Published May 4th, 2023 at 9:30 AM
Race into May’s first weekend for Kentucky Derby and NASCAR Cup action across Kansas City. Refreshments range from mint juleps to cold “yard” beer, but don’t forget a margarita on Cinco de Mayo.
6 – 11 p.m. There’s a new Chicano Art Exhibition opening Friday at The Mattie Rhodes Center, 1701 Jarboe St. Anyone out celebrating Cinco de Mayo and First Friday’s is welcome to check out the free exhibit, which will include live music from Las Estrellas Band, Grupo Picante, Stranded in the City and DJ Yo Quiero Silla, plus food trucks, local vendors and booths from a variety of community groups.
8:30 p.m. Break out the antacid, Dos Reales, 8841 W 75th St, is hosting a Jalapeño Eating Contest on Cinco de Mayo. Think you can beat the heat? Competitors will eat as many peppers as possible in five minutes. There will be prizes for the top three finishers. Be sure to check online for registration requirements.
10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Join Urban Sketchers Kansas City Saturday morning for the group’s May Sketchwalk at Nelson-Atkins Museum of Modern Art, 4525 Oak St. The museum has invited participants to sketch the indoor Giacometti exhibition, as well as the sculpture park and outdoor views of the building. Only pencil and paper are allowed inside the museum. Stools will be provided. Be sure to RSVP in advance.
3 – 6 p.m. “The greatest two minutes in sports” calls for a party Saturday at the Electric Park Garden Bar at J. Rieger & Co., 2700 Guinotte Ave. The Kentucky Derby party at the East Bottoms distillery plans for live music, mint juleps (obviously), Derby-themed light bites and the race on the big screen. Put on a hat, pick your horse and party on, with proceeds going to LevelUp Kids, a nonprofit that provides life-changing dental and vision care to low-income children. Tickets are $100.
6 – 10 p.m. The 22nd Annual KC Crawfish Festival will be held at St. Pius X in Mission, Kansas, 5500 Woodson, Saturday night. Co-hosted by the Secret Order of Crawdaddies and the Overland Park South Rotary Club, a ticket to the event benefitting FosterAdopt Connect will include fresh boiled crawfish, sausage, red beans and rice, barbeque and all the fixings, plus beer, wine, soda and bottled water. Live entertainment will be provided by the Earnest James Zydeco Band. You must be 21 or older to attend.
6 – 10 p.m. Percheron Rooftop Bar, 2101 Central St, in Crossroads Hotel is hosting Derby: The After Party Saturday night. The free party will have specialty cocktails and snacks on the menu with tunes from DJ Cale Parks spinning all night long. Ten percent of specialty cocktail purchases will benefit the Kansas City Museum.
2 p.m. Pack a cooler, break out the ear plugs and binoculars, the NASCAR Cup Series returns to Kansas Speedway, 400 Speedway Blvd, this weekend for Sunday’s AdventHealth 400. Be sure to check online for a full list of gate policies and race day upgrades and experiences like an infield and pit passes.Tickets are available starting at $54, plus tax and fees. Parking at Kansas Speedway is free.
6 – 11 p.m. Popular Kansas City pop-up specialist Vignettes Bar, 2376 Armour Rd, is back with another creative endeavor in its new Bob’s BARgurs experience in North Kansas City. Inspired by the FOX animated comedy “Bob’s Burgers,” the pop-up will have themed drinks and burgers, plus karaoke on Sundays. Walk-ins are welcome, though reservations are appreciated. Tickets are $5.
6:30 p.m. Seats are still available for Sunday evening’s production of Les Misérables at the Music Hall Kansas City, 301 W 13th St. The final show of the weekend is the traveling troupe’s last performance in Kansas City before taking the popular production to Denver next week. Tickets are available starting at $36, plus taxes and fees. Purchases are limited to nine tickets.
Clarence Dennis is audience and digital content strategist with Flatland.