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Weekend Possibilities | Jazzy Jackie, KC Folk Fest and Willie Nelson Everybody Sing

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Above image credit: The Gem Theater in Kansas City's 18th & Vine District. (Clarence Dennis | Flatland)
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3 minute read

Between a jazzy tribute to Jackie Robinson at the Gem Theater, Kansas City Folk Fest and Willie Nelson at Azura Amphitheater, May’s penultimate weekend will have plenty of songs to fill the air.

Friday, May 19

Noon – 1:30 p.m. Kansas City Community Gardens, 6917 Kensington Ave., will host What’s Really Bugging You? Insects in the Garden. The workshop will walk gardeners and plant parents through an informational session on common insects in the area, the difference between good and bad bugs and how to control pests safely and effectively. The event is free. Be sure to register online in advance.

8 p.m. The comedy musical “Tootsie” comes to Starlight Theatre, 4600 Starlight Road, for a trio of shows this weekend. The musical tells the story of struggling actor Michael Dorsey, who lands the role of a lifetime through a final act of desperation. Tickets remain available starting at $16.

Saturday, May 20

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Get the family out of the house for the Turkey Creek Festival at Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch Road. The annual celebration includes a morning pancake breakfast, a 5K run/walk, a kids zone complete with a petting zoo, inflatables, face painting, pony rides, live music and more. Attending the Turkey Creek Festival is free. A plate at the pancake breakfast is $5. The 5K is $35 for individual registration.

Noon – 10 p.m. Music, art, poetry, community and local makers will get together at Washington Square Park, 100 E. Pershing Road, for KC Folk Fest. Organizers plan for more than a dozen musical acts, all-day artist showcases, workshops, a craft market, food trucks and much more. Check out the full schedule of events online ahead of time. The festival is free, although donations are greatly appreciated.

5:30 p.m. It’s not every day that a living legend comes to town. Fresh off a star-studded 90th birthday celebration in Los Angeles, Willie Nelson will take the stage at Azura Amphitheater, 633 N. 130th St., Saturday night in Bonner Springs, Kansas. Willie Nelson & Family will be supported by openers Tracy Lawrence and Gary Allen. Tickets are available starting at $34.50, plus tax and fees.

8 p.m. Tickets remain available for Jazz & Jackie 2023 at the historic Gem Theater, 1615 E 18th St. Presented by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Jazz & Jackie is a musical tribute to Jackie Robinson reflecting on his career in Kansas City and love of jazz. The evening will feature a live performance from Rashaan Patterson. Tickets are available starting at $50.

Sunday, May 21

8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Stop by W. 14th and Hickory St. Sunday for BicycleSwap KC Spring 2023, where cycling enthusiasts and casual bike riders will be set up all day in a space dedicated to buying, selling and exchanging bikes, bike parts and cycling equipment. The free event will have bike vendors on site if you can’t find what you seek. Don’t forget to bring parts or pieces of equipment that you’re ready to trade.

1 – 4 p.m. Delayed due to COVID-19, Listyn KC is back this weekend with an event celebrating the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles’ 1970 album, “Let It Be.” Hosted by the UMKC Student Union, 5100 Cherry St., the high-quality listening experience will play the album in its entirety and includes a discussion around the selection and fun facts about the record. Tickets are $15 to get in the door. A $35 ticket includes access to heavy appetizers and a selection of alcoholic beverages for those over the age of 21. Doors open at 12:30 p.m.

2 – 11 p.m. Hip-hop heads will not want to miss the Give Up The Goods Swap Meet at Tin Roof Kansas City, 424 Westport Road. Hosted by Run The Jewels’ Trackstar the DJ, the gathering will have records, posters, stickers, apparel and collectibles available to buy. After 6 p.m., fans can look forward to DJ sets from Trackstar, Requiem, Highnoon and Bill Pile. The swap meet is free. The DJ Party is $10 at the door.

Clarence Dennis is audience and digital content strategist with Flatland.

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