Sunday, June 28
Yellow rubber ducks 20,000 of them race down Brush Creek on the Plaza when RED Development teams with Childrens Therapeutic Learning Center (Childrens TLC) to raise money for the learning center, which provides early education for children with special needs. The grand-prize winner receives a 2009 Harley-Davidson VRSCF V-Rod Muscle. Other prizes include VIP concert tickets and jewelry from Tiffany & Co. Events begin at 11 a.m., and the race starts at 2 p.m. See duckrace.com/kc/Home/tabid/4301/Default.aspx to join or start a team, get volunteer information or adopt a racing duck.
Sunday, June 14
Pets, humans and the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City all benefit from the 22nd-Annual Dog-N-Jog from 7 to 10:30 a.m. on the Plaza. Beginning at the intersection of Central and Ward Parkway, entrants can compete in one- or two-mile walks or runs. Also featured are agility performances, dog costume contests, prize drawings and other activities. Register online, at the event or by calling 913-596-1000, ext. 22; go to hsgkc.org for entry forms and locations, sponsorship and fundraising opportunities or more information.
Festival of Butterflies
August 79, 1416
Butterfly breezeways are open, and the colorful insects fly freely at Powell Gardens (1609 Northwest U.S. Highway 50, in Kingsville). Over two weekends, visitors can learn how to grow a butterfly garden; kids can catch and release butterflies and make butterfly-related arts and crafts from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, and $5 for kids 12 and younger; see more scheduled events at powellgardens.org or call 816-697-2600 for more information.
Summer in northwest Johnson County kicks off at this four-day festival complete with a parade, a carnival, historical re-enactors, vendors, crafts and a Saturday night concert with '80s rock heroes Night Ranger. It takes place in Shawnee Town (11600 Johnson Drive in Shawnee). See oldshawneedays.org for more details.
Zona Rosa celebrates tradizioni italiane with music, food, a beer garden, chef demonstrations, wine tastings and fireworks at this free three-day gathering in the "town square" (8640 North Dixson). Go to unico-kc.org or zonarosa.com for more information, including the entertainment lineup.
For the past eight years, for one night in June, West 18th Street between Wyandotte and Baltimore has been transformed into a runway, showcasing local and national designers with Kansas City connections. This year, Birdies presents "Summer in Space." The show begins at dusk (around 8 p.m.); it's free, but seating is assured with a VIP ticket. Get all the details at westeighteenthstreet.com.
Kansas City's longest-running retail shop celebrates its 122nd birthday from 2 to 11 p.m., between 33rd and 34th streets on Pennsylvania in the Valentine neighborhood. On tap are performances by the Elders, Enter the Haggis, Eddie Delahunt and Scythian, as well as bagpipers, Irish dancers, Irish and festival foods and drinks, a "Best Legs in a Kilt" contest and a Bailey's bake-off. Tickets are $10 at the gate and $8 in advance (kids under 12 are free) and can be purchased at Browne's (3300 Pennsylvania). Keep up with developments at brownesmarket.com.
Why pay good money to sit upright in the dark when you can lounge in the park? Over the summer, Kansas City, Missouri, Parks and Recreation will be showing free movies all over the city starting at dusk. See kcmo.org/parks.nsf/web/movie for location and/or movie changes.
Thursday, June 11: Apollo 13, Brookside Triangle Park (East 59th Street and Brookside Boulevard)
Saturday, June 13: Ghostbusters, Tower Park (East 76th Street and Holmes)
Friday, June 19: Kung Fu Panda (West 26th Street and Jarboe, in an area adjacent to Boulevard Brewing)
Friday, June 26: Caddyshack, City Market Park (Third Street and Main)
Friday, June 26: The Wiz, at Friends of Alvin Ailey (18th Street and Vine)
Thursday, July 9: Ghostbusters, Brookside Triangle Park (East 59th Street and Brookside Boulevard)
Friday, July 17: The Goonies, Observation Park (West 20th Street and Holly)
Saturday, July 18: Wall-E, Budd Park (St. John and Brighton in North Kansas City)
Saturday, July 25: TBA, Budd Park (St. John and Brighton in North Kansas City)
Friday, July 31: Little Shop of Horrors, City Market Park (Third Street and Main)
Saturday, August 1: Pineapple Express, Budd Park (St. John and Brighton in North Kansas City)
Saturday, August 8: To Kill A Mockingbird, Budd Park (St. John and Brighton in North Kansas City)
Thursday, August 13: Groundhog Day, Brookside Triangle Park (East 59th Street and Brookside Boulevard)
Friday, August 21: Finding Nemo, Gage Park (West 23rd Street and Jarboe)
Friday, August 28: Rocky Horror Picture Show, City Market Park (Third Street and Main)
Saturday, August 29: Hotel For Dogs, Roanoke Park (Valentine Road to 34th Street and Karnes Boulevard)
Saturday, September 12: Journey to the Center of the Earth, Migliazzo Park (Minor Drive and Pennsylvania Avenue)
Friday, September 18: Wall-E (West 26th Street and Jarboe, in an area adjacent to Boulevard Brewing)
Free PG- and G-rated films will screen at 10 a.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday in June and July at the Legends 14 Theatres (1841 Village West Parkway, Kansas City, Kansas). Space is limited to auditorium capacity. Special kids' meals are available for $5. Call 913-428-2990 or see legendsshopping.com for location information and additional details.
June 9, 10: Horton Hears a Who! (G) and Nim's Island (PG)
June 16, 17: Space Chimps (G) and Alvin and the Chipmunks (PG)
June 23, 24: Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (G) and Surf's Up! (PG)
June 30, July 1: The Tale of Despereaux (G) and Evan Almighty (PG)
July 7, 8: Mr. Bean's Holiday (G) and Shrek the Third (PG)
July 14, 15: The Pirates (G) and Kung Fu Panda (PG)
July 21, 22: Doogal (G)and Madagascar 2: Escape Africa (PG)
July 28, 29: Charlotte's Web (G) and Bee Movie (PG)
Crown Center (2450 Grand) provides free family-friendly entertainment every Friday in July and August in Crown Center Square. Lawn chairs, blankets and coolers are encouraged (alcoholic beverages and glass containers are not). Concessions and free parking will be available. Call 816-274-8444 for more information.
July 3: The Sandlot, 9 p.m.
July 10: Men In Black, 9 p.m.
July 17: The Karate Kid, 9 p.m.
July 24: Dr. Strangelove, 9 p.m.
July 31: Mamma Mia!, 9 p.m.
August 7: The Wizard of Oz, 9 p.m.
August 14: Pirates of the Caribbean, 9 p.m.
August 21: Free concert with Eddie Money, 8 p.m.
August 28: Free concert with Jo Dee Messina, 8 p.m.
Highland dance competitions, athletic events, steel-sword fights, bagpipes, Celtic music (including the Elders, Young Dubliners, Shortleaf Band, Kelly, the Kelihans, the Glenfinnan Band, Tullamore and Bob Reeder), Scottish livestock, children's games, Gaelic language classes and food are some of the attractions at E.H. Young Park (Interstate 635 and U.S. Highway 69, east of the Argosy Casino in Riverside). Tickets are $15 at the gate on Friday and Saturday, $10 on Sunday. Kids 12 and younger are free. See kcscottishgames.org for additional details.
For the past 31 years, Kansas City's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community has been celebrating at this family-friendly, pet-friendly festival. After the Street Blast at 19th Street and Main from 6 p.m. to midnight Friday, June 5, the party continues at Liberty Memorial in Penn Valley Park, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with informational booths and street vendors and more live entertainment (see Outdoor Music). Among the festivities: a nonalcoholic beer pong tournament, bungee jumping, a mechanical bull, carnival food and midway games. See gaypridekansascity.com for more details.
Kick your five senses into gear when KCK holds its first downtown street festival June 12. Hear the sounds of the 16-piece Afrobeat band Hearts of Darkness and the swing jazz of the Grand Marquis. See StoneLion Puppet Theatre along with tae kwon do demonstrations and break dancers. Taste drinks from the 7th Street Casino's beer garden and smell the street cuisine of local restaurants. Feel the heart of the city in the Heart of America beat on Minnesota Avenue between Sixth and Eighth streets, all from 4 to 9 p.m.
Celebrate one of the world's oldest civilizations from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the southeast corner of the Plaza. The Fifth-Annual Kansas City Dragon Boat Festival is a kid-friendly event with art activities, live music, food, traditional Chinese dancers and dragon boat racing. See chinagardensociety-kc.org/dragonboat.htm for more information and a schedule of events.
More than 150 dealers convene at Crown Center (2450 Grand) for this ninth-annual free showcase of collectibles, pottery, china, toys, linens, furniture, jewelry and books. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Free appraisals are offered from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday — one item per person. Find more information at crowncenter.com/event/event.asp.
Surprise! There is fun to be had in the P&L (14th Street and Grand) when you're under 21. Bring the youngsters downtown on the third Saturday of each month for themed, age-appropriate activities from noon to 4 p.m.
June 20: Summer Fit Fun
July 18: Scien-tastic: The Fun of Science
August 15: Imagination Station
September 19: It's a Jungle Out There
October 17: Happy Harvest
Starting at 9 a.m., bikers benefit Animal Haven, the metro's largest no-kill shelter, by uniting to ride a 100-mile Kansas loop from Shawnee to Leavenworth to McLouth to Eudora, ending in Merriam at Animal Haven. Hang out for a cash-prize raffle, food from Outback Steakhouse, live music, and other giveaways. The last bike leaves at 10:30 a.m. See tmadb.animalhavenkc.org/index.htm for registration details and a ride map or call 913-626-7625 for event information.
Who knew you could help prevent teen alcohol and drug abuse with mud volleyball? Kansas City's Youth With Vision works to help keep kids off the booze and drugs. One way the student-run organization does this is by fielding mixed-gender teams of six to nine players for a mud volleyball tournament at Smithville Lake in Smithville from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Register online or on-site for $12 a player. Go to youthwithvisionkc.org/events.html for additional information or call 816-877-0496.
Before the bottle rockets start, visit Africa, Australia and Asia from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Kansas City Zoo (6800 Zoo Drive in Swope Park). The zoo has a special offer for everyone who works to keep us safe: free admission this Independence Day for all first responders and people with valid military IDs. For more details, see kansascityzoo.org.
Celebrate the nearly 1,800 acres that make up one of KC's largest parks, with both free and low-cost family-friendly activities from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. throughout Swope Park (Meyer Boulevard and Swope Parkway). In the morning, you can enjoy the Blues & Breakfast at Starlight Theatre; in the afternoon, go to a pool party. Hear a concert from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Park Pavilion. See kcmo.org/parks.nsf/web/swopeparkday for information on many more events and activities, their locations and times.
This 146th-annual fair — it dates back to 1863 — may be the oldest continually running fair west of the Mississippi River. Fairgoers attend from far and wide to experience its traditional lineup of attractions, including a demolition derby, a truck and tractor pull, and horse and mule shows. This year, visit the Dirty Shame Saloon (21 and older), pet a llama at the petting zoo, and hear some Vegas bluegrass Friday night from the O'Roark Brothers at the Platte Pavilion. The fair is at the Platte County Fairgrounds (400 First Street in Platte City); for driving directions and other information, see plattecountyfair.com.
This fair has it all: barrel-racing, bale-throwing and pie-baking contests, the Naturally Delicious Food Festival, a petting zoo and pony rides, live country music and a demolition derby. Events take place at the Douglas County Fairgrounds (2120 Harper in Lawrence). For additional details, see dgcountyfair.com.
JoCo balances out its fancy-pants reputation with this year's fair theme: "Dancing With the Steers." See such countrified phenomena as a calf scramble, mutton bustin', greased pigs and goat-milking demonstrations. There's also a 4-H Rodeo Queen Coronation, live comedy, police and firefighter demonstrations, a chainsaw art auction and a steer patty toss. Festivities are in Gardner (136 East Washington). See jocokansasfair.com for more information.
A hundred years ago, entertainment for the Missouri State Fair included daily demonstrations by the Wright Brothers. Five years ago, then President George W. Bush stopped by and gave a campaign speech. There's no shortage of celebrities at this year's fair, either, when Brooks and Dunn, Cross Canadian Ragweed, Kansas and others perform at the Pepsi Grandstand. Visit the live rainforest, take the kids for a Rhodesian Ridgeback dog ride, or have a laugh with a Wild West comedy show when the fair comes to Sedalia (2503 West 16th Street). Go to mostatefair.com or call 800-422-3247 for special promotions, ticket information and schedules.
Praise the virtues of hops and barley when Unico Kansas City presents BrewFest, a beer, music and food blowout from 1 to 9 p.m. at the town square in Zona Rosa (8640 North Dixson). Receive a commemorative testing glass and 4-ounce crafted and imported samples from breweries located near and far. Admission is $25 at the gate. Go to zonarosa.com for more information.
Jugglers, musicians, magicians, mimes, fire eaters, whip artists and other crazy-human-trick artists from around the country converge upon the streets of downtown Lawrence (on Massachusetts and New Hampshire between Seventh and 10th streets) to perform their wild and weird antics at this second-annual gathering. Local artists include Jazzbo the One-Man Band and the Vesuvius Fire Tribe. See lawrencebuskerfest.com for a full lineup, information on children's workshops and other details.
KC's first Ethnic Enrichment Festival was 30 years ago at Liberty Memorial. Today, the Mayor's Ethnic Enrichment Commission, which has members from 66 countries and ethnic groups, works to promote appreciation and understanding of KC's cultural melting pot. "Feel the world beat in the heart of America" at Swope Park (Meyer Boulevard and Swope Parkway), when booths representing more than 40 countries feature authentic food and crafts. Adult admission is $3, and kids under 12 are free with an adult. Parking is also free. See eeckc.org for more information, including menus, event schedules and maps.
It's been a long time since Independence, Missouri, was the jumping-off spot for settlers heading westward along the Oregon, Santa Fe and California trails. And it has been 37 years since the city began celebrating its place on the trail map. This huge festival at Independence Square (Lexington and Main streets) is complete with concerts, carnival rides, arts and crafts from more than 250 vendors, food and a lively beer garden. Call 816-252-4745 for more information.
The KCIF is committed to promoting the appreciation of Irish history, nurturing a sense of community among Irish Americans and other ethnic groups in Kansas City, and presenting a huge family-friendly festival over Labor Day weekend at Crown Center (2450 Grand). Shamrock-n-roll with bands, test your beer-brewing and Bailey's-cooking skills, and sport your finest green threads. Find stage schedules, volunteer opportunities and other information at kcirishfest.com or call 816-997-0837.
Hot rods and custom cars and low riders, along with vendors, food and drink, Lily's Greasy Gallery's mobile art show, and music (Adam Lee & the Dead Horse Sound Company, the Bleachbloodz, and Peewee Moore & the Awful Dreadful Snakes, among others) help re-create the 1950s and '60s. It all takes place at the Boulevard Drive-In (1051 Merriam Lane in Kansas City, Kansas) from noon until midnight both nights. Hot-rod-themed movies screen after dark. Admission is $10 per person at the gate. See greaserama.com for more details.
Compiled by Berry Anderson