Published July 14th, 2022 at 11:00 AM
A ton of free fun, plus Friday’s Fringe Fest Kansas City kickoff and Nelly on stage leave no shortage of options when it comes to how to spend the weekend.
2 p.m. Kansas City Gamers are getting together for the Unified Esports Festival, happening Friday and Saturday at The Argosy Event Center, 777 Argosy Casino Pkwy. Players and spectators can expect head-to-head action in games including “Dragon Ball Z FighterZ,” “Street Fighter,” “Guilty Gear” and more, with more than $15,000 of prize money on the line. Tickets are available for both spectators ($15) and competitors ($30).
8 p.m. St. Louis rap icon Nelly returns to the Show Me State Friday night for a performance at Kansas City Live! at Power and Light, 13 Grand Blvd. General admission standing room tickets are $35. Doors open at 6 p.m. You must be 21 or older to attend.
The largest celebration of arts and culture in Kansas City kicks off Friday. Fringe Festival KC is a two-week marathon of up-close and personal performances across multiple mediums, including theater, dance, film, music and visual arts. For access to tickets, purchase a $5 Fringe button that will grant you entry to ticketed events for $10, available 30 minutes before showtime across all 14 Kansas City venues. That, plus free entry to afterparties at Black Box Theater.
The festival opens with film screenings through the weekend and rolls on into late July with an Opening Night Party on Thursday, July 21, and all sorts of arts enjoyment from there. A full digital schedule is available online, allowing the interested to search by performance type, artist or venue. The most-attended shows will be invited to a bonus “Best of Fringe” performance on Sunday, July 31.
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Put the pups in the car and pull up to Dog Days of Summer at Union Cemetary, 227 E. 28th St. Saturday’s event is celebrating dog lovers, walkers and the four-legged friends themselves with a free day of pup-focused vendors, mobile adoption units, entertainment, food trucks and plenty of room for the dogs to roam. Dog Days of Summer is free.
11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Virgil’s Plant Shop, 2763 Cherry St., is celebrating its third anniversary with a Block Party. Party plans include beats from DJ Dan Cool, refreshments from Tacos el Gallo, The Wild Way Coffee and Runner Cocktails served out of a 1960s Palm Beach-themed hydration station. The block party is free.
8:30 – 11 p.m. One of the city’s premier jazz venues will bring Pablo Sanhueza and the Kansas City Latin Jazz Orchestra to its stage for a night of music in the heart of the Historic 18th & Vine District. Tickets to the Saturday night show at the Blue Room, 1600 E. 18th St., start at $10.
8 p.m. There’s Beatles music coming to the West Bottoms Saturday night. Grab tickets to Let It Be Live, presented by Summer Breeze at The Black Box, 1060 Union Ave. The outdoor show will feature tunes from “Let It Be,” along with other works from that period in the band’s legacy. Special guests are expected. Be sure to bring a lawn chair for guaranteed seating. Tickets are $20.
11 a.m. – 4 p.m. It’s almost Christmas (in July) and Downtown Overland Park is in the holiday spirit. Stop by Santa’s Rock the Block party Sunday along Santa Fe Drive, 7221 W. 79th St., for a free day of food, live music, drinks, local vendors and activities for the entire family. Dress code is your finest tropical Christmas attire. There will be a costume contest.
1 – 6 p.m. There’s a Welcome to KC Picnic happening Sunday evening at KC Bier Co., 310 W. 79th St. The brewery is teaming up with Stand by Ukraine KC for a free community picnic for newly arrived Ukrainians and community members who would like to share their experience living in Kansas City with new residents. Drinks will be available for purchase. Feel free to bring a potluck-style meal to share. The picnic is free.
4 p.m. If celebrating Christmas can wait, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak St., knows how to throw a party. Sunday’s Kansas City’s Lawn Party on the museum green offers a full schedule of live entertainment, arts and activities for everyone, food trucks and drinks — and it’s free to attend. Guests are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chairs. No grills or tents allowed. Pets must be leashed.
Flatland contributor Clarence Dennis also is a social media manager for 90.9 The Bridge.