Labor Day weekend (and beyond) in KC : Chippendales, Renaissance Festival and B. J. Thomas

08/28/2014 4:00 AM

08/29/2014 3:36 PM

Sporting Kansas City vs. Houston

Last weekend’s humiliating 3-0 home loss to D.C. United dropped Sporting KC out of first place and served as a reminder to the club’s players and fans that last year’s championship doesn’t guarantee success this season. Sporting KC’s star players, savvy organization, rabid fans and beautiful stadium may be the envy of the league, but matches are won and lost on the pitch. Sporting KC will embark on a battle to reclaim first place as it plays the Houston Dynamo. The longtime conference rivals fell to the Columbus Crew on Saturday.

7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29. Sporting Park. 1-888-452-4625. $25-$280.

B.J. Thomas

New generations of moviegoers have discovered the irresistible charm of “Hooked on a Feeling” through Blue Swede’s version of the pop song used in this summer’s blockbuster “Guardians of the Galaxy.” It wasn’t the first time that B.J. Thomas, the vocalist who first brought “Hooked” to the pop charts in 1968, received a boost from Hollywood. His rendition of “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head,” the Hal David and Burt Bacharach composition featured in “ Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” won the Academy Award for original song in 1969. Sara Morgan, a locally based singer/songwriter, will serve as Thomas’ opening act.

9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29. Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester. 816-483-1456. $35 in advance.

Black Light Run

Billed as “the brightest 5K on the planet,” the Black Light Run is a mashup of rituals associated with sports and electronic dance music. Participants in the noncompetitive run wear white shirts that accentuate the neon glow powder that douses them as they make their way through the course in Bonner Springs. The run is followed by a dance party that will be enhanced by additional sprays of dye. Each reveler will receive a white T-shirt, a glow-in-the-dark tattoo and a supplemental “glow pack.” A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Special Olympics Kansas.

6 p.m. check-in, Friday, Aug. 29. Cricket Wireless Amphitheater. $60.

Twenty-One Sax Salute at Charlie Parker’s grave

In addition to promoting the legacy of the groundbreaking saxophonist born in Kansas City, Kan., on Aug. 29, 1920, this month’s “Charlie Parker Celebration” restores the tradition of honoring the man at Lincoln Cemetery. Once overseen by saxophonist Ahmed Alaadeen, the annual service had become increasingly neglected since Alaadeen’s death in 2010. A new support organization, KC Jazz Alive, encourages all amenable musicians to participate in Saturday’s ceremony. The service will be followed by a reception at the Blue Room at the American Jazz Museum. The Kansas City branch of the NAACP will host a gravesite service on Friday.

Noon Saturday, Aug. 30. Lincoln Cemetery. 816-474-8463. Free.

Royals vs. Cleveland and Texas

The Royals and their fans have picked up the new habit of scoreboard watching. Even players and fans intent on focusing entirely on the games at Kauffman Stadium probably won’t be able to resist peeking at scores from around the league as the Royals contend for the team’s first playoff berth since 1985. As the Royals attempt to establish permanent separation from a division rival, the Cleveland Indians, in the three-game set that begins Friday and hope for additional wins in the series against the sagging Texas Rangers that opens Monday, many people in Kauffman Stadium will also be monitoring reports about games involving the Detroit Tigers and Seattle Mariners.

7:10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29; 6:10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30; 7:10 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 31-Wednesday, Sept. 3. Kauffman Stadium. 800-676-9257. $5-$213.

Kansas City Irish Fest

Many of the people who flock to the annual Kansas City Irish Fest attend strictly for the opportunity to indulge in beer, whiskey and music. The festival’s wealth of those three attractions will keep thousands of celebrants busy. Boulevard Brewing Co. and Jameson Irish Whiskey will offer tastings (additional tickets required), while an enormous array of musicians will perform at the three-day event. The festival also offers opportunities to shop, take dance lessons, learn about Irish-American history, worship at an Irish Mass and belly laugh at a stage devoted to comedy.

5-11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30 and Sunday, Aug. 31. Crown Center. 816-561-7555. Single-day tickets are $5 on Friday and $15 on Saturday and Sunday at the gate. Advance single-day tickets for Saturday and Sunday are $10. Weekend passes are $25 in advance.

Santa-Cali-Gon Days Festival

Independence’s annual observance of community pride, the Santa-Cali-Gon Days Festival is one of the region’s largest civic celebrations. The 5K run/walk is a new feature of the sprawling festival. Other attractions include a Little Mr. & Miss Independence contest, craft tents that allow guests to indulge their creativity, carnival rides and more than 500 vendors offering goods and services. Blues-rock band Trampled Under Foot and Beatles tribute band Liverpool are among the locally based entertainers at the main stage.

Noon-11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29; 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30, and Sunday, Aug. 31; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 1. Independence Square. Free.

Kansas City Renaissance Festival

Serving as an extended prelude to Halloween, the Kansas City Renaissance Festival allows area residents to indulge in whimsy that would otherwise be odd or inappropriate. Gorging on enormous turkey legs, drinking the esoteric adult beverage mead and speaking in absurd accents are encouraged at the six-week event. Attractions including a parade, jousting matches and a variety of shows on 16 stages take place daily, but the festival’s theme changes each weekend. The Pirates Ale Fest on the opening weekend includes tattoo, beard and eating competitions, pirate games and craft beer tastings.

Saturday, Aug. 30-Monday, Oct. 13, weekends, Labor Day and Columbus Day. Bonner Springs. 913-721-2110. $17.95 for adults and $10.45 for children 5-12.


In one of the most memorable skits on “Saturday Night Live,” hefty comedian Chris Farley was pitted against svelte actor Patrick Swayze in an audition for a job in the male dance troupe Chippendales. Though conceding that the routine by Farley’s character was “very sexy,” one of the judges noted that the dancer portrayed by Swayze won the spot because “at Chippendales our dancers have traditionally had that lean, muscular, healthy physique.” The handsome Chippendales dancers performing at Ameristar Casino this weekend will be real-life proof of that punch line.

8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30; 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 31. Ameristar Casino. 816-414-7000. $30-$50.

Kansas City Symphony, Pops in the Park

One of the Kansas City’s Symphony’s many gifts to the community, the annual Pops in the Park concert treats audiences to a free performance in a casual outdoor setting. The concert, conducted by Aram Demirjian, will be bookended by “The Star Spangled Banner” and John Philip Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever.” Picnickers will also hear familiar selections, including excerpts from Aaron Copland’s “Rodeo,” John Williams’ “Star Wars Suite for Orchestra,” Leonard Bernstein’s “Overture to Candide” and material from “My Fair Lady.”

Gates open at 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 1. The Theatre in the Park at Shawnee Mission Park. 816-471-0400. Free.

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