For 18 years, the Multicultural Celebration and Education Association has worked to bring cultural events and awareness to Wichita.
On Sunday, the group is inviting Wichitans to participate in a “Multicultural Parade and Multicultural Experience” at Lawrence-Dumont Stadium.
“Our main mission is bringing awareness to the community about the different cultures,” said Margarita LaFarelle Hunt, president of the MCEA. The group used to call the event a Multicultural Celebration but changed it this year to Multicultural Experience.
“We changed the name to welcome the immigrants to experience Americana such as hot dogs, a baseball game and entertainment of other diverse cultures that make up our community,” LaFarelle Hunt said.
Through the years, the group has diligently worked to tell the stories of all cultures.
Events on Sunday begin at 1 p.m. before the start of the Wichita Wingnuts vs. the Lincoln Saltdogs baseball game. That’s when members of the Wichita Fire Department will sponsor a “Cool Zone” and spray children who attend the event with water hoses.
Gates open to the stadium shortly after 1 p.m. A multicultural parade into the stadium begins at 1:45 p.m. The game starts at 2:05 p.m. Throughout the game, there will be multicultural entertainment, a CityArts Activity booth, arts and crafts displays, and numerous other booths and displays.
The need for diversity education and awareness is greater now than it was 18 years ago when the group started, LaFarelle Hunt said.
“When we first started, Hispanics were only about 4 percent of the population and now they are 14 percent, according to the latest Census,” she said. “Wichita not only has refugees from Mexico, but from Africa, Asia – all over.”