This weekend's grand opening of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts comes just short of five years since the building's groundbreaking. And, of course, it's a huge deal — Placido Domingo, Itzhak Perlman, Diana Krall and Patti LuPone will be among the very first performers for sold-out shows Friday and Saturday nights in the 1,800-seat Muriel Kauffman Theatre and the 1,600-seat Helzberg Hall. But today is for Kansas City. Around 20,000 visitors are expected on the West Side and in the Power & Light and Crossroads districts for a celebration of downtown's revitalization. The Kauffman Center open house is set to feature some of the city's finest music, dance and theater performers (Trampled Under Foot, Heartland Men's Chorus and the Owen/Cox Dance Company, to name a few) from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. on four stages around the 13-acre property. Look for these special features:
• Free shuttles run from 10:30 a.m. until 6 p.m., with stops at 12th Street and Wyandotte (in front of the Marriott), 19th Street and Baltimore, and 20th Street and Central, and go to 16th Street between Baltimore and Central.
• Food trucks and a tented seating area will be set up on the east side of the Kauffman Center at 16th Street and Wyandotte.
• Ida McBeth and Round Midnight with Darryl Terrell and Lady D headline the 14th Street Jazz Festival, which is being held between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. at the intersection of 14th Street and Walnut and other locations throughout the Power & Light District. Complimentary trolleys at the corner of 14th Street and Main will make runs to and from the Kauffman Center.• The West Side, along 17th Street and Summit, will be abuzz with activity, including an art show by Trey Bryan and a live aerial performance at Chez Elle (1713 Summit, 816-471-2616) from 6 to 9 p.m., a snow-cone sale by Fresher Than Fresh Snow Cones from noon until 7 p.m. at 17th Street and Summit, and art exhibit Quinceañera at the Mattie Rhodes Art Gallery (919 West 17th Street, 816-221-2349). Pedicabs will be available for trips between 17th and Summit and the Kauffman Center.