If America is a melting pot, Kansas City is a casserole. Did you know that 60+ countries’ cultures are baked into this delicious city? Once a year, we celebrate our city’s unique mix at the Ethnic Enrichment Festival.
The 44th annual fest is coming up next weekend, Friday, Aug. 18-Sunday, Aug. 20. Here’s what you need to know before you go.
How it started
This festival is the brainchild of the Ethnic Enrichment Commission of Kansas City, which was was started by Mayor Charles B. Wheeler in 1976 as a means to embrace KC’s rich cultural heritage.
The commission’s first event was a parade that highlighted local restaurants and showcased ethnic + racial groups’ contributions to KC’s growth. Two years later, this evolved into the first ever Ethnic Enrichment Festival, hosted at Liberty Memorial (now known as the National WWI Museum and Memorial).
How it’s going
Enter through the gates surrounded by various countries’ flags and you’ll see a world of pure imagination. Plus, there are lots of food stalls and a large stage built for cultural performances.
Over the course of three days, you can enjoy:
- Performances from 30+ different cultures
- A cultural fashion show
- A parade of flags
- Food + shopping booths representing 49 cultures
There is also a designated area for children with a playground and activities dubbed “Kid’s World.”
Hours vary each day of the festival, so plan accordingly:
- Friday, Aug. 18, 6 p.m.-10 p.m.
- Saturday, Aug. 19, 12 p.m.-10 p.m.
- Sunday, Aug. 20, 12 p.m.-6 p.m.
How to get in
The festival is held at Swope Park at the corner of East Meyer Boulevard and Swope Parkway. Park your car for free and purchase a ticket at the gate for $5. All kiddos 12 and under are free.