Our History: Fun, Food, Music, Friends & Culture
Mexican Fiesta brings the sound, culture and taste of Mexico to Milwaukee’s lakefront.
It's three days of fun, food, Mariachi, and fiesta for everyone.
Mexican Fiesta is more than just a celebration. It’s an affirmation of the belief that our community is alive with promise. Education is the key to the future, and, through scholarship awards, the festival becomes the gateway to young Hispanic men and women taking their rightful place in society.
In 1973 a south side street was closed to traffic to celebrate Mexican Independence Day. It was the first time that there was the excitement of a neighborhood street fair, a sense that it was time for this thriving community to show itself and others, the extraordinary beauty of a culture rich in diversity. The possibilities were endless! Music! Dance! Tradition! A colorful pageant was born, and now 40 years later a flourishing Mexican Fiesta has become a stunning tribute to the vitality of the Hispanic community.
It has now developed into Wisconsin's largest (paid entrance) Mexican festival. In 1977 Mexican Fiesta accepted the invitation to move to Henry Maier Festival Park (Summerfest Grounds), making it 3 days of fun, food, music and culture for everyone to enjoy.
Today Mexican Fiesta is a family-oriented festival, a showcase of our heritage. It is the showcase for the year-round work of the Wisconsin Hispanic Scholarship Foundation, Inc., the festival’s sponsor, to unify the community in a gigantic effort to award scholarships for young Hispanic men and women.
It’s part of our ongoing effort to encourage our youth to pursue an education.
With a volunteer force of nearly one thousand people, forty coordinators, an active sixteen member Board of Directors, along with three full-time staff, Mexican Fiesta has more than hit its stride as one of Milwaukee’s most popular ethnic festivals.
Accompanying Mexican Fiesta International on the road to success have been the many community-based, non-profit agencies that actively participate in the annual festival. It gives emphasis on the Mexican-American way of life, as well as displaying other Hispanic influences in our society. Our festival encourages individuals from all ethnic backgrounds to come share in the rich history, art, music and cuisine of our Mexican/Hispanic community. We try to help maintain this culture in the community and within our children.
We invite audiences from throughout the Midwest, the United States and the world to share in our way of life.
After all, giving back is what it’s all about.