Joco 913

Free fun for families at Park Palooza

The Ernie Miller Nature Center in Olathe will host two events upcoming events in conjunction with the annual migration of monarch butterflies.
The Ernie Miller Nature Center in Olathe will host two events upcoming events in conjunction with the annual migration of monarch butterflies. Photo provided

Park Palooza is free this Sunday

Kites. Hay rides. Beatles music. Star Wars characters. Food trucks. Mr. Stinky Feet.

People of all ages can enjoy those and more free fun from noon 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at a new event, Park Palooza, at The Theatre in the Park in Shawnee Mission Park, 7710 Renner Road. It’s sponsored by the Johnson Park & Recreation District.

“Park Palooza is an event featuring music, entertainment, activities and food .... for the purpose of thanking our county residents for their ongoing support and patronage of JCPRD parks and programs,” said the district’s executive director, Jill Geller.

Kites will be flown by Great American Kites and Events, and live entertainment will be provided by the Beatles tribute band Liverpool from 3:30 to 5 p.m., as well as Victor & Penny with the Loose Change Orchestra performing swing-infused folk-jazz from 1 to 2:30 p.m..

Besides Mr. Stinky Feet, H3TV and Drum Safari will perform for the younger set. Characters from the Star Wars movies will be present all day.

The event will be accessible for people with disabilities, and dogs are allowed if they are leashed and abide by park rules. Find details at

Free Friday concerts in Olathe parks

Olathe Live! is returning with a concert at 7 p.m.

The Travelin’ McCourys will play in Stagecoach Park on Sept. 22 with the Konza Swamp Band. The traditional bluegrass music will help kick off Wild West Days at the Mahaffie historic site.

Donations collected during the shows will benefit the Salvation Army Olathe Corps and the Mahaffie and Parks & Rec foundations.

Marvelous monarchs stop here

The annual migration of the stunning monarch butterfly is the focus of two upcoming events sponsored by the Johnson County Park & Recreation District at the Ernie Miller Nature Center.

Hundreds of butterflies stop at the park this time of year, drawn by late-blooming flowers in a prairie remnant that was restored more than a decade ago. The park is at 909 N. Kansas 7 in Olathe. The events:

▪ Monarch Migration and Tagging, aimed primarily for the 50-plus set, starts at 10 a.m. Sept. 20. Participants will learn about Monarch migration, watch a butterfly tagging demonstration and then receive three tags to tag butterflies in the park or at home.

The 90-minute event costs $15. To register, call 913- 831-3359, or go online at and use barcode 40410.

▪ For children 8 and up, accompanied by an adult, the Flight of the Monarch runs from 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 23. Those attending will learn about monarchs and other native butterflies, and then help capture, tag and release some monarchs that will continue their journey to Mexico. Visitors also can look at the wildflowers that attract the monarchs.

The cost is $5 per child and adult, if paid in advance, or $7 on the day of the event. Reservations are required by Sept. 21 and can be made at 913-764-7759. Or visit and use barcode 39971.

Foundation breakfast for Shawnee Mission schools

The Shawnee Mission Education Foundation’s 25th annual Fall Breakfast is scheduled from 7 to 9 a.m. Oct. 10 at the Overland Park Convention Center.

Interim Superintendent Kenny Southwick will deliver the State of the District Address at the breakfast. The event also will feature the work of the foundation, students and staff members.

The minimum cost is $50 for an individual. Register online through

The foundation aims to strengthen the Shawnee Mission School District while promoting innovative teaching and learning. It also operates a fund that assists families in financial hardship.

Hops & Barley Ball benefits CASA

Here’s a chance to help to abused and neglected children by drinking and dancing — disco style — on Sept. 22.

The Hops & Barley Ball, at Studio Dan Meiners in Kansas City, benefits CASA of Johnson & Wyandotte Counties. Proceeds will be used to train and support more CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteers to speak for children under court protection in the two Kansas counties.

Through contact with the child and other parties, a CASA volunteer provides important information to the judge, so better decisions can be made about where a child should live and what services the young person needs.

The agency says that children with a CASA volunteer are less likely to be abused again and more likely to find safe, permanent homes. For the past five years, 95 percent of children with a CASA volunteer had not re-entered the Johnson or Wyandotte County courts.

The ball runs from 6:30 to 10 p.m. at the studio, 2500 West Pennway St. It features live music by Boogie Wonderland; an open bar with cocktails, beer and wine; dining stations, and a silent auction.

Tickets are $125 and can be purchased at or by calling 913-715-4035. For a $25 entry fee, guests can compete in a ’70s trivia game for a chance to win a bottle of wine.

Deadline soon to apply for Prairie Village Teen Council

Sept. 22 is the deadline for young people to apply for the Prairie Village Teen Council, which allows teenagers to participate in city government and gain leadership experience.

The program coincides with the academic year, beginning this fall and ending next spring.

The teens will be able to work closely with City Council members, sit on the dais and participate in discussions during council committee meetings. They also can tour Public Works, do a ride-along with police, attend committee meetings and a school board meeting, and together on a public service project.

Applicants must live in Prairie Village and be a sophomore, junior or senior in high school. Parents must sign an agreement to complete all the requirements.

To be considered, the teen must complete an application, write an essay and obtain two letters of recommendation. Applications and all supporting materials must be submitted by 5 p.m. Sept. 22.

Find the application at