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7 Stirring Things To Do In Kansas City This Weekend

James Abbott
Flickr — CC

Whether you’re figuratively the straw or the drink, stirring situations beckon this weekend.

Dance outdoors! Sketch a street art masterpiece! Hobnob with the world’s first superhero!  

Oh, there’s more. But whether to stir or be stirred? I say go for both!

1. Dance in the Park

City in Motion Dance Theater utilizes a dance school, a professional dance company and a youth dance theater to spread the wonderful world of coordinated movement throughout our community. City in Motion’s stirring efforts include presentation of this weekend’s annual Dance in the Park, which begins with a free dance lesson before a variety of enlightening and entertaining local dance groups perform everything from ballet to break dancing.

Saturday, 6:30 p.m.; Roanoke Park, 3699 Roanoke Road, Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free (donations accepted).

2. Jewish Culture Fest

The stirring saga of the Jewish people goes back to Biblical times, encompassing extraordinary tragedy and triumph. The story continues in an altogether inclusive way at the Jewish Culture Fest – nicknamed a “schmoozapalooza” – where people of all backgrounds are invited to mix and mingle while partaking of Hebrew-focused foods and live entertainments, including a capella music group Listen Up! and intriguingly bluegrass-friendly Nefesh Mountain.

Sunday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City, 5801 W. 115th St., Overland Park, Kan.; admission: $8 adults, $5 ages 4-12.

3. Lenexa Spinach Festival

As Popeye would say, “Where’s me spinach?” The strength-giving veggie that turns the one-eyed sailor (who was created in 1929, nearly a decade before Superman) into a do-gooding dynamo will be all over the place at the Lenexa Spinach Festival, where all ages can get a taste of the “world’s largest spinach salad.” Families can also have fun meeting the mighty Popeye and his string-bean sweetheart Olive Oyl. But the most stirring spectacle might be the Swee’Pee Baby Crawling Contest. Because an army of scurrying tykes moving forward on all fours never fails to inspire. Aww.

Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.; So-Ko-Par Trails Park, 87th Street Parkway and Lackman Road, Overland Park, Kan.; admission: free.

4. Buzz Beach Ball

Covering indie rock to hip-hop, this yearly modern music fest features more than 20 bands intent on stirring things up over two days in Bonner Springs. Friday’s headliner is revolutionarily laid-back rapper and legal marijuana advocate Snoop Dogg, who may be best known to mainstream audiences for his numerous TV-and-movie acting appearances. Saturday’s main attraction is endearingly quirky yet ever-melodic veteran rock outfit Weezer, whose top songs include “Buddy Holly,” “Undone (The Sweater Song),” and “Hash Pipe” – got that, Snoop?

Friday; Saturday; Providence Medical Center Amphitheater, 633 N. 130th St., Bonner Springs, Kan.; tickets: $19.65-$109.50.

5. Antoine Dufour and Ian Ethan Case

Fingerstyle guitar virtuosos Antoine Dufour and Ian Ethan Case are sure to stir emotions when they make a rare local appearance together. Dufour, the more traditionally melodic of the two, has millions of YouTube hits, while Case has gained fame for his highly percussive style on the double-neck guitar. Look, ma, no picks!

Saturday, 7 p.m.; Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, Kan.; tickets: $20.

6. Kansas City Chalk & Walk Festival

Hundreds of colorful pictures will be created by pro, student and amateur artists using only chalk and water during the two-day Kansas City Chalk & Walk Festival. The visually stirring experience will also draw many admirers meandering from one eye-catching piece of street art to another. Each participating artist’s “brick canvas” is sponsored by a local business or individual. Kids will be given a bucket of chalk to make their own imaginative artwork at no charge.

Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Crown Center Square, 2450 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free.

7. Rugged Maniac 5K Obstacle Race

For those seeking more than a picturesque stroll, there’s this rousing call to bucolic obstacle-course action powered by mental toughness (or at least not worrying about getting a boo-boo or two). Full disclosure: All “Rugged Maniac” participants must sign a waiver-of-liability form before turning into muddy demigods traversing fire, water and trampolines. Another course of action might be to simply hang out at the after-race party with ketchup dripping from both knees and a hell of a made-up story to tell. Make it stirring!

Saturday, 9 a.m.; Snow Creek Ski Area, 1 Snow Creek Drive, Weston, Mo.; participant cost: $100.

Brian McTavish is a regular arts and culture contributor for KCUR. 89.3. You can reach him 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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