Opens Thursday at the American Royal Complex
A tradition that dates to 1899, the American Royal Livestock Show resumes next month with meat-judging contests. The festivities based on Kansas City’s agricultural roots, however, officially begin on Thursday with a four-day quarter horse show at Hale Arena. The American Royal season is best known for its signature events. The World Series of Barbecue has a new home at the Truman Sports Complex. The raucous country duo Big & Rich will entertain at the savory event on Saturday, Oct. 3. Five days of rodeos begin on Tuesday, Sept. 22. The BOTAR Ball, a society fundraiser for the American Royal, will be held at the downtown Marriott on Saturday, Oct. 24.
Thursday, Sept. 10-Monday, Nov. 23, American Royal Complex. 816-221-9800. americanroyal.com. Various prices.
Johnson County Old Settlers
Thursday through Saturday in downtown Olathe
Organizers of the Johnson County Old Settlers celebration say that the event’s annual Saturday parade attracts more than 65,000 people. Scores of viewers and participants of the large procession will also partake of the festival’s many other offerings. Saturday’s additional activities range from an antique auto show to horseshoe pitching competitions. Restless Heart, a country band that had a slew of chart-topping hits in the late 1980s, performs on Friday. A concert by the Olathe Community Orchestra is among the day’s other attractions. Thursday’s main stage headliner is the Christian pop artist Kerrie Roberts. A daily ice cream social and a carnival that offers unlimited rides for $24 per session provide further diversions.
Noon-11 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11, 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12. Downtown Olathe. johnsoncountyoldsettlers.com. Admission is free.
Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus
Thursday through Sunday at the Sprint Center
The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus held a jingle contest earlier this year. The lyrics of the winning entry encapsulate the enduring appeal of the longstanding attraction: “Put some magic into your life. Take a break — grab your friends, lose your worries and gather around. We guarantee the greatest show on earth ’cause the Ringling Brothers circus is coming to town.” Even in the Internet age, the tangible attraction of greasepaint, acrobats and elephants is unmistakable. Concessions to modern tastes like elements of extreme sports in some of the presentations are balanced by time-tested displays including Mongolian camel riders, trained tigers and the antics of clowns.
7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, and Friday, Sept. 11, 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13, Sprint Center. 816-949-7100. sprintcenter.com. $12-$75.
Friday through Sunday in Westport
The changing face of Westport has alarmed preservationists who fear that the historic neighborhood is in danger of losing its bohemian charm. While some of the streetscapes may look slightly different this weekend, the 36th edition of Art Westport will emphasize the creative aesthetic that has attracted people to the district for decades. The works of almost 150 locally based artists will be showcased. They include the woodwork designs of Kevin Williamson, the “designer glass jewelry” of Cecilia Labora and the “wearable art” of Louise Carroll. The “non-representational, painterly works” of Laura Nugent, the “impressionist-abstract” painting of Hugo Ximello Salido and the comforting art of Megan Leong will also be displayed.
5 -9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13. Westport. 816-531-4370. artwestport.net. Free.
Friday through Sunday at Barney Allis Plaza
The three-day Fiesta Hispana at Barney Allis Plaza allows attendees to enjoy the music of several notable Spanish-language ensembles at no cost. Friday’s headliner Tropicalisimo Apache is part of a long tradition of Mexican cumbia bands. Ram Herrera, a man known as “the San Antonio Cowboy,” is the main attraction at Saturday’s Tejano-themed showcase. The smooth crooner is the Tejano equivalent of the country star George Strait. Montez de Durango, a horn-driven ensemble based in Chicago, tops the bill on Sunday. Locally based groups get the party started each day.
5-11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11, noon-11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, and noon-10 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13, Barney Allis Plaza. kcfiestahispana.com. Free.
Friday through Sunday at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church
The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church will recognize its 100th anniversary next month. The party will get started a few weeks early at the church’s 54th annual food-oriented festival. The sumptuous offerings for sale at the three-day feast include lamb chops, gyros, souvlaki and kourambiethes cookies. Several dance ensembles and Hellenic 5, a Chicago-based band that has performed traditional Greek music since 1981, are among the entertainers. The tantalizing aromas and the jubilant commotion incited by musicians and dancers may induce sensory overload among some attendees. The guided tours of the church that are scheduled each day will provide an ideal respite from the bustle of the festival.
6-10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11, noon-10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, noon-6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13. Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church (120th Street and Wornall Road). 816-942-9100. greekfoodfest.org. Free.
Haunted houses in the West Bottoms
The Edge of Hell and The Beast open Friday
Businesses come and go in the West Bottoms of Kansas City, but the haunted houses that attract thousands of thrill-seekers to the area near the 12th Street overpass every fall seem impervious to economic trends. Two of the region’s most famous houses of horror open this Friday. The Edge of Hell, a venerable haunted house that’s frightened generations of Kansas Citians, features a “five-story fright from heaven to hell.” The four-floor open design of The Beast boasts “movie-quality special effects.” Reptiles figure prominently at both establishments. The Edge of Hell is the seasonal home of a creature that’s billed as “the world’s largest snake.” An alligator resides at the Beast. Macabre Cinema, an affiliated attraction, opens nearby on Friday, Sept. 25.
Invicta Fighting Championships
Saturday at Municipal Auditorium
Ronda Rousey won’t be at Municipal Auditorium on Saturday. Even so, Rousey’s recent achievements will boost attendance at the women’s mixed martial arts competition. Rousey, a charismatic star, has made millions of people aware of her sport. Saturday’s ten-bout lineup is topped by a title fight between two potential Rousey opponents. Tonya Evinger is the current bantamweight champion of the Invicta Fighting Championships organization. The Missouri native will face Pannie “Sexy Scramble” Kianzad, an undefeated Iranian born fighter based in Sweden. The Finnish veteran Katja Kankaanpää and the undefeated DeAnna Bennett will battle in a strawweight contest that’s the evening’s “co-main event.”
7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12. Municipal Auditorium. invictafc.com. $37-$102.
Sunday at Muriel Kauffman Theatre
The multiple changes among hosts of television talk shows has been a hot topic among the millions of entertainment enthusiasts who harbor strong opinions on the relative merits of each personality. The successor to Johnny Carson, Jay Leno spent 22 years as the host of “The Tonight Show.” Leno, 65, has been free of the grind of preparing a nightly television program for more than a year. His strong work ethic, however, keeps him on the road. He’ll regale Sunday’s audience with his wholesome brand of comedy. Another entertainer who used television to propel her career will open for Leno. Singer-songwriter Emily West competed on “America’s Got Talent” in 2014. Her recently released album features a duet with Cyndi Lauper.
7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13. Kauffman Center. 816-994-7200. kauffmancenter.org. $49-$149.
Opens Monday at the Bloch Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at UMKC and the Boulevard Brewery
Tech Week provides aspiring millionaires and people who simply hope to improve the world with their innovations an opportunity to learn from, network with and become inspired by successful trailblazers. Jonathan Badeen and Jim McKelvey are among the conference’s notable speakers. A self-described “programmer, designer & geek living in Los Angeles,” Badeer is a co-founder of the dating app Tinder. McKelvey is the co-founder and director of the mobile payment company Square. The “3D printing guru” and serial entrepreneur Dima Elissa and Janica Alvarez, the founder of Naya Health, will also visit Kansas City for the event. Kansas City Mayor Sly James is among the many locally based presenters.
Monday, Sept. 14-Sunday, Sept. 20, various locations. 630-984-6787. techweek.com/kansascity. Registration is $60.
Tuesday at Kansas City Kansas Community College
The frenzy that accompanies the announcement of ticket sales for TEDxKC results in nearly instantaneous sell-outs that necessitate viewing sessions at satellite locations. A similar mania has yet to extend to the other side of the state line for TEDxWyandotte. Several speakers will attempt to provide “urban solutions to deeply-rooted problems” at the “Breaking Through” themed conference on Saturday. Vi Tran, an actor, playwright, musician and arts presenter, will deliver a lecture titled “The Empathetic Power of Storytelling.” Annette LeZotte, the director of Kauffman Museum at Bethel College, will address racial issues. The Hong Kong native Hong Hong Hui will perform on a pipa, a stringed Chinese instrument.
6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15, Kansas City Kansas Community College Conference Center. tedxwyandotte.org. $20.
Jonathan Franzen for “Purity”
Wednesday at Unity Temple on the Plaza
Had he been born a few decades earlier, Jonathan Franzen might have been a celebrity in the fashion of Truman Capote and Ernest Hemingway. Writers of literary fiction are relegated to relative obscurity in the new millennium. Franzen rejected a proposed 2001 alliance with Oprah Winfrey, one of the few star-makers capable of substantially boosting the careers of authors. Franzen will speak about his novel “Purity” at Unity Temple on the Plaza. The title character of his new work is a young woman saddled with $130,000 in student debt. Purity’s adventures allow Franzen to examine topics including the ubiquity of the Internet and wealth disparity.
7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, Unity Temple on the Plaza. 913-384-3126. rainydaybooks.com. $28 plus sales tax, includes a signed hardcover copy of “Purity.”
Bill Brownlee, Special to The Star