Charlie Parker Celebration
The citywide celebration begins Thursday
Charlie Parker reportedly insisted that he didn’t want to be buried in Kansas City. His wish was granted on a technicality. Although his final resting place is just a few miles to the east of downtown, Lincoln Cemetery in Blue Summit. The second year of the Charlie Parker Celebration partly atones for the jazz innovator’s complicated relationship with his hometown. The 10-day series of events includes a gravesite memorial tribute (noon Saturday, Aug. 29), a bus tour of historical sites (3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22) and Parker-themed performances at several venues.
Thursday, Aug. 20-Saturday, Aug. 29. American Jazz Museum, jazz clubs and historical sites. 816-285-9045. kcjazzalive.org. Various prices.
Ethnic Enrichment Festival
Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Swope Park
Thousands of people who consider themselves foodies will spend a portion of this weekend at Kansas City’s most acclaimed restaurants relishing rarefied meals prepared by highly trained chefs. Thousands more will enjoy less expensive fare in an informal setting at the Ethnic Enrichment Festival. Many of the dishes available at Swope Park are derived from family recipes lovingly passed on by ancestors of the volunteer cooks from around the globe. Although some of the offerings are almost impossible to find on the menus of Kansas City restaurants, savory specialties aren’t the only attraction at the annual event. The festival also features dozens of folkloric dance demonstrations, fashion shows and musical performances.
6-10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21, noon-10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, noon-6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 23. Swope Park. 816-513-7553. eeckc.net. $3. Children 12 and under are free.
Arts and Crafts Beer Festival
Friday and Saturday at Screenland Armour
Craft beer, live music and screenings of independent movies sound like the makings of a perfect summer weekend for curious and thirsty Kansas Citians. The two-day event benefiting the KC Pet Project revolves around film curation that emphasizes “a focus on the weird, strange and little seen” such as the offbeat romantic comedy “People, Places, Things.” Artful garage-rock band Rev Gusto is among the performers. Beer selections include the coveted Boulevard Imperial Chocolate Stout and River North Brewery’s complex Barrel Aged Avarice.
5:30-10:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21, 5:30 p.m.-midnight Saturday, Aug. 22 (1:30 p.m.-midnight for VIP ticketholders). Screenland Armour. 816-421-9700. artsandcraftskc.com. Two-day passes are $65. Single-day passes are $35; a $45 VIP pass is available for Saturday.
A Celebration of International Friendship
Friday at Helzberg Hall
The Kansas City area’s reputation as one of the most hospitable cities in the United States comes from the simple daily courtesies exhibited by civilians to the formal international diplomacy that will be displayed at the city’s most elegant concert hall Friday. Fort Leavenworth has been hosting military officers from around the world for 130 years. For the second consecutive year, the public is invited to “meet and mingle” with 109 officers representing 90 countries at “A Celebration of International Friendship” at Helzberg Hall. The West Point Glee Club will provide entertainment.
6:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21. Helzberg Hall. 816-994-7200. kauffmancenter.org. $30-$50.
Kansas City Chiefs exhibition vs. Seattle
Friday at Arrowhead Stadium
The script has been flipped on the Kansas City sports scene. The home opener was once the only day of the year that truly mattered for thousands of lukewarm Royals fans. The baseball team’s prolonged lack of relevance meant that sports talk during summers in Kansas City was dominated by discussions of the Chiefs’ prospects. The Royals’ current winning ways almost make the commencement of the football season seem like an unwelcome intrusion. The Chiefs may be able to recapture the attention of area sports fans with a strong showing in the preseason. The Chiefs are pitted against the 2013 Super Bowl champions the Seattle Seahawks in Friday’s exhibition game.
7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21. Arrowhead Stadium. 816-920-9400. kcchiefs.com. $25-$290.
Boys of Summer Tour
Friday at Kanza Hall
Two Vine stars are coming home this weekend. Sam Golbach and Colby Brock, also known as “Sam and Colby,” will be stopping in Overland Park on Friday as part of their “Boys of Summer” tour. The event features performances from up-and-coming musicians, and Sam and Colby will serve as the emcee. The duo will perform a three-minute dance to open the show, introduce the other acts and give a small inspirational speech. Sam and Colby have more than 75,000 followers on Twitter and their Vine videos get millions of views. The recent Blue Valley High School graduates moved to Los Angeles this summer to create a brand that promotes positivity among their young fans.
3:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21. Kanza Hall. 7300 W 119th St., Overland Park. 913-451-0444. eventbrite.com. $30-$59
KC Aviation Expo & Airshow
Saturday and Sunday at the Charles B. Wheeler Airport
The sight of unusual aircraft flying near downtown will undoubtedly alarm unsuspecting people this weekend. For aviation buffs who look forward to the annual influx of exotic planes and daredevil pilots, the KC Aviation Expo & Airshow provides a highly anticipated spectacle. The thrilling flight formations of the Blue Angels, representing the Navy and Marine Corps, is one of the main attractions. Grounded attractions, including inflated bounce tents and live music, will keep attendees of all ages occupied. On Saturday, Broadway and country music singer Laura Bell Bundy will sing the national anthem at 10:30 a.m. and perform a 45-minute concert at noon.
9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, 9 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 23. Charles B. Wheeler Airport. kcairshow.com. $17-$85 per day. Children 12 and under are free.
Buffalo Bill Days
Saturday and Sunday at Ray Miller Park in Leavenworth
A charitable venture organized and operated by volunteers, Buffalo Bill Days is the sort of homegrown festival that manages to co-exist with large-scale events funded by national sponsors. The homespun alternative to corporate exhibitions features correspondingly little-known but enthusiastic performers. A re-enactor will portray the festival’s namesake, a former resident of Leavenworth. A pie-eating contest and an outhouse race will provide amusing diversions. Musical offerings include the repertoires of rock, Celtic and a cappella ensembles.
11 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, noon-6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 23. Leavenworth. buffalobillfestival.com. Free.
“A Prairie Home Companion”
Saturday at Starlight Theatre
Sentimental fans of “A Prairie Home Companion” were saddened by the news that Garrison Keillor would soon retire from the radio show he created in the 1970s. The denizens of the fictional Lake Wobegon will be in good hands. Chris Thile, a MacArthur Fellow and mandolin wizard, will succeed Keillor. Sarah Jarosz, a folk musician very similar to Thile, will perform at Saturday’s show. Keillor’s “America the Beautiful” presentation will also include “poetry declamation” and popular “A Prairie Home Companion” bits like a segment on private detective Guy Noir.
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, Starlight Theatre. 816-363-7827. kcstarlight.com. $20-$95.
Spirit of KC Fest
Saturday at Crossroads KC
The late jazz genius Charlie Parker and hip-hop star Tech N9ne may be among Kansas City’s best known musicians, but the area’s music fans have long shown vigorous support for roots-oriented blues, rock and country artists. Six sets of musicians that exemplify that tradition will be featured at the Spirit of KC Fest at Crossroads KC on Saturday. Headliner Samantha Fish performs a blues-based brand of rock. The Rainmakers are an exemplary heartland rock group. The Grisly Hand is the region’s top alternative country band. The Latenight Callers, She’s a Keeper and the Brody Buster Band round out the congruent bill.
6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22. Crossroads KC. 785-749-3434. crossroadskc.com. $11.50-$41.50.
Saturday at the Sprint Center
Few things in popular culture are as dispiriting as watching the personas of inflammatory artists get watered down by roles in toothless movies and bland television shows. Much like Elvis Presley and Ice Cube, Kevin Hart has lost some of his credibility through his participation in dubious projects. Once primarily known for his outrageous stand-up comedy, Hart recently co-starred with Will Ferrell in the flaccid comedy “Get Hard.” Hart will attempt to reclaim his reputation as a daring artist at the Sprint Center on Saturday.
7 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22. Sprint Center. 816-949-7100. sprintcenter.com. $57.50-$123.50.
Kansas City Royals vs. Baltimore
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Aug. 27 at Kauffman Stadium
While the Royals cruise into the playoffs, many teams are battling to maintain a mathematical chance for post-season play. The Baltimore Orioles have a decent shot of securing one of the American League’s two wild-card spots. Orioles standouts like powerful slugger Adam Jones and young star Manny Machado will fight to salvage their team’s season while in Kansas City. A performance by the Phantastics, an R&B and funk group, will soothe nervous Royals fans as part of Ink’s Student Night promotion on the Outfield Experience stage prior to Wednesday’s game.
7:10 p.m. Monday, Aug. 24, 7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 25, 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 26, 1:10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27. Kauffman Stadium. 816-921-8000. kansascity.royals.mlb.com. $9-$231.
Disney on Ice, “Frozen”
Opens Wednesday at the Sprint Center
The ubiquity of a song from the 2013 Disney movie “Frozen” can make it seem as if the world is divided into two types of people: those who never need to hear “Let It Go” again and giddy youth. Fervent representatives of the latter group will drag their guardians to the Sprint Center to witness the inevitable Disney on Ice cash-in. Disney’s marketing team pledges that viewers will be “magically whisked away to wintry Arendelle by dazzling special effects and astonishing skating as you sing and dance along to inspiring songs including ‘Let It Go.’”
Wednesday, Aug. 26-Monday, Aug. 31. Sprint Center. 816-949-7100. sprintcenter.com. $25-$125.
Bill Brownlee, Special to The Star