Nebraska is quite diverse. To some they might question the validity of this, and yet when you look at the communities in Nebraska, you see names from many places in Europe. Many locals will recognize this by the festivals and foods that are from these different communities – O’Neill, NE with their St. Patrick’s Day; Holdrege, NE with their Swedish Days; Loup City, NE with their Polish Days; Wilbur, NE with their Czech Festival. In addition to these European settlements, Nebraska has a rich diversity from more recent immigrants such as Mexico, India, China, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Nebraska has also opened their doors to many refugees from Burma, Bhutan, Iraq, Somalia, and the Republic of South Sudan. So, what does this diversity look like in Kearney?
One of the ways diversity has been revealed in Kearney is through restaurants and culinary opportunities. Many of us have watched as the Mexican market section at the grocery store has expanded. Our choice in Mexican restaurants has also grown with numerous Tex-Mex and authentic menus. Some of our favorites here in Kearney being: Qdoba, Komal, Little Mexico, San Pedro, and of course your Taco Bell, Taco John’s, and Amigos. Other popular ethnic menus in town are:
Another great opportunity here in Kearney is our University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK). Over 300 students from around the world come to study at UNK. Many of these international students will share their culture with the community through festivals and food. Some of these festivals are from Japanese, Chinese, and Korean students. One of the local philanthropic families sponsors an International Food Festival in March at UNK every year. This is another opportunity to “travel” to these other cultures and experience their food.