father Migual Hidalgo. After seeing his village of Dolores held under slavery, he cried out for independence from Spain, abolishment of slavery, and equal rights. This cry, ‘el grito,’ is now the symbol of Mexico’s Independence Day. El grito is a massive, call-and-response that is performed across the nation in remembrance of trying times.
The representatives of the Mexican Consulate of Kansas City are the officiants of the celebration in Steven’s Park with a community-wide ‘grito.’ This marks the start of a culturally-rich evening. Your ears will be filled with mariachi bands from as far as Denver. There is no shortage of delicious Mexican food catered from local restaurants and food trucks. Mexican Folk Dancers perform their traditional dances while their colorful skirts astonish the crowd.
A Culturally-Rich Foundation
This celebration is only made possible by the hardworking and devoted community in Garden City. The grand sponsors include Valley State Bank, Finney County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Garden City Community College, and a wealth of other sponsors.
The culturally rich foundation of the original immigrants is passed on to each generation at this annual event. Everyone is welcome to join in on this lively event, get to know their fellow community members, and enjoy the fiesta. The Garden City Community Mexican Fiesta takes part on a weekend around September 16.
For more information, visit www.gcfiesta.org