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Weekend Possibilities | Hot Air Balloons, KC Underground Film Fest and Pokémon Weekend Kick Off

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Above image credit: The Huff 'n Puff Hot Air Balloon Rally will light up the night sky this weekend in Topeka, Kansas. (Huff 'n Puff | Facebook)
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3 minute read

It’s a big weekend for live local music. Concertgoers can pick from Lemonade Social, Jazz Fest in Prairie Village and Celebrate Ameri’kana from Making Movies.

Other options include KC Underground Film Festival, Greek Fest and hot air balloons in Topeka.

Friday, Sept. 8

3:30 – 5:30 p.m. If you want to “catch ‘em all,” you must start somewhere. Junior trainers are invited to the Kids Pokémon Club every Friday at Gators Games and Hobby, 720 Shawnee St., in Leavenworth. Each child will learn how to play Pokémon, receive a booster pack, sticker and a Pokémon mini, included in the $5.50 admission fee. Children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult.

7 p.m. KC Underground Film Festival will bring dozens of short and feature-length films to the screen this weekend. The completely free festival at Charlotte Street Foundation, 3333 Wyoming St., will offer experimental, horror, animated, documentary, international and local pictures through Sept. 16, in addition to conversations with select filmmakers. Friday night’s lineup includes international feature “The Great Glitch,” followed by “Work Dreams” from filmmaker Amy McCullough, who will be in attendance. Organizers ask that you reserve tickets in advance.

7 p.m. Lemonade Social, a two-day local music festival at Lemonad(e) Park, 1628 Wyoming St., kicks off Friday evening with four sets in the cozy corner of the West Bottoms. Surf Wax will get things started and will be followed by Dress Warm and Static Phantoms before Lawrence, Kansas, alternative/indie outfit lyxe shuts down night one. Tickets to Friday night’s show are $14.17.

Saturday, Sept. 9

7 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. The Huff ‘n Puff Hot Air Balloon Rally returns to Topeka, Kansas, S.W. Huntoon St. and S.W. Fairlawn Road, this weekend. The 48th edition of the rally offers three days of both morning and evening balloon launches, nighttime balloon glows, local vendor booths, plus Balloon Discovery sessions available to buy for middle schoolers interested in learning more about how hot air balloons work. Balloon Discovery is $20 and includes a T-shirt. All balloon activities are weather permitting.

11:30 a.m. Grab a partner and go for gold at Double Tap KC’s, 310 Oak St., 5th Annual Beer Olympics this Saturday. The virtual reality bar will hold the competition in its City Market parking lot, where teams will compete in multiple drinking game categories. Teams of two can sign up for $15 per person. There are prizes for the “countries” that make the podium. You must be 21 or older to take part.

3 – 7 p.m. Z&M Twisted Vines, 24305 Loring Road, in Lawrence, Kansas, needs your feet. The vineyard’s Sicilian Grape Stomp will give attendees the chance to put in a little work before enjoying a glass of wine, stuffed grape leaves and live opera music to round out the afternoon. There’s a “Sip and Shop” with local vendors in the vineyard from noon to 5 p.m. The grape stomp is free.

3 – 10 p.m. Bust out the lawn chairs and blankets, Prairie Village Jazz Festival is Saturday at Harmon Park, W. 77th Place and Delmar Street. This year’s lineup will bring the Shawnee Mission East High School band, Ken Lovern’s OJT, Paganova, Peter Schlamb and the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra featuring Lee Langston to the stage for a full slate of live music. Festival admission is $5 for adults and free for anyone under 18. Outside food and drink is not allowed. Expect food trucks and soda, wine and beer available for purchase.

7 p.m. – 2 a.m. Counting the seconds until spooky season? American Hauntings is jumping the gun this weekend with a Night at McInteer Villa in Atchison, Kansas, 1310 Kansas St. Thrill seekers can sign up for an after-dark tour of the haunted property with a history of paranormal encounters. Tickets are $56 per person.

Sunday, Sept. 10

Noon – 4 p.m. The 61st Annual Greek Festival wraps up Sunday afternoon after a full weekend at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 12001 Wornall Road. The free festival will have Greek music and dance performances, plus a sizable menu featuring authentic Greek and Mediterranean plates and pastries. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Annunciation Ladies Philoptochos Society.

1 – 8 p.m. Celebrate Ameri’kana, a free music and art festival benefitting Art as Mentorship, will be set up throughout The Concourse Park, 200 Benton Blvd., Sunday afternoon. Live music in the Historic Northeast park will include sets from festival organizers Making Movies, Texmaniacs, Dos Santos, future musicians in The Rebel Song Academy and more. An open-air international market will bring together local makers, artisans, growers and small businesses representing cultures from around the globe. Celebrate Ameri’kana is free to attend. A VIP option is available for purchase and includes a T-shirt, signed poster and drink tickets. Be sure to check out the full details online in advance.

Clarence Dennis is audience and digital content strategist with Flatland.

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