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Weekend Possibilities | Juneteenth Celebrations, Bottoms Up BBQ and Father’s Day Summer Solstice Sunday

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Above image credit: Kansas City musician and graphic designer Clark Rooseveltte gave Juneteenth attendees free hugs in 2019. (Catherine Hoffman | Flatland)
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3 minute read

There’s a lot to celebrate this weekend.

The summer solstice weekend will be marked with communities across Kansas City coming together to commemorate Juneteenth, live music at Grinders KC and Father’s Day festivities for the whole family.

Friday, June 18

6 – 9 p.m. Celebrate the Historic West Bottoms Heritage Days with Bottoms Up BBQ by the West Bottoms Flats, 925 Wyoming St. In addition to barbecue, Bottoms Up will bring live music, drinks, local shopping and backyard games to the block. Tunes will be provided by local singer-songwriter Kat King. Stockyards Brewing Co. and Amigoni Winery will bring the beer and wine tastings, respectively. The event is free.

7 p.m. Eleven-time Grammy nominee Jamey Johnson will play two nights this weekend at Grinders KC, 417 E. 18th St. The first night of music kicks off Friday at 7 p.m. with an opening set from Kasey Tyndall. Deemed “one of the greatest country singers of our lifetime” by the Washington Post, Johnson has brought home both CMA and ACM “Song of the Year” awards. Tickets start at $40.

8:30 p.m. There’s a free showing of “They Shall Not Grow Old” Friday evening on the National World War I Museum and Memorial lawn, 2 Memorial Drive. RSVP for the museum’s Friday Film Series screening of the 2018 Oscar-winning documentary featuring archival footage of WWI, then pack a picnic. There should be plenty of room to spread out in front of the jumbo 23-foot screen with friends and family.

Saturday, June 19

Honoring the June 19, 1865 announcement in Texas of the end of slavery by executive order, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is commemorating Juneteenth with an expansive virtual celebration and learning opportunity. Visit the museum’s website for “Testimony: African American Artists Collective,” a new performance video, a word from children’s book author Tiffany Taylor, a glimpse at Rozzelle Court restaurant’s secret BBQ sauce recipe and much more.

Noon – 9 p.m. The 13th annual Kansas City Juneteenth Celebration at Blue Hills Park KC, 53rd Street and Brooklyn Avenue, has a full afternoon of activities in the works. Stop by the park for free food, live bands, drill teams, local artists, carnival games and much more in the community celebration of freedom and unity. The Kansas City Juneteenth Celebration is free and open to everyone.

Noon – 9 p.m. Why not both? If you haven’t had your festival fill, head north on Brooklyn Avenue and hit the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District’s JuneteenthKC Heritage Festival. Celebrating 10 years of the annual gathering, JuneteenthKC’s festival will bring nonprofit groups, musical performances, food and dance to the streets that hold special significance to the Kansas City Black community. The festival is free.

8 p.m. Cap Juneteenth celebrations with the inaugural Juneteenth Comedy Night by nonprofit Stand Up for Equity. Legends Comedy Club, 6151 Blue Ridge Blvd. in Raytown, will open its doors at 8 p.m. and bring six comedians to the stage, including headliner Ameerah Sanders. All proceeds will be donated to Stand Up For Equity. Admission is $10.

Sunday, June 20

11 a.m. – 3 p.m. You can treat dad to a Father’s Day Grill Feast from Pinstripes, 13500 Nall Ave. in Overland Park, this Sunday. The bowling and bocce restaurant concept is offering an all-you-can-eat menu and  bottomless mimosas and bloody marys. The Father’s Day Grill Feast is $29. Be sure to check online for bowling and bocce rates.

Noon – 5 p.m. Dads are getting a deal Sunday afternoon at the Kansas City Automotive Museum, 15095 W. 116th St. in Olathe. If the old man is a car guy, free admission to the museum will make Father’s Day that much more memorable. KC’s Automotive Museum rotates more than 100 vehicles through its space annually and shows around 40 rides at any given time. Fathers with free admission will get to see June’s featured exhibit, “Big Noise and Big Tires” up close. Non-dad adult tickets are $9. Child admission is $7.

Photo of cat in lady lap
Customers interact with cats at Whiskers Cat Cafe. (Sandy Woodson | Flatland)

5 – 5:45 p.m. If a half-hour of yoga, plus 15 minutes of kitty time sounds like a solid Sunday workout, Family Yoga with Cats at Whiskers Cat Cafe, 3705 Southwest Trafficway, might be right up your alley. The 45-minute session is open to all members of the family. Feel free to bring your own mat or borrow one from the cafe. Yoga with cats costs $15 per person, reservations required.

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