The first-ever Cinco de Mayo salsa festival will be coming to Wilson Park next month.

The event is set to start at 11 a.m. May 5 and last until 2 p.m.

Kelly Dillner and Suvanah Perdue, of 1025 The River, have been planning this event with the help of the Arkansas City Convention and Visitors Bureau. They still are seeking additional sponsorships.

Last Friday, the Arkansas City Equal Opportunity and Accessibility Advisory Board voted 5-0 to contribute $500 toward the new event.

The salsa competition, which will feature three categories, will be one of the main attractions of the event.

With categories for mild, hot and “anything goes,” there is bound to be a wide selection of tastes available for the judges.

Anyone can sign up to judge the competition by purchasing a tasting kit for $4 in advance or $5 at the event.

“We will be selling tasting kits and there will be people’s choice (awards), then Creekstone will judge for sponsor’s choice,” Dillner said.

The competition will be blind and all of the different salsas will be in identical containers, labeled only by entry number.

Cash prizes will be awarded to winners and second-place finishers in each category.

Individuals who wish to participate should sign up soon because there will be a total of only eight entries per category.

The event also will feature Mariachi Jalisco — a mariachi band from Wichita, sponsored by the city — and two salsa dancing groups.

Perdue and Dillner also are attempting to attract food trucks with taco themes to the event.

Later that night, the city plans to show a free movie in the park — Disney’s “Coco.”

Contact Perdue or Dillner at (620) 442-1102 with questions about the salsa competition.

Cinco de Mayo is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza.