Shamrock and Roll


Being Irish isn’t just about such lowbrow generalizations as drinking Guinness and dancing jigs. We’ve got limericks to write, too. Kidding! The Irish are cherished as both a symbol of our fair city’s history and a vital fabric in the cultural patchwork of America’s heartland. That’s why we’re going to Irish Fest at Crown Center Square (24th and Grand) to eat soda bread, drink Beamish and be merry.

This year’s bill boasts an expanded lineup that includes comedy on Sunday night from three of Ireland’s most popular stand-ups as well as an Irish dance competition, known in the homeland as a feis. There’ll be music aplenty, including violin virtuoso Eileen Ivers and KC-based Celtic rockers (and 2005 Pitch Music Award winners) the Elders. Yeah, we know, Celtic rock doesn’t sound very cool, but these guys deserve the attention they’ve been getting — and we love that they covered a Steve Earle tune the last time we saw them.

The fun starts Friday at 5 p.m. and continues through the weekend from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day. Single-day passes are $10 at the gate, $8 in advance; kids get in free with an adult. Call 816-997-0837 or see for more information. — David Hudnall

Welcome to the Jungle
The Tigers leave Columbia for the big city.

SAT 9/3
You’ve got to hand it to Mizzou football fans: They’re keyed up every year. (Whereas, say, Kansas fans generally don’t creep out of the woodwork until basketball season.) This Tiger fervor can be difficult to explain given their somewhat unimpressive record. Last year was especially disappointing: Quarterback Brad Smith wasn’t a Heisman candidate as projected, and there were those five straight conference losses. Come to think of it, maybe it’s the booze-fueled tailgates that inspire this sort of devotion. The 2005 season gets kicked off in style Saturday when the black and gold head west on Interstate 70 to Arrowhead Stadium (1 Arrowhead Drive) where they’ll square off against the Arkansas State Indians. It could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience: The Tigers haven’t played a football game in Kansas City since the Truman administration. The game starts at 11 a.m. Tickets range from $20 to $35; call 816-920-9300. — David Hudnall

Enter Sandman
We’ll be getting down and dirty at this sand-sculpture contest.

SAT 9/3
Whether the Midwestern weather chooses to cooperate, the start of September means the start of fall. The September issue of Vogue — which could crush a small child — is full of appropriately autumnal wear, school’s back in session, and grocery stores already have Halloween candy. But don’t tell the organizers of Sand and the City. This sand-sculpture contest lets summer lovers believe two things: It’s not actually September, and we live in a place that has a natural beach. The building begins at 3 p.m. Saturday at Volleyball Beach (13105 Holmes Road). Registration is required and costs $35 for individuals; teams of two or three can enter for $200. Call 816-942-2820. — Rebecca Braverman

Ghost Stories
Halloween’s coming early.

We know the Haunted Atchison Trolley Tours happen every year. But our breath still catches a little at the thought — however irrational — of catching a glimpse of the old souls who reportedly are still kickin’ around the town’s creepy Victorian mansions. The Friday- and Saturday-night rides begin this weekend and continue through October 31, running every night the final week of October. Admission is $10; call 800-234-1854 or see for details. — Annie Fischer

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