This festival marks the beginning of summer in northwest Johnson County with a parade, a night of tribute bands, kids’ games and contests, trained animals, and Saturday-night headliner Starship with Mickey Thomas. It happens in Shawnee Town (11501 West 57th Street in Shawnee). For more details, see oldshawneedays.org.
Show Me Pride Week 2010
Festivities started before our Summer Guide hit the streets, but there’s still time to join more than 30,000 supporters of folks who are LGBTIQA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, intersex, queer, ally) for Power the Light with Pride, a Friday night event at the Power & Light District, including an appearance by rainbow-flag creator Gilbert Baker. Events also take place at Berkley Riverfront Park. See gaypridekc.com for more details.
Saturday, June 4
Jazzoo celebrates the arrival of polar bears and helps fund the Zoo Learning Fund and the special diets of more than 1,000 animals. This annual fundraiser features live music, and food and drinks from 60 restaurants and food purveyors. The Kansas City Zoo is located in Swope Park; see jazzookc.org for tickets, the entertainment lineup and additional details.
Chef demonstrations, dancers, a Frank Sinatra tribute, and Sunday Mass wrap up Kansas City’s first official Italian Week. See unico-kc.org or zonarosa.com for details about this festival around Zona Rosa’s town square (8640 North Dixson Avenue), including chef and entertainment lineups.
Prairie Village Art Show
Ceramics, fiber, glass, jewelry and prints are among the media available for sale at this year’s show, attended by local and touring artists, at the shops at 71st Street and Mission. The event also includes free children’s activities, live music, food and wine. See prairievillageshops.com for the artist list and additional information.
2010 Urban Living Tour
A $5 ticket gets you chartered transportation to 28 downtown lofts and condos and a swag bag with $1,000 in downtown coupons. See downtownkc.org for more details, including information on a VIP tour, which includes a cocktail party and showings of four luxury condos. Tickets can be purchased at the website or at 14th Street and Main during tour hours.
KC Scottish Highland Games
Sanctioned Scottish Heavy Athletics, live Celtic music on two stages, sheepdogs, Highland coos, historical re-enactors, and pipe and drum performances take over the grassy fields of E.H. Young Riverfront Park in Riverside (1001 Argosy Parkway, east of the Argosy Casino at Interstate 635 and U.S. Highway 69). For tickets, music lineup, clan list and festival schedule, see kcscottishgames.org.
Dragon Boat Festival
Saturday, June 12
Observed on the fifth day of the fifth lunar month, this sixth annual event celebrates international cooperation and friendship, and the development of trade with China. There are cultural performances and dragon-boat races up and down Brush Creek on the Country Club Plaza. The festivities start at 10:30 a.m. See chinagardensociety-kc.org for more on sponsorship opportunities, history and race information.
West 18th Street Fashion Show
Saturday, June 12
It’s the 10th year for this homegrown fashion show that features local artists and their collections. Sponsored by The Pitch and Birdies, “A Decadent Summer” takes place on 18th Street between Wyandotte and Baltimore in the Crossroads. It’s free, but tickets guarantee a seat. For profiles on the participating designers and other information, see westeighteenthstreet.com.
Crown Center Antique Festival
More than 150 dealers sell pottery, china, toys, linens, furniture, books and other collectibles at Crown Center Square (2450 Grand) from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Free appraisals are available on Sunday (one item per person). Admission is $2. Call 816-274-8444 or see crowncenter.com for more details.
Sunday, June 13
The 23rd annual Dog-n-Jog benefits the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City and fulfills the exercise needs of humans and pooches with sponsored one- and two-mile runs and walks. Beginning at the intersection of Ward Parkway and Central, this year’s event, hosted by meteorologist Gary Lezak and radio personality Debbie Erikson, includes raffles, dog costume contests and other activities. Register online at dognjog.org; by calling 913-596-1000, ext. 115; or at the event beginning at 7 a.m.
Browne’s Irish Street Faire
Saturday, June 19
North America’s oldest Irish business, Browne’s Irish Market & Deli (3300 Pennsylvania) celebrates its 123rd anniversary with food, vendors, a moonwalk and other kids’ activities, historic and Irish displays, and performances by the Elders, Eddie Delahunt, Kelly, Dogtree, and bagpipers. This event is also a fundraiser for Catholic Charities’ Cycling for Change. The festival goes from 4 to 11 p.m. between 33rd and 34th streets on Pennsylvania. Lawn chairs are encouraged. See brownesmarket.com for more details.
Kids Fishing Derby
Saturday, June 19
No need to drive to the lake. Fish can be caught in the city at Spring Valley Park (near 27th Street and Brooklyn) from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. by kids ages 5 to 15 (who must be accompanied by an adult). There’s no fee, but preregistration is necessary. Bring a rod, reel, tackle and bait because the biggest fish caught gets $100. The event is limited to the first 250 participants; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 913-334-5177 for more information.
KC Chalk & Walk Festival
Empty squares of asphalt will be transformed into works of art at this free event at Crown Center (2450 Grand) that also features a specially designed children’s chalking area, street performers and live entertainment. See kcchalkandwalk.org for hours, artist testimonials, sponsorship information and more details.
Sprint Family Fun Days
June 19, July 17, August 21, September 18, October 16
Sprint helps children and adults enjoy the Power & Light District together on the third Saturday of each month through October with entertainment, arts and crafts, games and other activities. The themed discovery and creativity can be found, rain or shine, on 14th Street between Main and Walnut. The focus is on “Art & Culture” in June, “Summer Fit ‘n Fun” in July, “It’s Easy Being Green” in August, “Back to School” in September, and “Fall Festival” in October. See powerandlightdistrict.com for additional information.
City of Fountains Bicycle Tour
Sunday, June 20
This family-friendly ride begins at 7:30 a.m. at Washington Square Park (at Pershing Road between Grand and Main) with nine-, 17-, 22-, 31- and 49-mile routes that visit fountains and other landmarks including the Kansas City Museum, the Country Club Plaza, Liberty Memorial and Cliff Drive. Proceeds from the ride benefit Friends of the Fountains and Friends of Trails KC. See kcbc.org for registration information and additional details.
Downtown Art Annual
Works by emerging and established artists fill eight blocks of the Power & Light District this summer for the third year. Artists are required to be on-site for the duration of this juried event from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. See powerandlightdistrict.com for more details.
Ice Cream Dreamery
Saturday, June 26
Local ice-cream purveyors such as Sheridan’s, Blue Bell and Belfonte come together at Crown Center Square (2450 Grand) for a giant ice-cream social supporting the Children’s Place. It goes from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and includes lots of family-friendly activities. See tcpkc.org for tickets and sponsorship opportunities.
Children’s TLC Duck Derby
Sunday, June 27
Brush Creek gets a whole lot brighter when 20,000 yellow rubber ducks “race” down the Plaza waterway to support the Children’s Therapeutic Learning Center’s services for young students with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, spina bifida, hearing loss, vision loss, and developmental disabilities. The event, which begins at 11 a.m., includes a Kids Zone with inflatables and face painting, and a performance by Funky Mama. Ducks can be adopted for $5 and come with a chance to win $1,000,000. Go to duckrace.com/kc to adopt ducks and get more details on prizes.
Celebrate Independence Day on the banks of the Missouri River when the Friends of the River–KC put on this sixth annual event with nightly fireworks, live music, kids’ entertainment, a marketplace and food vendors at Berkley Riverfront Park (on Riverfront Drive between the Heart of America and Paseo bridges). See kcriverfest.com for directions, an entertainment schedule and ticket information.
Beautiful Madness Flower Show
Saturday, July 10
Presented by the Northland Garden Club, this year’s arrangements reflect the theme “Paris When It Sizzles.” Held at Marshall’s Garden Court at Zona Rosa (8640 North Dixson Avenue), this exhibition and competition is open to the public and includes live demonstrations by professional designers and, at the end of the show, a drawing for ownership of the arrangements. See northlandgardenclub.com for schedule and additional details.
Saturday, July 17
Zona Rosa celebrates the game played all over the world. Workshops, demonstrations, exhibitions and three-on-three street tournaments take place around the shopping center’s Town Square (8640 North Dixson Avenue). For more details, see zonarosa.com.
KC Bike and Foot Chase
Sunday, July 18
Don’t run from the cops — run with them at this sixth annual event designed for fun and fitness and to bring the community together. Participate in either the 20- or 50-mile bike ride through Platte County or the 5K road race with the officers of the Kansas City, Missouri, Police Department. It begins at Zona Rosa (8640 North Dixson Avenue). Register and get more details at kcbikeandfootchase.org.
Platte County Fair
This county fair has been held every year since 1863. Among the old-fashioned activities: a petting zoo, the Dirty Shame Saloon, Missouri wines, arm-wrestling matches, square dancing, live country and bluegrass bands, and the Missy/Master contest. The Platte County Fairgrounds are located at 400 First Street in Platte City; see plattecountyfair.com for a complete schedule, directions, and other information on contests and competitions.
Party in the Park
Saturday, July 24
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Swope Park (Meyer Boulevard and Swope Parkway), people of all ages can enjoy free and low-cost family-friendly activities in celebration of National Parks and Recreation Month. Highlighted events include a Blues & Breakfast concert at Starlight Theatre (4600 Starlight Road) with the Wild Women of KC, a block party and a concert sponsored by KPRS Hot 103 Jamz, plus a free swim party at the Swope Pool in the afternoon. For a full schedule and additional details, see kcmo.org/parks.
Douglas County Fair
July 30–August 7
Barrel racing, tractor pulls, four-wheeler dirt track races, pie baking and hay-bale-decorating contests, live bluegrass and country bands, carnival rides, a turtle race, barnyard Olympics and a demolition derby are some of the entertainment options at the Douglas County Fairgrounds (2110 Harper in Lawrence). See dgcountyfair.com for schedules, the demolition-derby entry form and more information.
Johnson County Fair
In addition to the usual county-fair offerings, this year’s theme, “Wild ‘n Wooly,” celebrates all things “sheep” with a sheep-decorating contest, mutton bingo, a wool-spinning demonstration, and “Dancing with Ewe” (a two-step and line-dancing workshop). Held in Gardner at the Johnson County Fairgrounds (136 East Washington), the fair also features a dog show, firefighter and police demonstrations, and a parade. For a complete schedule and more information, see jocokansasfair.com.
Festival of Butterflies
August 6–8, 13–15
Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s nonprofit botanical garden, welcomes back the butterflies for its most popular festival. See the Blue Morpho, Zebra, Julia, Peacock and Buckeye varieties in the indoor butterfly conservatory. Also spotlighted this year: the butterfly’s overlooked relative, the moth. Special guest John Cody, “the Audubon of Moths,” will be on hand to share and discuss his art and knowledge of the creatures. Powell Gardens is located about 50 minutes from downtown Kansas City, Missouri (1609 Northwest U.S. Highway 50, in Kingsville). See powellgardens.org for directions, a virtual tour and a full events calendar.
Saturday, August 7
KidZone and Radio Disney present Camp Zona Rosa at Zona Rosa Town Square (8640 North Dixson Avenue). Beginning at noon are four hours of youngster-friendly, summer camp-themed activities, such as sing-alongs, scavenger hunts and crafts. See zonarosa.com for more details and to enroll in the KidZone VIK (Very Important Kid) Club for even more benefits.
Missouri State Fair
New events at this year’s fair include a science street fair and a robotics competition, contests for cooking and sugar-free baking with Missouri wine, a cyber café and a military appreciation ceremony. Performers include Missourian Sheryl Crow (Colbie Caillat opens) and Darius Rucker. See mostatefair.com for a complete schedule, ticket information and additional details. As always, the fair is in Sedalia (2503 West 16th Street).
Saturday, August 14
Kansas City breweries, including McCoy’s, Boulevard and Granite City, offer samples at this second annual festival and fundraiser for UNICO Kansas City, at the Zona Rosa Town Square (8640 North Dixson Avenue). The $25 admission gets you all the beer you can drink from a 4-ounce sampling glass. Food vendors will be on-site, as will the Elders, for a 6 p.m. performance. See zonarosa.com for more information.
Ethnic Enrichment Festival
This festival celebrates diversity and culture from around the world at Swope Park (Meyer Boulevard and Swope Parkway). Adult admission is $3, and kids 12 and younger get in free, for food and crafts, entertainment and other activities. Call 816-513-7553 or see eeckc.org for hours, a schedule of events and additional details.
Lawrence Busker Festival
More than 15,000 people showed up last year for this Lawrence Arts Center benefit, which featured jugglers, musicians, magicians, mimes, dancers, fire-eaters, whip artists, and strongmen (and women). It’s free and completely kid-friendly, with Saturday-morning workshops and demos for those who want to know more about the life of street performers. Festivities are in downtown Lawrence, primarily on Massachusetts and New Hampshire between Seventh and 10th streets; for more information, see lawrencebuskerfest.com.
Bonner Springs Tiblow Days Festival
This city on the Kansas River honors itself with a parade, car show and carnival, more than 100 craft and food booths, a sanctioned barbecue competition with more than 35 participants, a five-mile run and two-mile walk, fireworks, a beer garden and free concerts. The festival takes place at Second Street and Cedar in downtown Bonner Springs. See lifeisbetter.org for a complete schedule, vendor information and car-show registration.
Since 1973, this Independence festival has been celebrating the heritage of the city where the Santa Fe, California and Oregon trails began. This five-day event, complete with two stages, a carnival, a midway, a beer garden and vendor tents, is held at Independence Square (Osage to Memorial Drive, between Truman and Walnut streets). See santacaligon.com for the entertainment lineup, a festival map, details on the Santa-Cali-Gon 5K and more.
One of the nation’s three biggest Irish festivals, this eighth annual event hosts more than 20 heritage workshops and exhibits, 30 Celtic rock and traditional Irish bands, and Kansas City’s largest outdoor Sunday Mass, plus merchandise and food vendors on the grounds of Crown Center (2450 Grand). See kcirishfest.com for tickets, information on contests and entertainment lineups.