McKinney is a charming city known for its historic downtown and vibrant community. But more than that, this community is also home to a rich and diverse tapestry of cultures, celebrated at festivals held throughout the year. From music and art to food and traditions, these festivals offer residents and visitors alike the opportunity to celebrate diversity and immerse themselves in different cultures.

Below are some highlights of the cultural festivals you won't want to miss in McKinney.


China - Lunar New Year Celebration

Dragon Dance at Roy & Helen Hall Library - January 2024The City of McKinney's Public Library System observes the Chinese New Year every January with special family programming for all ages including various aspects of the beauty of the Chinese culture. This year (2024), the Year of the Dragon, the celebration included the traditional Dragon Dance, a performance involving a team of performers that use poles attached to the dragon to rhythmically help the dragons come to "life" to music and drumming.  


Asia - McKinney Asian Festival

asian girls dancingExperience the vibrant colors, flavors, and traditions of the Asian people at the McKinney Asian Festival, presented by the Texas Women Society. This cultural celebration, held in March, will showcase Asian cuisine, arts and crafts, hands-on projects, a photobooth with traditional Asian attire, and stage performances of music and dance. It's a fantastic opportunity to learn about and experience the diverse cultures of Asia right here in McKinney's Mitchell Park.


Scotland - Celtic Festival & Highland Games

Scottish Pipes and DrumsEmbrace your Scottish heritage or simply enjoy the excitement of the Lone Star Celtic Festival & Highland Games, held in 2024 on April 20-21 at McKinney's Myers Park. Presented by Highland Arts & Athletics, you'll have the opportunity to watch as athletes compete in traditional Scottish events like caber toss, hammer throw, Braemar stone, tug-of-war, and more.

 The festival will include bagpipe music, Scottish dancing, and delicious Scottish food and drink. Traditional festivities highlighted during this festival include Highland GamesCalling of the Clans Fire Ceremony and Pipe and Drum Competition.


Germany - McKinney Oktoberfest

McKinney OktoberfestGet ready to raise a stein and celebrate German culture at McKinney Oktoberfest. Held in Historic Downtown McKinney the final full weekend in September each year, this festival features authentic German food, live music, traditional dance performances including plenty of polka, and, of course, kegs of Oktoberfest beer. Don't miss the bratwurst-eating contest, stein-holding competition, and weenie dog races among other games!


Mexico - Día de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos traditional dance on stageCelebrate the Mexican holiday of Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) at McKinney's Dia de los Muertos Festival held in mid-October (Oct. 19, 2024) in Mitchell Park. This lively and so colorful event features altars honoring departed loved ones, traditional music and dance performances, face painting, and a market offering Mexican handicrafts and food. For those wishing to immerse themselves in the culture, the organizers host La Catrina and El Catrin costume contests for kids and adults. It's a beautiful and meaningful celebration of life and remembrance. 


India - Hindu Festival of Diwali

Man and woman sitting on floor singing during DiwaliExperience the vibrant colors and joyous celebrations of Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, hosted by the City of McKinney Public Library System every November. Diwali festivities typically include fireworks (not at the McKinney event), traditional Indian music and dance performances, delicious Indian cuisine, and the lighting of diyas (oil lamps) to symbolize the victory of light over darkness and good over evil.


Whether you're a local looking to celebrate your own heritage or a visitor eager to explore new cultures, these festivals offer something for everyone. So mark your calendars, gather your friends and family, and join in the festivities that make McKinney such a vibrant and inclusive community.