Quack Addiction

SUN 8/14
Singing “Rubber Ducky, you’re the one” is one of Ernie’s favorite pastimes. And it’s also what bystanders may find themselves humming at this year’s Citigroup Duck Derby. The deal: Adopt a duck online at www.synergyser vices.org, then cheer on your ducky as it bobs down Brush Creek. Funds raised go to Synergy Services’ crisis hot lines, residential services and emergency shelter, and participants can win $1,000,000 — or prizes such as trips and shopping sprees. Helping others? Helping ourselves? Duck yeah! The party, with entertainment from Disco Dick and the Mirrorballs, begins at noon Sunday, and the race starts at 3 p.m. — Rebecca Braverman

Heavenly Creatures
Lepidopterists, get ready for a real wingding.

8/12-8/14
The Festival of Butterflies finds more than 24 species of winged beauties on the lush grounds of Powell Gardens (1609 Northwest U.S. Highway 50 in Kingsville, 816-697-2600). Some have been flown in from more tropical locales like Texas and Florida; others are Midwestern natives temporarily at home in the Butterfly Breezeway, a giant hoop house. And hundreds of the enigmatic and vibrantly colored insects surround visitors in the Martha Jane Phillips Starr Butterfly Conservatory. There’s also a caterpillar petting zoo (the rule: one finger only), kid games and a plant sale to help folks turn their own backyards into butterfly adventure lands. The festival runs this weekend and continues August 19-21. Powell Gardens, 30 miles east of Kansas City, is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Admission is $7.50 for adults and $3 for children. — Megan Metzger

Jam On
Chameleon has a party.

SAT 8/13
While examining ancient pottery shards on a recent museum trip, we overheard a tyke whine to his pops, “Dad! I don’t want to see any more pieces!” We hear you. Parents who want a fun way to expose kids to art should take them to Chameleon’s Slam-a-Jam Community Arts Carnival at Tracy Arts Park (2025 Tracy, 816-221-7529) at 3 p.m. Saturday. The carnival atmosphere, with rides, performances and face painting, is sure to keep the little ones occupied as parents learn about Chameleon’s mission: to bring underprivileged youth a chance to be involved in the creative community through low-cost programs after school and on weekends. Putting lights, games and people in a depressed neighborhood creates a positive atmosphere, says Chameleon office manager Tim Phillips. “The negatives come to avoid it,” he says. “People are taking back their neighborhood.” —April Fleming

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