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Latino Arts Festival Celebrates Vibrant Culture

Food, Art and Music Mix in Kansas City, Kansas

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The Kansas City area’s Chicanx culture is a fusion of tradition and art.

This fusion took center stage at the Latino Arts Festival on Saturday. Horses nodded and pranced to the beat of banda on the grassy side of Bethany Park in Kansas City, Kansas. Lowriders lined the street close by, hoods agape, chrome shining and oldies blaring in the background.

Spectators escaped the heat beneath blue and white canopies that dotted the park. Mariachis strummed their guitars and singers crooned their version of “Juana la Cubana,” made popular by the ’80s Mexican cumbia musician Fito Olivares.

A boy on a horse with a cowboy hat clutches the saddle and sips a Sprite while taking a break during the Latino Arts Festival on Sept. 7. (Vicky Diaz-Camacho | Flatland)
A boy sips a Sprite while taking a break during the Latino Arts Festival on Sept. 7. (Vicky Diaz-Camacho | Flatland)

A crowd of almost 500 attendees bobbed in and out of art booths, food stands and flocked to a Jalisco-style juice and drink truck, Yuyas Tepache y Tejuino – a mainstay on Central Avenue.

The Latino Arts Festival featured freshly-made Mexican food, such as gorditas and tacos, as well as Dominican food, such as beef empanadas and tostones. ( Vicky Diaz-Camacho | Flatland)

For the past three years, Deanna and Aaron Muñoz have thrown a festival for Latinx and Chicanx artists – ranging from painters to musicians to lowrider creators. It was also the site of the Dotteversity Parade.

  • Green lowrider
  • Gold lowrider
  • Custom bikes lined up at the Latino Arts Festival

This year, the event boasted nearly 100 lowriders – custom trucks, cars and bikes – by creators from Kansas City, such as KC Estilo, as well as lowrider clubs from around the U.S.

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