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6 Fourth Of July Weekend Things To Do In Kansas City


It’s that weekend for doing fireworks, waving the American flag and, by all means, having a slice of all-American apple pie.

But you can also sublimely groove to a top-of-the-charts pop princess or be nostalgically serenaded by a famous southern Missouri rock band from the 1970s. However you opt to have fun this Fourth of July weekend, remember, it’s your right to decide.

Why? Because this is the land of the free, the home of the brave and the one-and-only U.S. of A! Despite all of our challenges, we are truly blessed by our democracy. There I go, giving myself goose bumps again.

1. Selena Gomez

The 23-year-old singing star who grew up in this great country performing on “Barney and Friends” (yes, it’s true) and a variety of Disney Channel shows (most notably “Wizards of Waverly Place”) is now a full-on pop star who’s happy to share her talent – and more than a little skin – with ecstatic fans. If Annette Funicello could go from being a Disney Mouseketeer to showing some cleavage (gasp!) in her frolicsome 1960s “Beach” movies, then Selena Gomez can flirt with being in her birthday suit from time to time. Well, times change. But it might be best to keep it from Barney.

Friday, 7 p.m.; Sprint Center, 1407 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $31.50-$124.

2. Lunch Duchess

Female-driven grunge-pop from Minneapolis will be served when singer/songwriter/drummer Katharine Seggerman’s quirky quartet visits the outdoor stage for an early evening gig at the Riot Room in Westport. The band’s catchy moniker comes from Seggerman’s own self-styled nickname, which plays out in a photo of her as a lunch lady armed with a giant tray of macaroni on the cover of Lunch Duchess’s debut EP, “My Mom Says I Have a Rich Inner Life,” which includes the sincere ditties “Cry” and “Gross.” Oh, America, thank you for letting us be ourselves. 

Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Riot Room, 4048 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; cover: $5.

3. Ozark Mountain Daredevils with Brewer and Shipley

On America’s bicentennial in 1976, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils were at the peak of their popularity, still riding high from the hits “If You Want to Get to Heaven” (1974) and “Jackie Blue” (1975). The southern rockers from Springfield, Mo., return to KC for this Fourth of July weekend gig, along with longtime friends and throwback folkies Brewer and Shipley, who still sing about getting high in “One Toke Over the Line.” If that’s really what the song’s about. Because, you know, music is open to interpretation.

Saturday, 7 p.m.; Crossroads KC, 417 E. 18th St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $28-$76.50.

4. KC Riverfest

A people-pleasing variety of local bands will perform from 4 p.m. until the fireworks begin over the Missouri River at this annual tribute to the nation’s pursuit of happiness, including the hip-hop friendly Phantastics, the U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America: Shades of Blue Ensemble, 1980s tribute act Members Only (anyone still have one of those old jackets?); indie-rockers Pink Royal and glam-and-classic-rock-influenced group Yes You Are fronted by powerhouse vocalist Kianna Alarid.

Monday, 4-10 p.m.; Berkley Riverfront Park, 1298 Riverfront Dr., Kansas City, Mo.; admission: $5; ages 12 and younger free.

5. Celebrate the 4th at Longview Lake

Live music – check. Salute to military – check. Skydivers: check. Fireworks – check. Hold on, skydivers? That’s right, skydivers. One more time: skydivers!

Monday, 5:30-10 p.m.; Longview Lake Shelter 13, 9890 Longview Road, Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free.

6. Steve Kramer

A homegrown Kansas City comic who’s made a successful way for himself in the national stand-up comedy scene, Steve Kramer is a wiz at entertaining audiences with more than 100 celebrity impressions. Kramer also combines his swift wit and musical chops to create guffaw-getting songs, sometimes right on the spot. You’re never quite sure what will shoot out of him next. Much like real fireworks, Kramer’s talent is explosive. Watch him skyrocket in shows this Fourth of July weekend and hear yourself “ooh” and “aah” – or make stranger sounds if you laugh so hard that your drink comes out of your nose. Don't say it can't happen!

Thursday, 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 7:45 and 9:45 p.m.; Stanford & Sons Comedy Club, 7328 W. 119th St., Overland Park, Kan.; tickets: $10-$35.

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

Brian McTavish follows popular culture in the belief that the search for significance can lead anywhere. Brian explains, "I've written articles and reviews ... reviewed hundreds of concerts, films and plays. And the thing is, these high arts all sprang from the pop culture of their day. Don't forget: Shakespeare was once Spielberg."
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