Your mega guide to fall festivals: Middle of Map returns, along with beer, chili, art

Ethnic Enrichment Festival: ‘Feel the world beat in the heart of America’

63 countries were represented in the 38th annual Ethnic Enrichment Festival at Swope Park in Kansas City Saturday, August 19.
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63 countries were represented in the 38th annual Ethnic Enrichment Festival at Swope Park in Kansas City Saturday, August 19.

If it seems that every town must have a fall celebration and every food product deserves its day in the sun, a look at the area’s autumn lineup of fairs and festivals will do little to dispel that belief.

Lenexa, Olathe, Overland Park, Lee’s Summit, Liberty and Raymore are just a handful of the region’s municipalities that will be dancing in the streets in the coming months. Meanwhile, there will be events celebrating products from the lowly hedge apple to spinach and chili.

And, of course, beer, wine and barbecue will be common themes.

But don’t overlook the many entertainment-oriented festivals, topped by the Middle of the Map film and music festivals and the Crossroads Musicfest, or the top-rate visual arts events, highlighted by the Plaza Art Fair.

As always, the festival season will kick off Labor Day weekend with the big three: the Kansas City Irish Fest at Crown Center, SantaCaliGon Days in Independence and the Kansas City Renaissance Festival in Bonner Springs.

They will be followed by traditional events such as Johnson County Old Settlers (Sept. 5-7), Fiesta Hispana (Sept. 13-15) and the Louisburg Cider Mill Ciderfest and Craft Fair (Sept. 28-Oct. 6), as well as at least six Oktoberfests.

All are included in our mega-list of fall fairs and festivals:

Music, dance and entertainment

motm logo
The Middle of the Map Fest is back with separate film and music festivals this year.

Playing from a porch, Hammerhedd band members played some Metallica for a crowd that gathered during PorchFest KC. The event featured more than 100 bands on more than 40 porches in the Valentine Neighborhood, in Kansas City.

Middle of the Map Film Festival, Aug. 28-Sept. 1, Screenland Armour. middleofthemapfest.com

Dancefestopia, Sept. 5-8. La Cygne. dancefestopia.com

Crossroads Musicfest, Sept. 7, Crossroads District. cmfkc.com

Dance in the Park, Sept. 7, Roanoke Park. cityinmotion.org

Music On Main, Sept. 7, Downtown Grandview. grandview.org/work/grandview-area-chamber-of-commerce/music-on-main

Prairie Village Jazz Festival, Sept. 7, Harmon Park. pvkansas.com/leisure-and-lifestyle/things-to-do/jazz-festival

Terror on the Plains International Horror Film Festival, Sept. 27-28, Boulevard Drive-In. terrorontheplains.com

Middle of the Map Music Festival, Oct. 4-5, Crossroads District. middleofthemapfest.com

PorchFestKC, Oct. 12, Midtown. porchfestkc.com

Heart of America Belly Dance Festival, Oct. 18-20, Camelot Ballroom. heartofamericabellydance.com

Kansas City Music & Arts Festival, Oct. 19-20, Shawnee Mission Park. kcartsfestival.com

Kansas International Film Festival, Nov. 8-14, Glenwood Arts Theatre. kansasfilm.com

Visual arts

The Country Club Plaza opened its 85th Art Fair festival Friday evening, September 23. Nine street blocks were filled with booths featuring 240 artists and thousands of visitors coming to enjoy the vitality of the district.

Tonganoxie Plein Air Art Festival, Aug. 28-31, Downtown Tonganoxie. eventbrite.com/event/66928467849

Art Westport, Sept. 6-8, Westport District. westportkcmo.com/artwestport

Kansas City Chalk & Walk Festival, Sept. 7-8, Crown Center. kcchalkandwalk.orgBrush Creek Art Walk, Sept. 13-15, Plaza and Loose Park. kcparks.org/event/bc-art-walk-2019

Hallmarket Art Festival, Sept. 14, Crown Center Square. crowncenter.com/hallmarket

Plaza Art Fair, Sept. 20-22, Country Club Plaza. plazaartfair.com

Unplaza Art Fair, Sept. 21-22, Southmoreland Park. peaceworkskc.org/unplaza

Summit Art Festival, Oct. 11-13, Downtown Lee’s Summit. summitartfest.org

Food and drink

The Lenexa Chili Challenge features competitions in various categories. It will take place Oct. 11-12. File The Star

Contestants in the American Royal World Series of Barbecue contest give tips for succulent, falling off the bone barbecue that you can make at home.

Greek Festival, Sept. 6-8, Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church. greekfoodfest.org

Midwest Tea Festival, Sept. 7-8, Ararat Shrine Temple. midwestteafest.com

Uncorked: KC Wine Festival, Sept. 7, Union Station. uncorkedwinefestivals.com/kansas-city-wine-festival

The 47 Foodie Fest, Sept. 8, 47th and Mission. facebook.com/events/566937680377879

American Royal World Series of Barbecue, Sept. 12-15, Kansas Speedway. americanroyal.com/bbq/festival-information

Independence Uncorked Wine Festival, Sept. 14, Bingham-Waggoner Estate. independenceuncorked.com

KC Beer Fest, Sept. 14, Power & Light District. kcbeerfest.com

Shawnee Great Grillers Blues and Barbeque State Championship, Sept. 27-28, Shawnee Town. shawneegreatgrillers.com

Hedge Apple Days, Sept. 28, Powell Gardens. powellgardens.org

KC Wing Fest, Sept. 28, CrossroadsKC. crossroadskc.com

Village West WineFest, Sept. 28, Schlitterbahn Waterpark. villagewestwinefest.com

Kansas City Grilled Cheese Festival, Oct. 4, Ilus Davis Park. kccrew.com/events/grilledcheesefestival

Chilifest, Oct. 5, Lee’s Summit. bridgespace.us/chilifest

Lenexa Chili Challenge, Oct. 11-12, Old Town Lenexa. lenexa.com

Botanical Brewfest, Oct. 12, Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. artsandrec-op.org/arboretum

Midwest Soul VegFest, Oct. 12, Vine Street Great Lawn. eventbrite.com/event/68099404151

Donut Fest Kansas City, Oct. 13, Martin Event Space. eventbrite.com/event/59995880293

Brew at the Zoo and Wine Too, Oct. 19, Kansas City Zoo. kansascityzoo.org/events/brew-zoo-wine

KC Mac & Cheese Festival, Oct. 19, Union Station. Berkley Riverfront Park. eventbrite.com/event/63285025214

Whiskey & Tobacco Fest, Nov. 2, Burley House, Weston. westonwhiskeyandtobacco.com

Wicked Wine Walk, Nov. 2, Power & Light District. powerandlightdistrict.com

Pig and Swig, Nov. 9, Power & Light District. pigandswiglive.com/kansas-city

Shopping events

Oddities & Curiosities Expo, Aug. 31, Bartle Hall. odditiesandcuriositiesexpo.com

Fall Fling, Sept. 5, Longview Mansion. longviewmansion.com

Fall Bazaar and Craft Fair, Sept. 21, Paola Park Square. paolachamber.org

Holiday Mart, Oct. 17-20, Bartle Hall. jlkc.org/events/holiday-mart

Holiday Boutique, Nov. 14-17, Overland Park Convention Center. kcholidayboutique.com

Other celebrations

De Soto Days Festival, Aug. 29-31, De Soto. desotodays.com

Kansas City Irish Fest, Aug. 30-Sept. 1, Crown Center. kcirishfest.com

SantaCaliGon Days, Aug. 30-Sept. 2, Independence Square. santacaligon.com

KC Zoot Suit Festival, Aug. 31, Memorial Hall. facebook.com/events/270329340450240

KidFest, Aug. 31, Science City. unionstation.org/sciencecity

Kansas City Renaissance Festival, Aug. 31-Oct. 14, Bonner Springs. kcrenfest.com

Johnson County Old Settlers, Sept. 5-7, Downtown Olathe. johnsoncountyoldsettlers.com

Belton Fall Festival, Sept. 6-7, Main Street, Belton. oldtownbelton.com/belton-fall-festival

Grain Valley Fair, Sept. 6-7, Grain Valley. grainvalleyfair.com

Big Shoal Country Fair, Sept. 7, Atkins-Johnson Farm and Museum. atkinsjohnsonfarm.com

Dust Bowl Jamboree, Sept. 7, Parkville. dustbowljamboree.net

Grinter Applefest, Sept. 7, Grinter Place Historic Site. kshs.org/grinter_place

Kansas City Cigar Festival, Sept 7, Diebel’s. kccigarfestival.com

Kansas City Kansas Latino Arts Festival, Sept. 7, Bethany Park. visitkansascityks.com or latinoartsfoundationkc.com

Spinach Festival, Sept. 7, Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park. lenexa.com

Westport Lost Arts Fair, Sept. 7-8, 1855 Harris-Kearney House. westporthistorical.com

Kansas City Pagan Pride Day Harvest Festival and Craft Faire, Sept. 8, Merriam Marketplace. kcppd.com

Blue Springs Fall Fun Festival, Sept. 13-15, Downtown Blue Springs. bluespringsfallfestival.com

Fiesta Hispana, Sept. 13-15, Barney Allis Plaza. kcfiestahispana.com

Jesse James Festival, Sept. 13-14 and 19-22, Kearney. jessejamesfestival.com

Nehemiah Festival, Sept. 13-15, Smith’s Fork Park, Smithville. nehemiahfest.com

Missouri Baptist Children’s Home Apple Festival, Sept. 14, First Baptist Church, Raymore. mbch.org

Rev It Up Street Festival, Sept. 14, South Park, Lawrence. revitupcarshow.com

West Bottoms Block Party, Sept. 14, West Bottoms. facebook.com/events/358681954771071

American Indian Cultural Celebration, Sept. 15, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. nelson-atkins.org

Raymore Festival in the Park, Sept. 19-21, Raymore. raymorefestival.com

Festival of the Lost Township, Sept. 21, Downtown Raytown. festivalofthelosttownship.org

Freedom Festival, Sept. 21-22, John Brown Museum State Historic Site, Osawatomie. kshs.org/john_brown

Friends of Shawnee Town Arts & Crafts Fair & Fall Festival, Sept. 21, Shawnee Town 1929. shawneetown.org

Troostapalooza, Sept. 21, 30th and Troost. troostapalooza.com

Waldo Fall Festival, Sept. 21, Waldo Area, 75th and Wornall. waldokc.com/event/fall-festival

Liberty Fall Festival, Sept. 27-29, Liberty. libertyfallfest.com

Oktoberfest, Sept. 27-28, Downtown Lee’s Summit. lsoktoberfest.com

Deaf Cultural Festival, Sept. 28, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. nelson-atkins.org

Grand Festival of Chez les Canses, Sept. 28, Fort Osage National Historic Landmark. makeyourday.com

Louisburg Cider Mill Ciderfest and Craft Fair, Sept. 28-Oct. 6, Louisburg Cider Mill. louisburgcidermill.com

Overland Park Fall Festival, Sept. 28, Downtown Overland Park. downtownop.org/fall-festival-parade

Slime Festival, Sept. 28, Overland Park Convention Center. opconventioncenter.com/event/slime-festival

Gladfest, Oct. 4-6, Gladstone. gladstonechamber.com/gladfest

KC Oktoberfest, Oct. 4-5, Crown Center. kcoktoberfest.com

Oktoberfest, Oct. 4, Shawnee Civic Center. shawneegermanclub.org

Dozer Days, Oct. 5-6, Kansas Speedway. kansascity.dozerday.org

Greater Kansas City Japan Festival, Oct. 5, JCCC. kcjapanfestival.com

Harvest Festival, Oct. 5, Shoal Creek Living History Museum. shoalcreeklivinghistorymuseum.com

KC Games for Good, Oct. 5, National WW1 Museum and Memorial. kcgamesforgood.org

Oktoberfest, Oct. 5, Commerical Street Mall, Atchinson. visitatchison.com/event/oktoberfest

Oktoberfest Fall Festival, Oct. 5, Downtown Excelsior Springs. visitexcelsior.com

Scarecrow Festival, Oct. 5, Downtown Shawnee. visitshawneeks.com

WaterFire, Oct. 5, Brush Creek. waterfirekc.org

Applefest Celebration, Oct. 5-6, Weston. westonmo.com

Festival of Arts, Crafts and Music, Oct. 6, Missouri Town 1885. makeyourdayhere.com

Irish Festival, Oct. 11-13, Weston. westonmo.com

Shawnee Indian Mission Fall Festival, Oct. 11-13, Shawnee Indian Mission. kshs.org/shawnee_indian

Turner Days, Oct. 12-13, Kansas City, Kansas. turnerdays.com

Wild West Days, Oct. 12-13, Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm. mahaffie.org

CrossroadsKC Oktoberfest, Oct. 19, CrossroadsKC. crossroadskc.com

Dogtober Fest, Oct. 20, Kemper Outdoor Education Center. makeyourdayhere.com/171/dogtober-fest

Central Avenue Dia de los Muertos Parade, Nov. 2, Kansas City, Kansas. cabakck.org/dia-de-muertos

Day of the Dead, Nov. 3, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. nelson-atkins.org

Worth the drive

Walnut Valley Festival, Sept. 18-22, Winfield, Kansas. wvfest.com

Arrow Rock Heritage Festival, Oct. 12-13, Arrow Rock, Missouri. arrowrock.org

Warsaw Heritage Days, Oct. 19-20, Warsaw, Missouri. warsawchamberofcommerce.com/heritage-days.html