Oh, who doesn’t love good ol’ Kansas City? It’s the quintessential midwestern city known for its barbecue, jazz and craft breweries. While enjoying what we all know to be Kansas City tried-and-true, KC has some pretty exciting backyard festivals, too. Being that there are so many events to explore, I’ve taken the liberty of giving you the scoop on Kansas City’s top 10 events coming your way this June.
Old Shawnee Days
June 1-4 |11600 Johnson Dr Shawnee, KS | Website
Old Shawnee Days marks the beginning of summer for a lot of KC families. The event hosts a wide range of activities and attractions including live music, a baking contest, a parade and carnival, a pancake breakfast, historical re-enactors and small carnival rides. There are also individual games you can jump in on including relays, water balloon tosses, sack races and more!
June 2 | Kansas City Zoo | Website
Jazzoo is a great fundraising event, celebrating Kansas City’s unique jazz history and raising money for children’s education programs. The event takes place in the Kansas City Zoo and features four separate stages of live musical performances, eats from the most popular KC restaurants, cocktails for the adults and dancing under the stars for everyone to enjoy.
June 2-4 | Zona Rosa| Website
Calling all Italian food-lovers! Festa Italiana is widely considered to be one of KC’s favorite cultural events, featuring authentic Italian cuisine, a beer garden, vendor booths throughout and an Italian car show. Get your Italian fix in the open-aired Zona Rosa shopping mall in north Kansas City.
Jazz in the Woods
June 9-10 | Corporate Woods North Park | Website
Jazz in the Woods is deemed the largest free jazz festival in Kansas City. Located in the Overland Park neighborhood, over 25,000 friends and families gather to celebrate Kansas City history featuring nationally acclaimed jazz singers and ensembles. This fundraising event is perfect for everyone, so grab a picnic basket and blanket to enjoy the sounds of our city’s history.
Heart of America Shakespeare Festival
June 13-July 2 | Southmoreland Park | Website
For all those artistically-inclined, the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival celebrates the great works of William Shakespeare. This summer performance series features one of Shakespeare’s most well-known plays and is performed by famed actors. Thankfully, this series runs 3 weeks so you can be sure to make one of the outdoor plays!
June 16-17 | Stockyards District | Website
We’re KC-proud and Boulevardia is the perfect place to celebrate this hopsy-history of beer making in Kansas City. Boulevard Brewing Company hosts the event, a whole two days dedicated to beer, beer, beer! The microbrewery features their own craft beers and latest creations, as well as other domestic drafts and foreign beers to boot. For those not 21, the event is family-friendly, offering live music, local artisans, carnival rides, eating contests and the city’s most favorite food trucks.
June 17 | Arrowhead Stadium | Website
I think it is safe to say the Color Run has made it onto many people’s bucket list. Who doesn’t want to be covered in colors? The Color Run is a 5K established in 2011 and takes place in cities worldwide, all for the purpose of creating a happier and healthier planet! The “Happiest 5K on the Planet” has been enjoyed by over 6 million runners in over 35 countries. Fun fact: more than half of the Color Run participants are first-time 5K participants, so what’s stopping you this June?
Kansas City Fiesta Filipina
June 17-18 | 9810 West 79th Street Overland Park | Website
Kansas City has a love affair with cultural celebrations. Fiesta Filipina is the Filipina Associations’s largest annual event held in Overland Park. It celebrates Filipina music, food, and dance and welcomes people of all ages to attend and enjoy.
Great Lenexa BBQ Battle
June 23-24 | Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park | Website
This is a personal favorite of mine as it takes place close to home and includes one of my favorite things: barbecue. The Lenexa BBQ Battle takes place in Lenexa and features over 185 pitmasters, chefs and teams from around the region. The categories are made up of brisket, pork and chicken. The two-day event also includes music performances and a children’s activity zone while you’re waiting on your food.
Westport Beer Festival
June 24 |McCoy’s Public House | Website
Back to Beer, the Westport Beer Festical is an annual celebration featuring over 80 craft beers of Kansas City and across the world. While sipping your beer and mowing on some delicious foods, the Westport Beer Festival also offers participants the unique opportunity to talk with brewmasters. The entire event is held in benefit of the AIDS Walk Kansas City.
Okay, Kansas City! It’s time to mark those calendars and get busy. Keep in mind there are more fun activities going on, including the monthly First Friday’s and Third Thursday’s. Keep your eyes peeled for our next calendar coming out featuring the “Top 10 Kansas City Events in July.”