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Children's TLC Duck Derby
11 a.m. Sunday, June 26
Brush Creek on the Country Club Plaza
Thousands of rubber ducks — 15,000 or more — race along Brush Creek to raise money for the Children's Therapeutic Learning Center. Joe Lauria from Fox 4 emcees the event, which includes the Kids Zone with inflatables, face and hair painting and games. The Radio Disney Road Crew provides music, and local restaurants sell food. See childrenstlc.org for more information and details on adopting a duck.
1–11 p.m. July 2–3
Berkley Riverfront Park
Kansas City's Fourth of July celebration on the Missouri River packs Berkley Riverfront Park with food, merchants and musical entertainment. Three stages of live music and entertainment feature blues, rock, alternative, ragtime, jazz, Radio Disney's Rockin' Road Crew, country (including Sony Music newcomer Bradley Gaskin and his single "Mr. Bartender") and Tom Mancuso (as seen on Animal Planet) with the "Sit Means Sit" dog-training session. The festival also includes a carnival (opening July 1), the second annual canoe and kayak race, an LED display on the Christopher Bond Bridge, a short sneak-peek fireworks show on July 2, and a full fireworks display on July 3. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project. See kcriverfest.com for a full schedule and more information.
Party in the Park
9 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturday, July 9
July is National Parks and Recreation Month, so celebrate at the third annual Party in the Park at Swope Park, located off Meyer Boulevard and Swope Parkway. Enjoy free or low-cost family activities all day, including an all-you-can-eat breakfast by Chris Cakes, food vendors, free concerts, free pool admission, arts and crafts, and an inflatable fun zone. See the website for a complete list of events and more information.
Platte County Fair
Platte County Fairgrounds
400 First Street, in Platte City
In its 148th year, the Platte County Fair is considered the oldest continually operating fair west of the Mississippi River. Events and activities include a petting zoo, carnival, demolition derby, live music, talent show, Texas hold 'em poker tournament and more. See plattecountyfair.com for tickets, a schedule of events and more information.
Wyandotte County Fair
13700 Polfer Road, in Kansas City, Kansas
Since 1863, the Wyandotte County Fair has worked its way up to become the largest county fair in Kansas and Missouri, with concessions, petting zoos, 4-H exhibits, clothing, arts and crafts, livestock, crops, a carnival and musical entertainment. See the website for a schedule and more information.
Johnson County Fair
Johnson County Fair Grounds
136 East Washington, in Gardner
"Kick Up Your Heels" at this year's Johnson County Fair, which celebrates Kansas' 150th birthday with a carnival, contests and dog shows. Fair events also include live music, a parade, and all sorts of animals. See jocokansasfair.com for a full schedule.
Lawrence Busker Festival
Massachusetts Street in Lawrence
Anywhere along Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence, at any given time, you could find musicians, artists, magicians, fire-eaters, belly dancers, and all types of performance artists during the Lawrence Busker Festival. Some of the performers teach classes on Saturday morning at the Lawrence Arts Center (940 New Hampshire, 785-843-2787) for $5 per child. The festival this year benefits Big Brothers Big Sisters of Douglas County. For a schedule of events, see lawrencebuskerfest.com.
Osage to Memorial Drive, between Truman and Walnut streets, in Independence
Celebrate Independence, Missouri's role as the starting point of the westbound Santa Fe, California and Oregon trails at the annual Santa-Cali-Gon Days, with carnival rides, concerts and lots of food vendors. More than 400 craftspeople in large vendor tents rank Santa-Cali-Gon as a top vendor show. The festival begins at 6 p.m. Thursday, September 1, with the carnival, and opens fully on September 2. See santacaligon.com for a complete schedule and more information.