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6 Colorful Things To Do In Kansas City This Weekend

Vicki Burton
Flickr — CC
The Color Run.

The weekend is a canvas. How to paint it with colorful aplomb?

You can take a traditional approach by attending an art festival or be more daring by transforming your body into a mass of multi-colored frivolity literally on the move. Or you might seek out colorful opinions or behaviors, whether from a political comedian or at a motorcycle party.  

The hue is up to you – unless a big biker named Knuckles happens to offer a strong suggestion. Then I’d go with that.

1. 2018 Plein Air KC Art Festival

This year’s week-long Plein Air (or painting outdoors) KC festival colorfully winds up with visiting artists from around the nation making their final pushes to take home some cash for their efforts. There’s Thursday’s final quick-paint competition at Union Cemetery and then Saturday’s awards ceremony and art auction at Buttonwood Art Space. Hundreds of quick-paint artworks will go the highest dollar offered, and you can eat, drink and chat up your favorite new (hopefully non-starving) artists. Bid early and often.

Thursday, 6-8 p.m. (quick-paint competition); Union Cemetery, 227 E. 28th Terr., Kansas City, Mo.; Saturday, 6-9 p.m. (awards ceremony and art auction); Buttonwood Art Space, 3013 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free.

2. Lenexa Art Fair

Art meets jazz at the Lenexa Art Fair, where artists will offer their imaginative wares as a bevy of talented local musicians – including the Brad Allen Trio, the Brian Ruskin Quartet and Heat Index – supply the perfect Saturday soundtrack. The colorful experience extends to a sidewalk chalk art contest (registration required) with $100 prizes for winners ages 10-15 and 16 and older. Adults with a taste for wine and/or craft beer can also take part in a tasting event – 10 1-oz. pours of wine or 2-oz. pours of beer for $18.29. I don’t know why they didn’t just make it twenty bucks. But I’ve got a good idea why the art suddenly looks better!

10 a.m.-7 p.m., Saturday; Lenexa Civic Campus, 8750 Penrose Lane, Lenexa, Kan., admission: free.

3. The Color Run Kansas City 2018

The sight of 5K contenders doused at every kilometer with crazy clouds of color followed by an after-party with music, dancing and “massive color throws” – that’s the Color Run Kansas City, returning this weekend to Arrowhead Stadium. The most vibrant color runners will arrive early for the pre-race party and, once the race is underway, make sure to head for the extra-color-drenching “Super Zones.” Don’t ask why. That’s just the way human rainbows are.

Saturday, 8 a.m. start; Arrowhead Stadium, One Arrowhead Drive, Kansas City, Mo.; admission: $29.99, $34.99 adults; $14.99 ages 5 and younger including event t-shirt (free without).

4. Trevor Noah

When he replaced John Stewart on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” in 2015, young South African funny man Trevor Noah had big yucks to fill. And he did, yet in his own way. Noah’s style is more convivial than audacious, but the new guy (who isn’t so new anymore) knows how to take aim and let foolish-acting politicians have it. Check out Noah’s conversational stand-up act, which actually might be his strength, when this award-winning comic hits KC.

Saturday, 8 p.m.; Starlight Theatre, 4600 Starlight Road, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $35-$85.

5. KC Reptile Show

More than color-changing chameleons will be at this reptile-o-rama featuring many fascinatingly decorated cold-blooded creatures for perusal and purchase. Reptile dealers and breeders will also potentially bring pythons, iguanas, skinks, monitors, geckos, salamanders and bearded dragons. Frozen rodents will also be for sale. A snake’s gotta eat, right?

Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Kansas City-Overland Park, 10100 College Blvd., Overland Park, Kan.; admission: $8, $3 ages 5-10.

6. Red Eye’s Spring Biker Bash

Hard-rock, barbecue and … motorcycles! In what may well turn out to be the most colorful event of the weekend, bikers and their friends will descend on a well-used KCK watering hole to celebrate, uh, see the first sentence. Anyway, it should be packed. And the bands blasting from noon Saturday into the wee hours Sunday should have no trouble living up to their names, including Southern Renegades, Project Mayhem and Jagged Edge. If you decide to go and don’t yet have a visibly insane tattoo, you might want to get one. Yes, a temporary is fine. I think. Let Knuckles be the judge!

Saturday, noon-Sunday, 1 a.m.; Red Eye Bar, 6102 and State Ave., Kansas City, Kan.; admission: free.

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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