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Weekend Possibilities | Kansas City BBQ Festival, Rock Island Trail Ribbon Cutting and Water Lantern Festival Ten Options for a Tasty Weekend

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Above image credit: Pitmaster John Atwell of Jousting Pigs BBQ in Liberty, Missouri. (Contributed | Jousting Pigs BBQ)
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4 minute read

Pitmasters will be parked at Arrowhead Stadium all weekend for the Kansas City BBQ Festival. And that’s just one of the appetizing options when it comes to what to do this weekend.

Friday, July 9

6 p.m. WeekEnder returns to Crown Center, 2405 Grand Blvd., Friday night with local live music, food trucks and a film screening under the stars. The first edition of WeekEnder in 2021 will feature music from The Suburbans, followed by “The Greatest Showman” at 9 p.m. Refreshments will be courtesy of Between Two Buns, Estrella Azul and Kona Ice. Admission is free. Pets and outside alcohol are not permitted.

6 p.m. Band of Angels’ annual Art That Blows event is headed for The Abbott, 1901 Cherry St., in the heart of the Crossroads Arts District for 2021. The venue will be transformed into an art studio featuring donated, nonfunctional musical instruments that have been turned into pieces of art. Ticket holders will be able to bid on works of art in a silent auction and enjoy live music overlooking the Kansas City skyline. General admission is $35. Those with VIP tickets ($75) will be granted early entry into the space and get a “swag bag” to take home. The silent auction will benefit the community served by Band of Angels, a local nonprofit devoted to providing instruments, scholarships and support to children in need in the greater Kansas City area.

7 – 9 p.m. Kansas City singer-songwriter Crystal Rose, who has performed on NBC’s “The Voice” and appeared on NPR Music’s Tiny Desk Contest Top Shelf, will play an outdoor set at The Kansas City Museum, 3218 Gladstone Blvd. Tickets to see Crystal Rose in the first installment of the museum’s On The Lawn Summer Concert series are $5. Feel free to bring a picnic, lawn chairs or blankets.

8 p.m. There’s a free comedy show Friday night at The Mockingbird Lounge, 204 Orchard St., on Strawberry Hill in Kansas City, Kansas. When you arrive, stroll through the bar and out the back door in time to claim a good seat for Patio Goofs, a night of stand-up comedy by funny people from all over the country, including Chicago’s Mike O’Keefe, Houston’s Joshua Stokes and Stacy Cay, who is from right here in Kansas City. Donations are welcome.

Saturday, July 10

10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Come Saturday morning at 10 a.m., cyclists can connect from Kansas City to St. Louis. The cross-state connection is thanks to the much-anticipated completion of the Rock Island Trail, which runs through Jackson County and connects to the Katy Trail through the Greenwood and Rock Island Connectors, near Pleasant Hill. There’s a full day of events to celebrate the 13.5-mile connection, including ribbon-cutting ceremonies at the Truman Sports Complex, 1 Royal Way, and in Raytown, followed by special beer releases at Crane Brewing Co., which sits along the new trail, live music and more. Be sure to check online for the full schedule of events spanning throughout Raytown and Jackson County.

Noon – 7 p.m. Whether you are up to trying something new or have been searching all over for where to find West African cuisine locally, there’s an African Dream Cuisine Pop-Up Restaurant at the The Kitchen at Lenexa Public Market, 8750 Penrose Lane, that’s worth a try. Owners Neba Ngwa and Stella Musongong are offering dine-in and takeaway options, plus the opportunity to sample traditional West African dishes before ordering. Check online for updated pop-up menus. Reservations are available.

Water lanterns will light up Brush Creek Saturday night near the Country Club Plaza.
(Courtesy | Water Lantern Festival)

5:30 – 10 p.m. Frank A. Theis Park, 47th Oak streets, will serve as the launch point for hundreds of glowing lanterns that will illuminate Brush Creek during this year’s Water Lantern Festival. There’ll be food trucks, live music and more fun for the whole family, leading up to launch. Admission to the festival is $25.99 if purchased ahead of time online, and $40.99 if purchased at the event. Tickets include a lantern and supplies to decorate, so start drafting a design.

Sunday, July 11 

11 a.m. – 1 p.m. The Culinary Center of Kansas City, 7920 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park, is inviting anyone interested in moving to a plant-based diet to an instructional session focused on how to make vegan or plant-based dishes. The session will be led by instructor Tracy Richter, who will provide examples of delicious meatless meals, plus tips on how to cook with plant-free ingredients and more. Pre-registration is required. Tickets are $55.

11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The parking lot at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, 1 Arrowhead Drive, will be close to prime form this weekend, still months shy of the NFL season. The Kansas City BBQ Festival will be there in the place of tailgaters, in Lot M, where pitmasters from all over the country will provide free demos, plus delicious plates all weekend long. Sunday’s live music schedule starts with Quite Frankly at 11 a.m. and concludes with Brandon Miller Band at 5 p.m. Admission to the Kansas City BBQ Festival is free. But limited $89 “Q Pit Passes” are available if you’re willing to pay for all-you-can-eat BBQ, free signature cocktails, beer and soft drinks, no waiting and private restrooms.

8 p.m. It’s the opening weekend for Leawood Stage Co.’s production of Seussical at the Ironwoods Amphitheatre, 14701 Mission Road. Director Chris McCoy’s production of the classic musical based on the work of Dr. Seuss tells the story of imagination, family, friendship and community. There’s some available seating at the amphitheater, but feel free to bring chairs and blankets. Outside food and drink is welcome. Seussical at Ironwoods is free to attend. Be sure to RSVP.

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