Overland Park & Leawood

June 25, 2013

July calendar of events is as hot as a firecracker

From the Lenexa Freedom Run to comedian Eric Omoni, there’s something for everyone.
Lenexa Freedom Run

Independence Day provides a patriotic workout via the Lenexa Freedom Run. Now in its 35th year, the family-friendly event presents flat, traffic-controlled 5K or 10K courses. Nearly 2,000 runners are expected to participate, and each receives a T-shirt with registration. Electronic chips are utilized to judge times. Awards are presented in 15 age-divided categories. First-place winners receive a plaque and second-to-fifth get medals.

Eric Omondi

The uproarious Eric Omondi, Kenya’s most popular entertainer came to prominence as a regular performer on “The Churchill Show” (seen on Nation TV) where his hilarious sketches became renowned throughout East Africa. Expect family-friendly material from Omondi, who blends topical humor and music as he makes his first-ever appearance in KC. 5 p.m., July 6. Mission Theatre, 5909 Johnson Drive. themissiontheatre.com. Adults $20; kids 12 and younger are free.

The Great American Family Campout

Humorist Dave Barry wrote, “Camping is nature’s way of promoting the motel business.” But perhaps that’s because he never slept under the stars at one of Johnson County’s largest and most beautiful parks. The Great American Family Campout offers a wonderful outdoor experience with a package that includes pedal boat rental and tickets to Theatre in the Park’s production of “Peter Pan.” Campers need to bring their own equipment (tents, sleeping bags, etc.). Saturday dinner is not provided, but donuts, milk and juice are supplied Sunday morning. 2 p.m. July 6 until 9 a.m. July 7. Shawnee Mission Park, 7900 Renner Rd. Register at www.jcprd.com. Family of 4 is $30 or $10 per person; Children 3 under are free.

The Wonder of Food

Hard to imagine a more useful profession to have in the family than chef. No better opportunity to start on that gastronomic path than with The Wonder of Food, which lets aspiring cooks discover the joy of cuisine through a hands-on workshop. The event, held July 9 and 11, is part of the Bambini Creativi Summer Play Experience, which also provides kindergarten and grade schoolers with programs focused on nature, creativity and exploration. Piccolo Explorers (3-5 year olds) 10 a.m.-11 a.m.; Grande Explorers (6-10 year olds) 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.. Barkley Square in Park Place. Register at bcsummerplayexperience.eventbrite.com. $12.

Author Tim O’Mara

Tim O’Mara took to heart the adage “write what you know” with his debut novel, “Sacrifice Fly.” A teacher in New York City’s public school system, O’Mara crafts the story of Brooklyn schoolteacher Raymond Donne, a former police officer who reluctantly gets lured into investigating a murder and disappearance tied to one of his students. The New York Times calls the effort an “authentically gritty debut crime novel.” 7 p.m., July 17. Rainy Day Books, 2706 W 53rd St. rainydaybooks.com. The admission package of $24.99 includes one hardcover copy of “Sacrifice Fly” and two admission tickets.

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