September 17 saw the 105th annual Mexican Fiesta take place in the small southeastern Kansas town of Chanute. This year was special, after almost losing the celebration due to the COVID pandemic that nearly shut it down for good.
This fiesta was far from commercial. The Chanute Fiesta still had an old-world feel to it, with a small program of 18 events, including the presentation of both the United States and Mexican flags, the singing of both countries’ national anthems, and the introduction of the Fiesta Committee.
Spectators appreciated the Procession for Our Lady of Guadalupe and the entry of the 2021 and 2022 Fiesta Royalty (the 2022 court being Anna Martinez Corona as Little Princess; Abigail Elise Navarez, and Emma Jo Navarez as Little Queens; Brock Godinez as the Fiesta King; and Macie Clounch as the Fiesta Queen).
The Fiesta was dedicated to Nacho and Connie Melendez and Tim and Lisa Borjas. There was also an invocation by Fr. J.D. Betzen of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, which was given in both English and Spanish, as well as a performance by Grupo Folklorico Izcalli from Kansas City, KS.
The night was dedicated to eating, enjoying friends and family, and dancing to music provided by The Steele Band.
All photos by Chris Ortiz.
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