National Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 to Oct. 15) recognizes and celebrates the cultures and contributions of Hispanic and Latino Americans across the United States. It starts in the middle of the month rather than at the beginning of September to honor the anniversaries of national independence for a number of Latin American countries on Sept. 15, and because the commemoration started as a weeklong event.
To celebrate Wichita’s Latino community, we have compiled this list of special events throughout the month as well as businesses you can support year-round.
Fiesta Hispana at Exploration Place (pictured above) – Sept. 10
Enjoy crafts, play games, savor delicious food, party with music and dancing, rev your engines with low riders and explore the exhibit galleries at Exploration Place. Indoor stage performances will include a mariachi band, folklórico dancers, matachines dancers, singers, a fashion show and more. The event is from noon to 5 p.m. and is included with general museum admission.
Tumba Vacas de Wichita at Riverfront Stadium – Sept. 15
As a part of Minor League Baseball’s Copa de la Diversión program, the Wichita Wind Surge will take the field as the Tumba Vacas de Wichita. Celebrate Kansas’ Hispanic and Latin culture with free activities for kids, specialty food items, music, dancing and more. Plus, the first 1,500 fans will receive a Tumba Vacas de Wichita sugar skull bobblehead. Stick around after the game for a fireworks show above the stadium.
Latin Dance Party with Tumboa at Brickyard – Sept. 15
Dance the night away to Latin music in Wichita’s Old Town District. Brickyard will be serving drink specials and cocktails in fresh coconuts. Wichita salsa band Tumboa will take the stage at 9 p.m.
Latin Fest ICT in Old Town Square – Sept. 16
Don’t miss this free cultural experience with 20-plus vendors, authentic cuisine, games and contests, presentations and lots of live music and performances. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Be there at 2:30 p.m. to see the Latin Fest parade and peruse the car show from 4 to 9 p.m.
Raza Fest 2023 at Wichita's Coleman parking lot (2nd & St. Francis) – Sept. 16
La Raza 102.5 is hosting this year's Raza Fest, a family-friendly event featuring live music, dancing, a jalapeño challenge and much more.
Mexican Independence – ICT at Nomar International Market – Sept. 30
Celebrate Mexican Independence Day in one of Wichita’s most festive neighborhoods, NoMar. Jam to live music by DJ Torres, watch folklórico dancers, indulge in Mexican snacks and more. The event is free to attend and takes place from noon to 11 p.m.
Consider visiting these Latino-owned and operated shops, markets, bakeries and restaurants. They are located throughout the city, though you’ll find a concentration of businesses in Wichita's North End Mexican Community, often referred to as NoMar and roughly bordered by I-235 to the north, Broadway to the east, 13th Street to the south and Amidon to the west.
Argentina's Empanadas – serving all your catering needs with one-of-a-kind empanadas with a wide selection of fillings
La Chinita Mexican Restaurant – serving authentic Mexican fare since 1976
AzTeca’s Boutique – a shop at Revolutsia selling handmade goods imported from Mexico and ranging from clothing and accessories to pottery and toys
Connie’s Mexico Café – Wichita’s oldest family-owned Mexican restaurant
El Pollo Dorado – serving tacos and rotisserie whole chickens
El Rio Bravo Supermarket – two locations, both selling prepared foods and hard-to-find items like fresh cactus, chayote, papaya and star fruit
Felipe’s – a four-restaurant local chain of Mexican restaurants that started in February 1967
Juarez Bakery – in addition to pastries, sweet breads and cakes, both locations of this bakery sell breakfast burritos, fresh tortillas, paletas, meats and other groceries
La Tapatia Supermarket – groceries, prepared foods and home goods
Molino's Mexican Cuisine – serving an inventive fusion of traditional Mexican and Latin American dishes in downtown Wichita
Mr. Taco – enjoy tacos and their outdoor seating
Las Delicias ICT – drinks such as aguas frescas and snacks including ceviche, Mexican street corn and ice cream
Palacana – Wichita’s outpost of this favorite paleteria that first opened in Kansas City, Missouri, in 2004
Paleteria La Reyna – a full menu of entrees, snacks, aguas frescas and desserts, including homemade ice cream and Mexican popsicles, called paletas
Puerto Vallarta Mexican Restaurant – westside restaurant serving from-scratch cuisine and roomy outdoor seating
Ruben’s Mexican Grill – a longstanding restaurant in the Historic Delano District
Tacos TJ 644 – two locations for Tijuana style tacos and more
Taqueria El Fogon – two locations known for street tacos
Tianguis Carniceria – Mexican market known for its butcher shop
Tortilleria Los III Potrillos – a tortilla factory that also serves burritos, tamales, churros and other Mexican treats
Uno Mas Fresh Mex – restaurant and food truck serving street tacos and other Mexican fare
Plus, check out these taco restaurants featured on local influencer Fert the Foodie’s annual taco trail: Jimenez Tacos, El Sol de Michoacan Tacos Performance, Leo’s Taqueria, Ricos Tacos El Torito, Tacos el Compadre, El Pollo Dorado al Carbon de Wichita, Mr. Taco, Taqueria El vago, Taqueria El Fogon and Tacos Chepe.
While not comprehensive, this blog post features businesses that visitors might be looking for when spending time in the Heart of the Country. Know of a business we should add? Tell us about it!