The month of July is known for being commemorative of the 4th of July. But, here in Topeka, it’s, also, the time for Fiesta Mexicana events take place. The 86th annual Fiesta Mexicana will begin on Tuesday, July 16th, and conclude on Saturday, July 20th. The festival, which brings tens of thousands of people from around the area to the Oakland neighborhood, started as a very simple event in 1933.
“This is the 86th annual Fiesta Mexicana that we’ve been having here in Topeka,” said Fiesta Mexicana Publicity Chair Courtney Garcia. “It started off, actually, small in the Oakland neighborhood with just a few families getting together and making some food, listening to music, and dancing together that eventually over decades expanded into what you now know as Fiesta Mexicana.”
A celebration of Topeka’s Mexican culture, the Fiesta will showcase a variety of food offerings, live music and dancing, and a fan favorite – the carnival.
“We have a bunch of carnival games,” said Garcia. “I know that they do (like) wristbands and tickets and everything. When you’re younger and growing up around Fiesta, that’s what you always look forward to.”
Since Fiesta parking is limited, attendees will need to visit the Fiesta website for detailed information.
“There’s a shuttle over the bridge that you can get to,” said Garcia. “If people want to get more information about a specific route, they can get information at https://www.olgfiestamexicana.org/home.html. Our times during the week (Tuesday – Thursday) start at 4 pm and go until 11 pm. Friday and Saturday, we extend it an extra hour and go until midnight.”
Proceeds from this annual fundraiser will go to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church’s Holy Family School, a Roman Catholic elementary school that is jointly administered and supported by Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish and Sacred Heart-St. Joseph Parish.
“It’s five days. It’s a lot of music headliners. It’s a whole festival,” said Garcia. “We’re really proud of how far this festival has come in 86 years.