American Royal World Series of Barbecue
Thursday-Sunday, Aug. 31-Sept. 3, at Kansas Speedway
After relocating to the Speedway last year, the World Series of Barbecue moves from October to Labor Day weekend for its 38th edition. The event billed as the world’s largest barbecue competition will begin Thursday with the Celebrity Cook Off. The Invitational Contest will be Saturday, with the Open Contest on Sunday. In addition to food, offerings will include a beer/cocktail garden, carnival rides, live entertainment and fireworks. Tickets are $8-$23 ($40 for weekend) through americanroyal.com/bbq.
Chiefs vs. Tennessee
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7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31, at Arrowhead
Typically, an NFL team’s final exhibition game is little more than an exercise in injury avoidance — a team considers the game a success if it avoids any injuries. This game could be different for Chiefs fans, because it might be their last chance in a while to see rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes play. The Chiefs will open the regular season in one week at world champion New England. 816-920-9300. Tickets are $28-$196 through chiefs.com.
Kansas City Wine Opener
6:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31, at Union Station
More than 700 guests are expected to enjoy about 30 stations with food, wine, handcrafted beers and spirits at this 14th annual benefit for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The Wine Opener, which is part of a national tasting series, also will include a silent auction, photo booth, wine wheel and other activities. Tickets are $80-$125 through kcwineopener.eventscff.org.
Opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1, at Just Off Broadway Theatre
Spinning Tree Theatre will present the Tony Award-winning musical of 1947 about an Irish family transplanted to the fictional Southern state of Missitucky. “Finian’s Rainbow” features some of Broadway’s most memorable songs, written by E.Y. Harburg and Fred Saidy, including “Old Devil Moon,” “How Are Things in Glocca Morra” and “Look to the Rainbow.” The musical had Broadway revivals in 1955 and 2009. 816-569-5277. Tickets are $20-$45 through spinningtreetheatre.com.
Kansas City Irish Fest
5-11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 2-3, at Crown Center
If you’re Irish, this is an event you can’t miss. And if you’re not, there are still plenty of reasons to attend, starting with 10 stages featuring music by 30 bands (highlighted by the Elders, the High Kings and We Banjo 3) as well as other activities. Among the draws will be Art in the Park, a film festival, comedy shows, heritage workshops and displays and a huge children’s area, not to mention dozens of vendors. Tickets are $7-$12 through kcirishfest.com (general admission for Saturday and Sunday will be $18 starting Friday).
Kansas City T-Bones vs. St. Paul
7:05 p.m. Friday-Sunday, Sept. 1-3; 1:05 p.m. Monday, Sept. 4; at CommunityAmerica Ballpark
The season has entered crunch time for the T-Bones, who are battling Lincoln for the top spot in the Central Division of the American Association of Professional Baseball. They also could claim the lone wild-card spot for the four-team playoffs, and these final four games of the regular season likely will decide their fate. The playoffs will start Sept. 6. 913-328-5618. Tickets are $6.50-$16 through tbonesbaseball.com.
Noon-11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1; 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 2-3; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 4; at Independence Square
The early pioneers making their way west on the Santa Fe, California and Oregon trails couldn’t have imagined this kind of celebration. More than 300,000 visitors are expected to check out the 400 vendor booths featuring arts and crafts, food and commercial goods, as well as a carnival and two stages with live entertainment. The showcase musical event will be a concert by Blackberry Smoke at 9:30 p.m. Saturday. Carnival runs Thursday-Monday. santacaligon.com. Free (except for carnival).
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2, at Science City
A family-friendly day of science play geared toward early-childhood learning will be dedicated to hands-on learning for children, plus other fun stuff. In addition to science activities, kids will be able to enjoy music by Rockin’ Rob, a petting zoo, face-painting, balloon artists and planetarium shows such as “Big Bird,” “Sky Station” and “Earth, Moon & Sun.” Union Station. Tickets are $7-$13.25 through unionstation.org/sciencecity/kidfest.
7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2, at Sprint Center
Here’s your chance to celebrate Labor Day weekend the traditional way — with a bunch of large, sweaty men and women. The world’s best professional wrestlers will visit the Sprint Center, and WWE Live’s list of competitors includes big names such as John Cena, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose. However, WWE’s website says, “Talent is subject to change.” 816-949-7000. Tickets are $17-$102 through sprintcenter.com.
Kansas City Renaissance Festival
Opens 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 2, at Bonner Springs
Ah, those were the good old days, before antibiotics, electricity and indoor plumbing. The festival grounds will be populated by folks dressed like their medieval ancestors, with stage acts, street acts, music, games, rides, jousting and more. New this year will be the Dragon Encampment and the Throne of Swords Tavern. Runs weekends through Oct. 15, plus Labor Day and Columbus Day. 913-721-2110. Tickets are $10.50-$12.95 through kcrenfest.com ($12.95-$21.95 at gate; two-day pass $40; season pass $55-$89.95; daily special events $10-$74.95)
Yes featuring Jon Anderson, Trevor Rabin and Rick Wakeman
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 5, at Muriel Kauffman Theatre
It took a while, but the British progressive rock band that peaked in the early 1970s finally was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this April. Jon Anderson and the late Chris Squire founded Yes in 1968, and Anderson remains the group’s frontman. Yes’ biggest hits were “Roundabout” and “I’ve Seen All Good People,” both from 1971. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 816-994-7222. Tickets are $65.50-$135.50 through kauffmancenter.org.
“Men on Boats”
Opens 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 6, at Unicorn Theatre
When explorers made their way down the Colorado River and through the Grand Canyon in 1869, there were no women to be found. And in this satire by Jaclyn Backhaus based on the journals of a 19th-century explorer, there are no men to be found. The all-woman cast speaks in modern vernacular as it re-creates the crew’s adventures. Runs through Oct. 1. 816-531-7529. Tickets are $32-$42 through unicorntheatre.org.
Also this week
Classical music and dance
Midwest Chamber Ensemble, Orchestral Classics: Beethoven Symphony No. 8, Youth Concerto Competition Winners, Sept. 3, Lutheran Church of the Resurrection. midwestchamberensemble.org
Cocoa Brown, Sept. 1-3, Kansas City Improv. improvkc.com
Music (rock, pop, jazz)
Umphrey’s McGee with Aqueous, Aug. 31, Crossroads KC. crossroadskc.com
The Dan Band, Sept. 1, VooDoo. voodookc.com
Danielle Nicole, Sept. 1, Nerman Museum. jccc.edu/performing-arts-series
DevilDriver with 36 Crazyfists and more, Sept. 1, Riot Room. theriotroom.com
Indigo Girls, Sept. 2, Crossroads KC. crossroadskc.com
The Living End, Sept. 2, Riot Room. theriotroom.com
Banda Sinaloense MS de Sergio Lizárraga, Sept. 3, Sprint Center. sprintcenter.com
John Butler Trio, Sept. 3, Crossroads KC. crossroadskc.com
Shreya Ghoshal, Sept. 3, Music Hall. ticketmaster.com
SZA with Smino and Ravyn Lenae, Sept. 3, Uptown. uptowntheater.com
White Linen Party featuring Dru Hill, Sept. 3, VooDoo. voodookc.com
Lake Street Dive, Sept. 4, Crossroads KC. crossroadskc.com
Sawyer Fredericks with Brent Cowles, Sept. 5, Knuckleheads. knuckleheadskc.com
First Fridays in the Crossroads, Sept. 1, Crossroads Arts District. kccrossroads.org
De Soto Days Festival, Aug. 31-Sept. 3, De Soto. desotodays.com
Central States Shrine Association Parade, Sept. 2, Corporate Woods. cssa2017.com/parade.html
Mariachi & Folkloric Festival, Sept. 2, Kansas National Guard Armory. downtownkck.org/event/2017-mariachi-folkloric-festival
Richard Rothstein for “The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America,” Sept. 6, Kansas City Public Library-Central Library. kclibrary.org
Lakeside Speedway, Clyde Ellis Memorial, Sept. 10. lakesidespeedway.net
Heartland Heat Triathlon, Sept. 2, Tiffany Hills Park. kcparks.org