Opening day of Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead
Founded on the idea that kids in the suburbs should be able to enjoy the charms of an old-timey farm, the Children’s Farmstead has been fulfilling that mission since opening in 1978. (The 12-acre locale was renamed in 1985 to honor Deanna Rose, the first Overland Park police officer killed in the line of duty.) The family-friendly spot showcases nearly 200 animals, pony rides, a fishing pond, a one-room turn-of-the-century schoolhouse and loads of stuff to climb. 9 a.m., April 1. Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, 13800 Switzer Rd. opkansas.org. Free.
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Much is known about John Wilkes Booth, the conspirator who shot Abraham Lincoln. But little is known about the man who did the same to Booth. That’s what is behind Scott Martelle’s new book, “The Madman and the Assassin: The Strange Life of Boston Corbett, the Man Who Killed John Wilkes Booth.” Martelle, a writer for The Los Angeles Times, will discuss the tale of Sgt. Corbett, a Union cavalryman (and eventual Kansas resident) who shot the fugitive inside a tobacco barn in 1865. This transformed Corbett into an instant celebrity, but he eventually succumbed to mental illness then disappeared without a trace. 7 p.m., April 1. Rainy Day Books in Fairway, 2706 W 53rd St. rainydaybooks.com. The admission package of $24.95 includes one hardback copy of “The Madman and the Assassin” and admission for two.
April 5, 12, 19, 26
The expression “go fly a kite” is meant as a brush-off. But actually flying that kite is always rather pleasant. In its second year, KiteFest offers a month of Sundays dedicated to kiting, kite making and kite flying. Whether favoring a sled, barndoor, delta, rokkaku, parafoil, cellular, stunt or a plain-old diamond kite, there is plenty of space to let the wind give you a lift. A photo booth and other activities for kids are available. Noon-5 p.m., April 5, 12, 19 and 26. Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, West 179th Street, opabg.org. Free for FOTA members; $3 for non-members.
Downtown Dog Day
Can you guess which type of pet has earned its own outdoor event in Overland Park? Skunks? Bobcats? No, it’s the most beloved and dependable of companions: doggies. That’s the animal powering the second annual Downtown Dog Day, which centers around a one-mile walk that starts at the Farmers Market Pavilion and loops down Sante Fe. Live music is available for walkers, as are bags packed with treats and special offers. Judges hand out prizes for the best-dressed pooches. The event benefits the Great Plains SPCA, a KC-based animal welfare organization. 8 a.m.-11 a.m., April 11. Downtown Overland Park, 79th Street and Santa Fe Drive. downtownop.org. Free to attend. $10-$20 for walk participants (children under 6 walk for free).
It’s been more than three decades since the members of Sawyer Brown first caught their momentous break via a TV talent contest. They earned the grand prize on “Star Search,” the more band-friendly forerunner to shows such as “American Idol” and “The Voice.” Flash forward, and this country-pop act has accrued 21 albums and a batch of No. 1 singles — and they’ve been noticeably mullet-free now for several years! All proceeds from Sawyer Brown’s show go to JCCC scholarships and educational programs. 8 p.m., April 18. The Carlsen Center’s Yardley Hall, Johnson County Community College. jccc.edu. $33-$43.
Jon Niccum, Special to The Star