How to spend your summer staycation: The Pitch's 2011 Summer Guide 

Page 9 of 14

Kanrocksas
August 5–6
Kansas Speedway
400 Speedway Boulevard (at I-435 and I-70), in Kansas City, Kansas
913-328-7223, kanrocksas.com

In only its first year of existence, this camping and music festival possesses a lineup that will cause even the most doubtful to shrug off the heat and see some of the biggest names in rock, pop and hip-hop, including Eminem, Muse, Arctic Monkeys, the Black Keys and Primus. One- and two-day tickets are available.

Farm Aid
Saturday, August 13
LiveStrong Sporting Park
One Sporting Way, in Kansas City, Kansas
farmaid.org

Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp and Dave Matthews will be in town for this long-running benefit-concert series to keep family farmers on their land. Additional acts will be announced throughout the summer. See the website for ticket information, directions and updates.

The Pitch Music Awards
Sunday, August 14
Uptown Theater
3700 Broadway, 816-753-8665
pitch.com

Winners of The Pitch Music Showcase's 18 categories (including electronic, rockabilly, punk, experimental and singer-songwriter) will be crowned at this annual event. Keep reading The Pitch this summer for the ballot, showtimes and acts.

Parrot Party
Saturday, August 13
Capitol Federal Park at Sandstone
633 North 130th Street, in Bonner Springs
913-721-3400, sandstoneamp.com

Tickets for Jimmy Buffett's Sprint Center appearance this past spring sold out faster than you could say, "Caribbean Island Vacation Destination." Fortunately, changes in attitudes and latitudes make it possible to keep a Margaritaville state of mind any time of year. See a collection of tropical tribute bands at this all-ages show.

Kansas City Reggae Uprising Friday
Every Friday through August 26
Californos
4124 Pennsylvania
816-531-7878, californos.com

The shady confines of the Californos patio is the stage for this weekly reggae show- ­case filled with local and regional bands and DJs. See kcruf.com for a complete lineup.

Hot Country Nights in the Power & Light District
Every Thursday through August 18
KC Live Stage
14th Street and Walnut
powerandlightdistrict.com

Urban, rural and wannabe cowboys, cowgirls and cowpokes fill downtown for these free evening shows in the KC Live Block, sponsored by Miller Lite and Q104 Country. This summer's lineup includes Reckless Kelly, Sunny Sweeney and Steel Magnolia. These shows are all-ages, but the underage must be accompanied by a guardian.


FOOD

A Baker's Long Hot Summer

Any baker worth his or her salt knows that summer is a chance to be warmed by the sun instead of a hot oven, and it's a chance to actually see the sun, instead of just knowing it will rise, long after you've begun tending to the aforementioned oven.

For Erin Brown, owner of Dolce Baking Company (6974 Mission, in Prairie Village), summer begins with a trip to the Berry Patch (22509 State Line, in Cleveland, Missouri). While she admits that her picking partner is her 6-year-old stepdaughter, Campbell, she doesn't acknowledge eating any blueberries in the field.

"I can't disclose that information," Brown says, laughing. "But what would you do? Don't you have to make sure they're good as you go?"

Those blueberries are turned into a host of baked goodness at home and in her bakery in Prairie Village. The highlight is the blueberry buckle, a dense coffeecake-style dessert with a streusel topping. Each 9-inch cake is made with a lot of blueberries — 5 cups.

"You look at the bowl, and there's just this tiny bit of batter," Brown says.

The berries, and whatever is fresh at the City Market, also provide inspiration for her fried pies. She makes the half-moon, hand-sized pies for Blanc Burgers + Bottles, where they were recently added to the menu, in such seasonal flavors as strawberry-rhubarb and blackberry with almond.

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