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Arts & Life

6 Competitive Things To Do In Kansas City This Weekend

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Jon Lin Photography
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Bring your A-game this weekend, Kansas City. Things are about to get competitive.

Competition can be more stressful for some folks than others. A vital difference is whether you’re actually competing or merely observing.

Whichever role you choose to occupy – the doer or the rooter – competitive spirits are set to ascend with a variety of activities inevitably propelled by a certain sense of struggle.

Sometimes you’ve got to sweat it to get it. Yes, even on the weekend.

1. Kansas City Scottish Highland Games & Celtic Festival

There will be kilts, bagpipes and other splendid accoutrements of Bonnie Scotland, yet it’s the physical challenges that really bring out the brogue at this annual Celtic confab. Beyond the sight of burly athletes vying for victory in caber toss and stone throwing contests, the public can participate in fun races involving potato sacks and egg spoons. Tugs of war will also occur, including men vs. men, women vs. women, women vs. men and children vs. children. No grownups vs. kids? Get out! Maybe next year.

Saturday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; E.H. Young Riverfront Park, 1001 Argosy Parkway, Riverside, Mo.; admission: $10.

2. Kansas City International Dragon Boat Festival

Races between rowing teams in colorful dragon boats will culminate the 12th annual celebration of traditional Chinese culture along Brush Creek on the Country Club Plaza. The legendary origins of dragon boating go back millennia and still hold fascination. But the opportunity for people of different nationalities and backgrounds to mingle in a modern way also keeps the crowds coming back to this community-building event.

Saturday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.; Country Club Plaza, Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free.

3. Sporting KC Day at the Zoo

Going one-on-one will take on a new meaning when the Kansas City Zoo’s Delilah the sea lion shows off her defensive soccer skills against Sporting KC scorers Brad Davis and Seth Sinovic. The interspecies competition is set for 1:30 p.m. Saturday as part of the zoo’s Sporting KC Day, which includes a 3:30 p.m. painting contest pitting Sporting KC’s Benny Feilhaber and Chance Meyers against the zoo’s more aesthetically inclined orangutans. This should be interesting. Sans animals, there will also be a soccer clinic run by Sporting KC coach John Pascarella.

Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; Kansas City Zoo, 6800 Zoo Drive, Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free with regular zoo admission.

4. West 18th Street Fashion Show: Wild Summer

The creations of more than 20 local clothing designers will be featured in this outdoor fashion extravaganza taking place in downtown KC. More than a few of the designers are grads of the Kansas City Art Institute, where imagination knows no bounds. In other words, this ‘Wild Summer” fashion event could get at least as weird as it will be wonderful. Let’s see what the inspired competition brings to the catwalk.

Saturday, 8 p.m.; 18th Street between Baltimore and Wyandotte streets, Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free or $30-$120 for seats in first four rows.

5. Arrowhead 5K

If you’ve ever wanted to run to daylight at Arrowhead Stadium, you can do it without pads or a helmet – as long as you’re a participant in the Arrowhead 5K. After racing around Kauffman Stadium, through the Arrowhead concourse and the Chiefs Hall of Honor, runners get to hit the finish line on the 50-yard-line at Arrowhead. Chiefs tickets will be awarded to winners in various categories, but everyone who broke a sweat gets to take home an Arrowhead 5K pint glass and t-shirt. The post-race evening celebration includes music, games and the Chiefs Cheerleaders.

Friday, 8 p.m.; Arrowhead Stadium, 1 Arrowhead Drive, Kansas City, Mo.; registration: $45.

6. Dog-n-Jog

Running hard not your thing? Then perhaps you’d prefer to just amble with your favorite canine at the 29th annual Dog-n-Jog. Options include a 2-mile run, a 1-mile run and a 1-mile walk. Even the motionless might be moved by the pure frivolity of the event’s first-ever Wiener Dog Dash. Call me a pushover for dachshund love. And call this a barking good time!

Sunday, 7-10:30 a.m., Country Club Plaza, Kansas City, Mo.; registration: $40.

Brian McTavish is a regular arts and culture contributor for KCUR 89.3. Reach him at brianmctavish@gmail.com.