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6 Things For Food And Drink Lovers To Do This Weekend In Kansas City

Joe Newman
Flickr -- CC
It wouldn't be a Kansas City weekend without a little barbecue.

We all must eat and drink. But sometimes it seems like we’re just absorbing fuel, rather than being delighted by our dietary decisions. Not this weekend!

That which is consumed so that we may press on can provide greater meaning — as well as a greater waistline —when folks gather around the metro to make a fuss over chili, barbecue, beer, wine and more.

And, remember, it’s the greater meaning that makes the difference at the table – along with maybe a napkin.

1. Lenexa Chili Challenge
Fans of the infamous "Scott Tenorman Must Die" episode of South Park notwithstanding – you know who you are – chili is viewed by most folks as perfectly family-friendly comfort food. And families are the point of the Lenexa Chili Challenge, unless perhaps you happen to be on one of the 200 competing chili-cooking teams vying for domination. Whatever your inclination – hot or not, with or without beans, for or against Cartman – free chili samples will be available to the public while supplies last. And if chili isn’t enough to satisfy, there will also be salsa and hot wing contests. Friday, 6-10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; Old Town Lenexa, Santa Fe Trail Drive and Pflumm Road, Lenexa, Kan.; admission: free.

2. KC Barbecue Tours
What’s more gastronomically fulfilling – or at least filling – than a guided tour of some of Kansas City’s finest barbecue emporiums? You have no idea, either, right? That’s why you can’t go wrong with KC Barbecue Tours, which will shuttle hungry enthusiasts to three or four of the city’s great barbecue restaurants in a few hours time. Not only are there ample tastings of delectable smoked meats and side dishes to be had, but also behind-the-scenes glimpses of how it’s all expertly prepared. Bib worthy, indeed. Original KC Barbecue Tour: Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Arthur Bryant’s Barbecue, 1727 Brooklyn, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $65. Cue & Brew Tour: Friday, 5:30-9 p.m., BB’s Lawnside BBQ, 1205 E. 85th St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $59. Reservations: kcbarbecuetours.com.

3. Phantom’s Feast
The Kansas City Renaissance Festival is finished for the year, which opens up opportunities for Ren Fest cast members and other thespian types to act as scary hosts and servers in the Feast Hall for this five-course meal and haunted entertainment event on the festival grounds. While dining, take in 90 minutes of eerie live performances that could test your nerves, especially if you’re suddenly beseeched to become part of the shenanigans. All in attendance will receive a commemorative pub glass. Huzzah! Friday and Saturday, 6:30 p.m.; Kansas City Renaissance Festival, 628 N. 126th St., Bonner Springs, Kan.; tickets: $45.

4. Beerfest at the Ballpark
Suds will rule supreme when 200 different beers are offered during Beerfest at the Ballpark held on the home field of the Kansas City T-Bones. Music from a deejay will pulse as draws are pulled from taps sporting the names of more than 40 breweries, from Abita, Batch 19 and Cider Boys to Shock Top, Tallgrass and Woodchuck, which raises the question: How much beer would a woodchuck drink if a woodchuck would drink beer? Since you’re at the ballpark, you might want to have a hotdog, too. Saturday, 1:30-5 p.m.; Community America Ballpark, 1800 Village W. Parkway, Kansas City, Kan.; tickets: $34.99.

5. Jowler Creek Winery
Wine lovers are summoned on Saturday to Jowler Creek Winery, a half-hour drive north of downtown Kansas City. There’s the winery tour and wine tasting with a take-home glass on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Then there’s the Sippin’, Smokin’ & Singin’ shindig on Saturday night, when rock bands will play, cigars will be shared and wine and beer will flow like, well, wine and beer. Good times. Tour and tasting: Saturday and Sunday, 1 p.m.; tickets: $14 (816-858-5528 for reservations); Sippin’, Smokin’ & Singin’: Saturday; 6-9 p.m.; admission: free; Jowler Creek Vineyard and Winery,16905 Jowler Creek Rd, Platte City, Mo.

6. 2014 Metropolitan Community College Longview Literary Festival
You’ve heard how we can’t live by bread alone? Well, here’s some food for thought: The sixth annual MCC Longview Literary Festival will let you nourish your head with readings, panel discussions and writing workshops along with book sales and author autograph sessions. The keynote speaker is area comic book creator Ande Parks, author of the historical fiction graphic novels, Union Station and Capote in Kansas. Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; MCC-Longview Community College, Cultural Arts Center, 500 S.W. Longview Road, Lee's Summit, Mo.; admission: free.

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