The Pitch’s guide to your summer events in Kansas City

Strawberry Swing

Courtesy of Strawberry Swing

Summer is here, and many of our favorite events are coming back from the summer we collectively took off. Whether you’re into festivals, concerts, food trucks, art exhibits, movies, or wellness inspiration, we’ve got you covered. Our Summer Guide is your key to an unforgettable season. We all deserve a break, and with The Pitch’s guide, you can find exactly what you want to do during that break.


Events

Saturdays June-October

Strawberry Swing Festivals and Pop-ups, Waldo and Brookside, Overland Park, thestrawberryswing.com

On Saturdays in June-October, you’ll find goods from local makers, music, food trucks, and flowers all in one place. The Strawberry Swing festivals will happen on Saturdays in Waldo and Brookside, and Overland Park. Keep an eye out for other pop-ups throughout the city. 

Mondays at 6 p.m.

Needle in a Gay Stack: Needlework Club, Kansas City Center for Inclusion

Every third Tuesday

EQUAL Trans Support Group, Kansas City Center for Inclusion

June 3, 5, 19

Hamburger Mary’s Charity Bingo, Hamburger Mary’s 

June 4

Camp Entourage Presents: “An Evening with the ‘Rents’”, Lemonade Park 

June 6

National Cancer Survivors Day Drive-Thru Event, Gilda’s Club 

September 4

Derby Party and Kansas City Museum Reopening, Kansas City Museum 

September 12

Chiefs Opening Day, vs Cleveland Browns, Arrowhead Stadium


Juneteenth

Courtesy Jim Nimmo

Juneteenth

June 4, July 2, August 6

Juneteenth KC First Friday Celebration, 18th & Vine

June 4-5

Vine Street Hoops, Gregg Klice Community Center Basketball Courts

June 12

Juneteenth KC Cultural Parade, Begins at Benton and 18th St

June 18

Juneteenth Kick-off “All Black Everything Party,” Union Station

June 19

Juneteenth KC Heritage Festival, 18th & Vine, juneteenth-kc.com/festival

The Juneteenth KC Heritage Festival has been gathering the community and celebrating African American arts and culture for 10 years now. From 12-9 p.m. in the 18th & Vine district, celebrate Juneteenth with food, music, and plenty of other activities at the free festival. Keep an eye out for more information on their website.

Kansas City Juneteenth Celebration, Blue Mills Park

The Last Dance Steppers Challenge, The KC Juke House


Free State Festival

Courtesy of The 24th And Free State Festival

Festivals

June 10

Proclaiming Pride, Community Christian Church

June 12-13

Virtual Future Stages Festival, kauffmancenter.org

June 17-19

Kansas City Regional Quilt Festival,  Overland Park Convention Center

June 21

Worldwide Make Music Day, Participating Venues

June 21-27

Free State Festival, Participating Venues, freestatefestival.org 

Free State Festival is a weeklong celebration of film, music, and art in Lawrence. The festival is held in two acts starting with a week of outdoor movies screened across the city. Act One will feature several movies focused on social justice, such as The 24th, produced by Oscar winner and University of Kansas film professor, Kevin Willmott. Act Two will feature indoor cinema screenings with headliners Boots Riley, John Waters and Cameron Esposito. Tickets for Act One go on sale May 24. Tickets and dates for Act Two are yet to be determined.

June 25, 26

Bluegrass in the Bottoms, Grinders KC

July 9-11

KCMPT New Playwright Festival, Just Off Broadway Theatre

July 10

Water Lantern Festival, Frank A. Theis Park

July 16-18

Crypticon KC, KCI Expo Center

July 24-28

Grand Carnivale, Worlds of Fun

August 2-7

Queer Narratives Festival, Black Box Theatre

August 20-22

Parkville Days, Downtown Parkville

August 21-22

Kansas City Pride

Kansas City PRIDE Community Alliance, kcpridealliance.org

KC Pride is almost here, and this time it’s going to be hosted by the Kansas City PRIDE Community Alliance. PRIDE is an acronym for “Programming Rooted in Inclusion and Diversity through Education.” The organization was created to fill the gap left as the result of the Kansas City Diversity Coalition deciding to no longer coordinate the annual pride events. Location and sponsors for the event are in the works. Follow KCPCA on Facebook to stay updated.

August 21-23

Virtual Ethnic Enrichment Festival, eeckc.org

September 3-5

Kansas City Irish Festival, Crown Center

September 3-6

SantaCaliGon Festival, Independence

September 24-25

Camp Leavenworth, Leavenworth, campleavenworth.com 

How do live music, s’mores, a chalk art contest, silent disco, and fireworks sound? The second annual Camp Leavenworth is back this summer and features all that and more. Some featured bands include Unfit Waves, The MGDs, Quite Frankly, and Oscar-winning singer/songwriter Melissa Etheridge. Camp Leavenworth is free and open to the public, but tickets will be available for those who want the VIP experience.


Blue Angels

Courtesy of KC Air Show

Fourth of July

June 25

PARKED! Festival, Stump Park, Shawnee, KS

July 3

Freedom Run, Lenexa, KS

July 3-4

KC Air Show feat. US Navy Blue Angels New Century Air Center, kcairshow.org

Celebrate the 4th of July this year with a spectacular view at this year’s KC Air Show, headlined by the United States Navy Blue Angels Flight Demonstration Squadron. General admission tickets are $35 for adults in advance and $45 at the gate. At an additional cost, tickets from the event’s premium packages can gain access to perks like boxed seats, food and beverages, and shuttle and golf cart access. Got tickets to the 2020 show? You’re in luck, those tickets will be honored at the 2021 show. 

KC Monarchs vs. Lincoln Saltdogs, Legends Field

KC Royals vs. Minnesota Twins, Kauffman Stadium

July 4

Basehor Independence Day Celebration, Basehor Linwood High School

VillageFest To Go, Prairie Village Shops


Kansas City Symphony

Courtesy of the Kansas City Symphony

Stages

June 4-6, 17-20

Kansas City Symphony

Kauffman Center for Performing Arts, tickets.kcsymphony.org/events

The Kansas City Symphony is returning to in-person performances, with two different series performed at Helzberg Hall in the Kauffman Center. The symphony will play selections from Mozart, Dukas, Debussy, Barber, Haydn, and more throughout the concert season. Tickets are only open to Classical Series subscribers. To be added to the waitlist to become a subscriber and secure a ticket, contact the box office at 816-471-0400.

June 22-27

Godspell, Starlight Theater

June 30 – August 8

Dragons Love Tacos, Coterie Theatre

September 7-12

On your feet!, Starlight Theater

September TBD

The Lifespan of a Fact, Unicorn Theatre


Lemonade Park

Photo by Zach Bauman

Music

June 3

Band of Heathens, Knuckleheads Saloon

Making Movies, Lemonade Park

The Mastersons, Knuckleheads Saloon

June 4

Tennessee Jet in the Gospel Lounge, Sara Morgan, Jason Boland & The Stragglers, Knuckleheads Saloon

June 5

Hot Vaxx Summer Dance Party with Electrosexual Collective, Mockingbird Lounge

The Pitch and District present Dreamgirl / The Moose / We The People, Lemonade Park, lemonadeparkkc.com

Kick back and take in the summer, baby: Performances by Dreamgirl, The Moose, and We The People are gracing Lemonade Park this June. Doors open at 7 p.m., with We the People kicking off the show at 8 p.m., The Moose following at 9 p.m., and ending with Dreamgirl at 10 p.m. Tickets are $15 if you bring your own chair, and for $25, you can reserve a table on the lawn. 

June 11

The Grisly Hand / DJ Literate Corvette, Lemonade Park

June 12

The Wires / Adee Rocket Dancy, Lemonade Park

Giants Chair / Worlds of Fun / Red Kate, Lemonade Park

June 17

Andy Frasco, The Truman

June 18

The Samples & Counter Culture, The Truman

Center Cut Records presents a Summer Soulstice Celebration Concert, Lemonade Park

June 19

Nolatet in the Alley Featuring Mike Dillon / Brian Haas / James Singleton, The Ship

Sky Smeed / Fred Wickham Caravan, Lemonade Park

June 21

Make Music Kansas City, Dunbar Park and Lemonade Park

Matchbox 20, Starlight Theatre

June 25

Styx with Collective Soul, Azura Amphitheater

The Fey / Lesser Pleasures / The Royal Chief, Lemonade Park

June 26

Jazz on the Lawn, National WWI Museum and Memorial

Katy Guillen & The Drive / Kat King, Lemonade Park

July 1

Fitz and the Tantrums, Grinders KC, grinderspizza.com/kansascity/concerts

Ok, you caught us. We love Fitz and the Tantrums. The upbeat indie pop ban returns to provide what is sure to be an energetic show at Grinders KC. GA tickets are $35 a piece, but a $59 VIP ticket will get you access to an air conditioned lounge, private restrooms and cash bar, and preferred viewing at the main stage. Doors open at 6 p.m. Livingston, a young performer whose newest album An Unlikely Origin Story is gaining quick success, will open. 

July 3

Lindsey Stirling, Starlight Theatre

July 9

Idaho / The String and Return / Slights, Lemonade Park

July 10

Calvin Arsenia, Lemonade Park

July 16

Kadesh Flow / NuBlvckCity / Mensa Deathsquad / DJ Skeme, Lemonade Park

July 17

FOR KING & COUNTRY, Azura Amphitheater

The MGDs / Maria the Mexican, Lemonade Park

August 3

Jason Isbell & the 400 Unit with Lucinda Williams, Azura Amphitheater

August 7

Black Creatures 2

Courtesy of The Black Creatures

The Black Creatures, Lemonade Park, lemonadeparkkc.com

It’s no secret we love the genre-fluid duo The Black Creatures, composed of Jade Green and Xavier. They return to Lemonade Park to provide guests with an eccentric in-person experience this August, and you shouldn’t miss it—their album Wild Echoes was our favorite of 2020, hands down. The show starts at 7 p.m. and tickets are not yet available. Be sure to check the Lemonade Park website for more information and tickets as they become available. 

August 11

Shakey Graves, The Truman

August 12

Wilco and Sleater-Kenny, Arvest Bank Theatre

August 21

Deicide, Katakylsm, Riot Room

August 27

Moon taxi, The Truman

August 28

Beartooth, The Truman

September 2

Morgan Wallen, Azura Amphitheater

September 8

Chris Renzema, The Truman

September 20

Rufus Wainwright & Jose Gonzalez, Uptown Theater, uptowntheater.com

Singer-songwriter José González is going on tour this summer in support of his new record Local Valley, which will be released September 17. You can currently check out the music video for the second song on the album titled Visions. Rufus Wainwright is joining right along and will be performing music from his newest album, Unfollow the Rules.


Ith 062419 0710.dng

Courtesy of In The Heights

Movies

June 2

Wretch, Lemonade Park

June 5

The Goonies, Screenland Armour Theatre

June 6

Queer As Film feat. The Half of It, Kansas City Center for Inclusion

June 9

A Mighty Wind, Lemonade Park

June 11

Rocketman, Screenland Armour Theatre

In the Heights, Theatrical/HBO Max

June 12

E.T The Extra Terrestrial,  Screenland Armour Theatre

June 16

Shut Up And Play The Hits, Lemonade Park

June 18

Clue, Screenland Armour Theatre

Luca, Disney+

June 19

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: The Secret of the Ooze, Screenland Armour Theatre

June 23

Total Recall, Lemonade Park

June 25

The Sandlot, Screenland Armour Theatre

Fast & Furious 9, Theatrical

June 26

10 Things I Hate About You, Screenland Armour Theatre

June 30

The Blues Brothers, Lemonade Park

Zola, Theatrical

July 4

La La Land, Screenland Armour Theatre

July 16

The Night House, Theatrical

July 23

Old, Theatrical

July 30

The Green Knight, Theatrical

July 6

The Suicide Squad, Theatrical

August 27

Reminiscence, Theatrical/HBO Max

Candyman, Theatrical

September 16-26

Kansas City Underground Film Festival, Charlotte Street Foundation


Pulse Topology

Courtesy of The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Arts & Exhibits

April 2-June 24

Art for the Animals, Buttonwood Art Space

May 27-September 6

War Remains: Immersive VR Experience, WWI Museum, theworldwar.org 

Experience the history of World War I in a new up close and personal way at the new immersive virtual reality exhibit “War Remains.” The experience, narrated by podcaster Dan Carlin, opened officially on May 27 and will be at the National World War I Museum & Memorial through Sept. 6. Viewers can walk their way through the perspectives of soldiers at the 1917 WWI battle, The Battle of Passchendaele. Tickets are $18 for museum members and $24 for non-members. 

June 2-September 11

The Regional, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

June 5-March 27

Testimony: African American Artists Collective, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

June 10-October 24

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Pulse Topology, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, kemperart.org/exhibitions

A new immersive exhibit debuting this June at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art is powered by viewers’ heartbeats. Pulse Topology, a project by Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, demonstrates the heartbeats of visitors through thousands of suspended light bulbs with the help of touchless remote photoplethysmography (PPG) technology. It will be on display for roughly four months. Don’t miss it

June 14-July 1

Auschwitz, Union Station 

June 18-19

“Art Remains” by Wylliams Henry Contemporary Dance Company, Hotel Kansas City

July 4-25

KCAC June Exhibitions: Margo Kren, Jim Needham, and Brian Spies, Kansas City Arts Coalition

July 10-March 6

Castles, Cottages, and Crime, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

July 12-15

MCHE Summer Institute: The Path to Genocide, Union Station

July 20

Pre-War European Jewry, MCHE via Zoom 

August 2 

The Roma Experience of the Holocaust, MCHE via Zoom 

August 13-15

KCMO Carnival of Ink, KCI Expo Center

August 24

Terezin and Deportations from the West, MCHE via Zoom 

August 28

Kansas City Dance Day, Kansas City Ballet

September 1

Mengele: Unmasking the “Angel of Death,” Union Station 


Hospital Hill Run 1

Courtesy of Hospital Hill Run

Wellness

Every Tuesday at 5 p.m.

HIV Testing, Kansas City Center for Inclusion

June 5

Hospital Hill Run, Hospital Hill

June 12

The Color Run, Arrowhead Stadium, thecolorrun.com

The Color Run returns in, well, full color! Runners will be doused with color at various zones throughout the course. For the maximum experience, wear white (or register for a package with the white Color Run shirts) to proudly display all of the color powder you’ll be wearing at the end of the race. Tickets begin at $19.99 and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Children’s Organ Transplant Association.

June 19

Will You Walk With Me for Suicide Prevention 5K, Liberty Memorial

Skyline Yoga Series with Daisy Chavez, The Westin at Crown Center Rooftop

July 18

Kansas City Nutrition and Wellness Festival, Somerset Ridge Vineyard & Winery

July 19

Pop-up Yoga, Kansas City Museum

July 30

Sunset Goat Yoga, The Barn on Hickory, Stewartsville, MO


Female Friends Cheering With Beer At Music Festival

Food & Drink

June 5

Strang Hall Beer Fest, Strang Hall

Hamburger Mary’s Beer Bust, Hamburger Mary’s

Free Music Bingo-1 Hit Wonders, KC Wine Co. Vineyard & Winery

June 12

KC Brew Fest, Arrowhead Stadium, kcsummerbeerfest.com

Head to the GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium to party on the playing field for a Saturday night full of food trucks and unlimited access to beers from over 60 breweries at this summer’s KC Summer Beer Fest. General admission tickets include all of the above starting at 8 p.m. for $50, and the $65 early admission tickets will get you an hour’s head start. 

June 18

Food Truck Friday, Union Cemetery

July 8

Grinch-mas in July, KC Wine Co. Vineyard & Winery

August 8-9

Kansas City Taco Festival, Kansas City Live! Block, tacofests.com

The highly anticipated Taco Fest is coming back to KC this year, along with its margaritas, games, live music, and, of course, tacos. Over 20 of Kansas City’s own eateries are bringing their best tacos—with over 75 options!— to the event and for only $3 each. Tickets start at $9.95 each and kids under 10 are free with a paying adult.

August 20-21

BBQ & Fly-in on the River Turkey Smoke Contest, Excelsior Springs, MO

August 28

I Love The 90’s Bar Crawl, Kansas City Live! Block

September 17-18

American World Series of Barbecue Turkey Smoke contest, Kansas City, KS

July 9, 13, August 13,14

Murder Mystery Dinner, Belvoir Winery

Categories: Culture