Surf's up at Clinton Lake.

In the Wind 

Surf's up at Clinton Lake.

SAT 5/15
Remember the dudes who, 15 years ago, mounted Jet Skis to perform acts of senseless daring in the wakes of their dads' speedboats? You know, they of the neon sunglass cords and the Ocean Pacific tank tops? Well, the latest breed of high-fiving-badass-adrenaline-junkies-on-water is converging on Clinton Lake near Lawrence. But now they come bearing kites. The 2004 Kite Festival, Saturday at the lake's west swim beach, might sound a little peace-and-loveish, but it's actually a great place to watch would-be X-Gamers perform a little trick they like to call kite surfing. Kite surfing mixes water-skiing and parasailing to create a relatively new sport that makes other people at the lake look at you.

The festival offers a beginners' clinic with expert kite-surfer dudes, who may not be amused if they're approached about the I-wore-my-old-hypercolor-shirt discount. Land buggies, kite stunts and volleyball also will be available, along with a giant moonwalk for the kiddies. KLZR 105.9 (the Lazer) will be on hand; so will Red Bull adverpimps in case you need a presurf caffeine shot. For a more laid-back experience, bring a kite to fly and get in on the games and prize raffles. The mostly free festival runs from noon to 5 p.m. For more information, see www.kckiteclub.org. --Sarah Smarsh

Play Ball
Softball season gears up -- who's bringing the 12-pack?

FRI 5/14
For the amateur batter, the softball is always preferable to the baseball. It's larger (easier to hit) and more pliant (less painful when amateur pitcher nails said batter in left shoulder). But the softball's charms are most apparent on summer evenings, when the lay batter tends to be obscenely sauced. Swaying above home plate, the beer-addled softball hitter actually has a chance at this grapefruit of a ball, which likely is moving slowly because of the equally intoxicated pitcher's compromised faculties. Softball teams -- even those that employ strategic sobriety -- can find two summer league locations in Jackson County: the 140th and Holmes Softball and Baseball Complex and the Frank White Jr. Softball Complex at Longview Park in Lee's Summit. Registration ends May 14 for both men's and coed divisions and costs $400-$800. Play begins May 23. Forms are available at www.jacksongov.org or by calling 816-795-8200, ext. 1278. -- Smarsh

Rodeo Romeos
Love those Wranglers.

5/14-5/15
Our favorite cowboy is a Mike's Tavern regular. He's there every Wednesday, immaculately dressed in his pristine black cowboy hat, starched white shirt and pressed blue jeans. We think he should definitely attend the Twin City Riding Club's Invitational Rodeo this weekend at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, just to make sure all the other cowboys and cowgirls are up to speed on roper fashion. The rodeo, held at Jerry Smith Farms (139th Street and Prospect), includes barrel racing, team roping, bull and bareback riding, and bulldogging. We're sure it only sounds inhumane. Ticket prices are reduced on Friday night (family night) and range from $6 to $12 Saturday night. Call 816-241-8287 for more information.

--Annie Fischer

Disc Jockeys

5/15-5/16
It's too late to register to play in the Mayfest Memorial Ultimate Tournament, but that's cool, because your team of scrubs would probably get crushed by one of the twenty supercompetitive teams from around the country that did register in time. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy the action from the sidelines. This weekend, the battle lines are set at Minor Park (122nd Street and Blue River Road). For details, see www.kcusl.com or call 816-531-5752.-- Michael Vennard

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