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Weekend Possibilities | Earth Day Celebrations, Live Events and Return of the Trolley Run Nature's Way

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Above image credit: Groups across Kansas City will celebrate Earth Day on Saturday, April 23. (Adobe Spark)
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Plant sales, volunteer opportunities and a special sangria provide chances to celebrate Earth Day over the weekend.

Friday, April 23

5 – 8 p.m. Downtown Lee’s Summit’s Fourth Friday Art Walk returns this month. The event showcases local artists, live theater and music performances in participating shops and restaurants. Artists and merchants interested in showcasing their work can sign up online.

8 p.m. Celebrate Arts Month by attending an academic show at Johnson County Community College. This weekend, the JCCC Theatre presents “The Aliens” by Annie Baker. The play tells the story of “two angry young men who teach a lonely high school student all they know.” Performances take place in the Midwest Trust Center parking garage, 12345 College Blvd., so dress accordingly. Admission is free.

8 – 11 p.m. Laugh the night away at Friday night’s The Cool Baby Comedy Show at The Truman, 601 E. Truman Road. Hosted by Aaron Naylor and Dayton Bissett, the show will bring four local comedians to the mic for back-to-back bits. The reduced capacity, socially distant event will have reserved seating and standing tickets. Tickets are $15.

Saturday, April 24

8 a.m. If Earth Day has you ready to pull up those boot straps, join the Central Avenue Betterment Association in Kansas City, Kansas, for an Earth Day volunteer opportunity. The group will meet at Bethany Park, 1120 Central Ave., for a light breakfast before walking along Central Avenue to pick up litter and keep the community clean.

10 a.m. – 1 p.m. KC Parks is inviting children of all ages to Celebrate Earth Day this weekend at Lakeside Nature Center, 4701 E. Gregory Blvd. The schedule includes a Facebook Live chat with children in Kenya to learn about Hannah the hippo, a web food game and jungle puppet show. Older kids can pop into Urban Outdoor Nature Discovery Classes by Green Works KC. Representatives from Mad Hatter Compost Tea, Missouri Master Naturalists and more will be on hand for fun crafts, chats and more. The event is free.

Climate Action Summit
Members of the Sunrise Movement joined with hundreds of others in September on the campus of Johnson County Community College for the KC Climate Action Summit. (Jeff Tuttle | The Journal)

10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Douglas County’s Sunrise Project, 1501 Learnard Ave., provides space and opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to build an equitable community through education, good food and social connection. This Saturday, the Lawrence, Kansas, nonprofit’s Annual Plant Sale will make a variety of plants available for just $3 and $4. In addition to plant sales, the event will feature coffee, hot cocoa, pastries and chili dogs, with a vegan option available, all day long. Kids can paint a pet rock, build a bird feeder or plant seeds of their own to take home. Drop-in shopping is available on Saturday.

11 a.m. – 9 p.m. Missouri’s first “green” winery has plans to celebrate Earth Day all day Saturday. Stop by Jowler Creek Winery, 16905 Jowler Creek Road in Platte City for a special batch of sangria and live music. A portion of the winery’s Earth Day celebration proceeds will go to local nonprofit Bridging the Gap.

Sunday, April 25

7 a.m. The Trolley Run returns to the streets of Kansas City with four-mile and eight-mile runs, plus a kids run and virtual events. The annual fundraiser event in support of the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired will be held in accordance with Kansas City public health and safety guidance. The four- and eight-mile races start at the Country Club Plaza, 400 Nichols Road, where shuttle transportation will be provided to participants. The kids run starts at 9 a.m. at Mill Creek Park, 43rd Street and Broadway. Registration costs vary depending on the race.

11 a.m. His father was a preacher, his uncle a pimp and Paul Thorn himself, a former pro boxer. The Paul Thorn Band is wrapping a weekend’s worth of shows Sunday morning with a gospel brunch set at Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester Ave. Often referred to as the “Mark Twain of Americana,” many of Thorn’s songs are inspired by his childhood years in Mississippi. Tickets start at $20.

2 p.m. The sweet sounds of the Kansas City Symphony are coming to Meadowbrook Park in Prairie Village, 9101 Nall Ave., by way of the Mobile Music Box. Drawing more than 15,000 people last fall across Kansas City, the symphony’s mobile program brings classical music to the listener. Sunday’s set will include Edvard Geig’s Holberg Suite, op. 40 and Bela Bartok’s Divertimento for String Orchestra. Admission is free.

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