Pardon! We didn’t mean to tease you with tales of Parisian holidays. If you aren’t able to vacation abroad this summer and Bastille Day leaves you wanting more, here are some places where you might be able to get a taste of the pastry shop on Montparnasse, the cheese-and-wine picnic in Tuscany or even the beer-and-kilt in Scotland — if that’s your thing. And hey, stopping by a Caribbean market on your way to a man-made beach might sound stupid, but we’re not above it.
Sugar Creek Slavic Festival
A celebration of Slavic heritage filled with polka bands, crafts, dance groups, dance lessons and a children’s costume parade. This year’s headlining entertainment is the Brian McCarty Band. Locals serve traditional Slavic dinners, including sarma (cabbage rolls), kielbasa (Polish sausage) and povitica (traditional Croatian bread). Admission is $3 for adults; children 12 and younger get in free. Friday, June 11 (6-11:30 p.m.), and Saturday, June 12 (3-11:30 p.m.), at the Mike Onka Memorial, 11520 East Putnam in Sugar Creek. For information, call 816-842-6996 or see www.slavicfest.com.
Greek Orthodox Church of St. Dionysios’ Greek Festival
This festival has been around for more than forty years. Gyros, stuffed grape leaves and baklava abound. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. June 12-13, 8100 West 95th Street in Overland Park. For information, call 913-341-7373.
Scottish Highland Games
World-class bagpiping competitions and performances, Highland dance events, Scottish athletics and the ever-popular caber toss (a sport involving the throwing of a pole, with scoring based not on where the pole lands but rather how). Sheepdogs will be in attendance. Both Newcastle and Edy’s are sponsors, so we expect to find plenty of beer and ice cream. June 12 at the Wyandotte County Fairgrounds, 1408 North 98th Street in Kansas City, Kansas. For information, call 913-432-6823 or see www.kcscottishgames.org.
This free festival honors Italian heritage with music, food and activities. June 25-27 at Crown Center, 2405 Grand. Opening ceremonies begin at 6 p.m. Friday; activities continue from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday. For information, call 816-274-8444 or see www.crowncenter.com.
St. John’s Mexican Fiesta
Highlights are Mexican food, live entertainment and games. Admission is free. June 26 at St. John’s Evangelist Church, 1204 Kentucky Street in Lawrence. For information, call 785-842-5602.
Ethnic Enrichment Festival
With more than forty food booths lining the area near Swope Park’s band pavilion, this is one of the city’s largest outdoor celebrations. All those partygoers can’t be wrong, so try not to let the word enrichment scare you. Children enjoy going from booth to booth getting their “passports” stamped. Onstage, a variety of ethnic performances continue throughout the weekend, beginning at 6 p.m. Friday, August 20. Admission is $2 for adults; it’s free for children under 12. Parking is also free. For information, call 816-513-7500.
The Queens Market is a one-stop foreign-market experience. This place carries everything from Greek butter to Indian spices. The store sells both plantains and jellyfish but still manages to fit in Always Save products (canned corn, anyone?) for the less adventurous. Just be aware that the registers are behind a cagelike thingy, suggesting that someone thinks people are likely to be shot at in here. We’re not scared; we just think you should know. 1447 Independence Avenue, 816-842-6387.
If you are going on a picnic, maybe you have planned ahead and would like to prepare the food yourself — in which case, you can buy groceries here. If not, you can buy salads and sandwiches à la carte, served with plastic flatware and everything. We recommend the spinach-and-feta pasta salad. For a more transcendent experience, consider the hookahs. 1404 Westport Road, 816-931-8575.
Middle Eastern Grocery
This is the place to get ready for a falafel picnic if you happen to be downtown. Here, too, you will find the added convenience of ready-to-eat items in the adjoining deli. 313 Main Street, 816-421-6727.
Italian Grocery and Deli
This fancy little City Market deli offers all the makings of a fine sandwich — breads, meats, cheeses, olives and mustards — but more important, it offers Nutella. If you haven’t tried this chocolate-hazelnut spread, that’s what has been missing from your life. 9 East Third Street, 816-421-0804.
The word Oriental is not PC, but we did not name this store, people. There is another Asian market, Huong Vuong, just on the other side of the City Market entrance, but if you have not yet prepared your food and want something quick and snackish to take on a picnic or serve to your soon-to-be-arriving party guests, you’ll have more luck here. 20 East Fifth Street, 816-472-6363.
In addition to tropical jams (mango, papaya), jerk spices and Kool-Aid-esque powder mixes for making your own horchata (a sugary rice drink), this store has reggae tapes and Rastafarian gear. Fliers sitting on the windowsill also let you know about upcoming reggae events. 8111 Troost Avenue, 816-523-2209.
You can pick up fresh samosas right at the counter. You can also get all kinds of nuts, snacks, pastries and spreads. In the freezer cases, vegetarian Indian frozen dinners are worth stocking up on. 10458 Metcalf in Overland Park, 913-642-1161.
Owned by a Ukraine native, this store offers delicacies from many different European countries. 8409 West 95th Street in Overland Park, 913-385-3876.
Andre’s Confisserie Suisse
The Bollier family’s candy shop offers truffles made from Swiss chocolate. The lunches served inside the café are generally Western European, with Belgian, Spanish and French daily specials listed at www.andreschocolates.com. 5018 Main Street, 816-561-3440.
Museum and Cultural Center Tea Room
If you missed the Slavic Festival in Sugar Creek, you can still try authentic Slavic desserts with tea or coffee at this KCK museum. Located in the sunroom of an old, stained-glass-windowed mansion, this afternoon spot is worth its own day trip. 720 North Fourth Street, Kansas City, Kansas; 913-371-3264.