2021 Annual Events in Kansas City

Annual Events in Kansas City

From craft beer festivals to holiday lightings and everything in between, mark your calendar with some of Kansas City's largest and most unique happenings on tap for the year.

January | February | MarchAprilMay | JuneJuly | August | September | October | November | December 
Click on one of the months to jump to the section.


Every Month

First Fridays in the Crossroads Arts District

First Fridays in the Crossroads Arts District

No First Friday is the same thanks to an eclectic mix of art galleries, boutiques, food trucks and more. This free, late-night event offers something for everyone in one of Downtown’s most vibrant neighborhoods.

 

First Weekends in the West Bottoms

Once home to Kansas City’s thriving stockyards, the West Bottoms now offers to a wide assortment of antique and vintage stores that invite visitors to search for kitschy-cool artifacts the first weekend of every month.

JANUARY & FEBRUARY

Blue Sushi Sake Grill | KCRW2024

Kansas City Restaurant Week - Jan. 12-21, 2024

Dine well and do good during this 10-day, two-weekend event that highlights hundreds of the hottest restaurants in the city, each featuring special multi-course menus with portions of the proceeds benefitting area charities.

 

Kansas City Brew Festival - Feb. 17, 2024

Spend the afternoon at Union Station sampling 120 beers from dozens of local, national and international breweries, along with live music and great food available throughout the day.

 

MARCH

Big 12 Basketball in Kansas city

Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championships - March 7-12, 2024

The Big 12 Women's Basketball Championship returns to Kansas City as Conference teams battle for the coveted title.

 

Planet Comicon - March 8-10, 2024

Celebrate 20 years of superheroes, pop culture and more at KC’s largest and longest-running comic book convention and pop culture expo, featuring the best in comic books, fantasy, science fiction television and movies. 

Big 12 Basketball Fan Fest outside of T-Mobile Center

Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championships - March 12-16, 2024

The road to the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship goes through Kansas City as Big 12 teams battle for conference supremacy. Between games, celebrate the history of hoops—and indulge your inner athlete—at the adjacent College Basketball Experience.

 

Snake Saturday Parade & Family Fun Festival - March 16, 2024

Usually a March event, his Northland tradition is a popular part of the St. Patrick’s Day season in Kansas City. Entertainment for all ages abounds throughout North Kansas City, starting with a parade and ending in a carnival.

 

Kansas City St. Patrick’s Day Parade - March 17, 2024

One of the country’s largest St. Patrick’s Day Parades features hundreds of floats proceeding through Midtown, ending in Westport, where the Celtic-themed revelry continues into the wee hours.

 

April

Kansas City FilmFest International

Kansas City FilmFest International - April 12-14, 2024

Grab your popcorn and enjoy more than 100 local, regional, national and international films during this annual juried film festival.

 

Fountain Day - April 16, 2024

Every year in early April the city celebrates Greater Kansas City Fountain Day, when all 48 publicly-operated fountains spring back to life. This day represents a great source of pride for the comfort, energy and urban vitality they provide.

Mamba | Worlds of Fun

Worlds of Fun Season Opening - TBA

KC's popular amusement park opens for the summer with some of the region’s most thrilling rides.

 

Gatsby Days - TBA

Held in Excelsior Springs, this event explores the culture, glamour and history of the Roaring ‘20s with street artists, live demonstrations, music, vintage cars, fashion and more.

 

MAY

Brookside Art Annual

Brookside Art Annual - May 3-5, 2024

The Kansas City art festival season kicks off with the Brookside Art Annual, when the tree-lined streets of charming Brookside transform into al fresco gallery spaces, plus tasty treats and live music.

 

Harry's Hay Days - May 3-4, 2024

The City of Grandview celebrates its Harry S. Truman legacy each year with Harry's Hay Days, complete with a parade, food and drink vendors, arts and crafts, live music, and a beer garden.

 

NASCAR at Kansas Speedway - May 4-5, 2024

Head to Kansas Speedway for fast-paced NASCAR action—plus, with two weekends each year, fans get a double dose of high-octane fun.

 

Turkey Creek Festival - May 18, 2024

This all-day event in Merriam, KS, includes everything from a pancake breakfast and a 5K to live music and a Kid Zone at the picturesque Antioch Park.

 

Kansas City Triathlon - May 19, 2024

KC's premier triathlon event kicks off the summer season at Longview Lake. Options include Olympic, Sprint and Relay distance options as well as a duathlon.

 

Disney100 at Union Station - May 24, 2024

A monumental addition to the calendar of rotating exhibitions at Union Station, see an immersive tribute to the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney Company this spring. Explore the history and impact of an unparalleled creative enterprise in the very same halls where Walt Disney himself walked as a young man.

Celebration at the Station

Celebration at the Station - May 26, 2024

Start your summer with the largest free Memorial Day weekend event in the Midwest. Against the majestic backdrop of Union Station, the Kansas City Symphony performs patriotic favorites with appearances from special guests, followed by fireworks to end the evening.

 

Oceans of Fun Season Opening - TBA

The largest outdoor water park in the Midwest begins its summer season, stretching until Labor Day.

 

June

Hospital Hill Run

Hospital Hill Run - June 1, 2024

Featuring half-marathon, 5k and 10k distances, this Kansas City running tradition benefits Children's Mercy Hospital. Do you have what it takes to challenge "the thrill of the hill"?

 

Vaile Strawberry Festival - June 1, 2024

The beautiful, historic Vaile Mansion hosts this annual event, which welcomes craft and antique dealers who set up their wares throughout the mansion—and, of course, strawberry treats as you shop.

 

Old Shawnee Days - June 6-9, 2024

Past meets present during this four-day event that celebrates the history of Shawnee, KS, with attractions including rides, music, games, historical reenactments and crafts.

Two women embracing each other on the lawn for KC Pride festival.

KC Pride - June 7-9, 2024

See why The Advocate named KC Pride one of the top 10 LGBTQ festivals in the nation. Throughout the weekend event, celebrate inclusion, diversity and pride with live music and performances from local and national headliners.

 

Jazzoo - June 7, 2024

Creative black-tie attire makes for an unlimited number of fashionable photo ops in this annual fundraiser at the Kansas City Zoo & Aquarium. Funds raised support the Zoo Learning Fund and help buy food for animals.

 

Future Stages Festival - June 9, 2024

The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts presents a free weekend of compelling performances, engaging youth-friendly activities and one-of-a-kind entertainment.

 

Heart of America Shakespeare Festival - June 11-30, 2024

To festival, or not to festival? At the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, that’s not even a question. Each year, the free festival features performances of a different Shakespearean masterpiece.

Boulevardia

Boulevardia - June 14-15, 2024

Crown Center transforms into an all-senses destination during this favorite festival hosted by Boulevard Brewing Co., complete with food trucks, concerts, maker booths, a family carnival and, of course, beer stations that offer local, regional and national craft brews.

 

Great Lenexa Barbeque Battle - June 21-22, 2024

Started in 1982, this Sunflower State competition attracts barbecue teams and cooks from all over the country to compete for the coveted title of Grand Champion of the Great Lenexa BBQ Battle, The Kansas State Championship.

 

WaterFest - June 21-22, 2024

Waterfest is a fun-filled, family friendly event that is the largest annual festival in nearby Excelsior Springs, MO. Activities include live music, fireworks, a car show and other homespun traditions.

 

Festa Italiana - TBA

Eat and drink your way through Italy—no passport required! Italian culture takes center stage in this event at Zona Rosa, which includes food, a beer garden, a car show and novelty booths.

 

Q BBQ Fest Kansas City - TBA

Pitmasters from across the country gather at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium for this family-friendly festival. Featuring free admission for all, individual pitmasters offer barbecue dishes for sale. The event also features live music, beer, VIP experiences and more.

 

July

Stars and Stripes Picnic at the National WWI Museum and Memorial

Stars and Stripes Picnic - July 4, 2024

Celebrate July Fourth on the lawn of the National WWI Museum and Memorial for Kansas City's official Independence Day event. Enjoy live music, shop and eat from local vendors and experience the largest fireworks display in the city.

 

Festival of Butterflies - July 18-Aug. 24, 2024

This perennial favorite at Powell Gardens. Step into the magical world of butterflies and enjoy opportunities to learn more about the fluttering creatures.

 

KC Fringe Festival - July 18-28, 2024

There’s no better time to celebrate Kansas City’s vibrant creativity than during this 14-day showcase of local performing and visual arts.

 

Amelia Earhart Festival - July 19-20, 2024

Head to Atchison, KS, Amelia Earhart’s birthplace, for an annual celebration of the aviation icon packed with events, including live music, carnival rides, a food and crafts fair, aerobatic performances and the grand finale: a Concert in the Sky fireworks show.

Kansas City's Lawn Party at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Kansas City's Lawn Party - July 21, 2024

In celebration of the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park and National Parks and Recreation Month, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and KC Parks and Rec team up to throw the biggest lawn party in KC full of live music, activities, local food vendors and more.

 

WeekEnder - TBA

Cap off your work week with this free event featuring top local bands and favorite food trucks. Then, finish the evening with a famous flick under the stars at Crown Center Square.

 

Jazz Walk of Fame - TBA

Pay tribute to Kansas City’s iconic sound in this event that honors jazz artists by immortalizing their names in 30-inch bronze medallions embedded in the sidewalks on 18th Street in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District.

Grand Carnivale at Worlds of Fun

Grand Carnivale - TBA

An immersive new summer experience that invites visitors to celebrate the sights, sounds and tastes from cultures around the globe, including India, China, Italy, France and Germany—all, fittingly, at Worlds of Fun.

 

AUGUST

Ethnic Enrichment Festival

Ethnic Enrichment Festival - Aug. 16-18, 2024

KC’s diverse cultures unite at this weekend extravaganza that includes food, dancing and music representing dozens of countries, as well as several ethnic groups recognized by Ethnic Enrichment Committee.

 

Deaf Cultural Festival - Aug. 24, 2024

Visit the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art for a celebration of Deaf culture – a festival honoring the rich history of Deaf art, identity, and empowerment. Encounter and learn about American Sign Language through hands-on art activities and live entertainment from distinctly Deaf perspectives.

 

Santa-Cali-Gon Days - Aug. 30- Sept. 2, 2024

This Independence festival commemorates the origin of the Santa Fe, California and Oregon trails during westward expansion. Browse more than 500 artisan, craft, food and commercial vendor booths, as well as a carnival, a 5K and more.

 

Kansas City Irish Fest - Aug. 30-Sept. 1, 2024

Celebrate KC’s Celtic heritage with three days of live music, special performances, locally provided libations, activities for young ones, tastings and plenty more in this beloved Crown Center bash.

 

Heart of America Hot Dog Festival - TBA

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum welcomes hot dog aficionados to sample delicious ballpark franks, including the signature Kansas City Monarch Dog, plus live music and admission to the museum.

 

Innovation Festival - TBA

Music and innovation collide at Crown Center Square. Enjoy live music, explore the area's biologics leadership and sample the latest creations from a selection of regional breweries.

 

Parkville Days - TBA

The quaint riverfront community of Parkville, MO, celebrates its history and future with this annual family friendly festival, featuring crafts, carnival favorites and more. 

KC Air Show

KC Airshow - TBA

Taking flight on Fourth of July weekend, this air spectacular in New Century, KS, features an annual lineup of star-studded aerialists, exhibits and other experiences. 

 

Spotlight Charlie Parker - TBA

Pay tribute to KC native Charlie Parker, one of the finest and most influential jazz musicians to ever play, at this eight-day event that features live music, public programs and more.

 

SEPTEMBER

Dancefestopia

Dancefestopia - Sept. 2-8, 2024

Nestled in rolling hills, surrounded by thousands of acres of forest and pristine lake water, Dancefestopia has become one of the largest camping and music festivals in the nation, featuring some of the most prominent DJs in the world.

 

Art Westport - Sept. 6-8, 2024

Local artists gather in KC’s oldest neighborhood for Art Westport, a weekend fair that showcases original art, jewelry, fine crafts and more.

 

Jesse James Festival - Sept. 13-14 & 20-22, 2024

As the birthplace of the notorious outlaw, Kearney, MO, goes all out every September with a multi-day event featuring a parade, carnival, fishing tournament and more.

Plaza Art Fair

Plaza Art Fair - Sept. 20-22, 2024

This nationally recognized, nine-block art event at the Country Club Plaza typically draws crowds of more than 250,000 who gather for art, live music and food and drinks from a variety of KC restaurants.

 

NASCAR at Kansas Speedway - Sept. 27-29, 2024

Head to Kansas Speedway for fast-paced NASCAR action—plus, with two weekends each year, fans get a double dose of high-octane fun.

 

Kansas City Renaissance Festival - TBA

Step back in time at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival, a medieval-themed village home to jousting knights, thrill-seeking acrobats and beautiful maidens.

 

Fiesta Hispana - TBA

Sponsored by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City, this festival celebrates Hispanic culture which features great music, food, dancing and exhibits.

Halloween Haunt at Worlds of Fun

Halloween Haunt - TBA

Ghosts, ghouls and other creatures of the night roam freely through Worlds of Fun during Halloween Haunt, which showcases the scarier side of the amusement park.

 

Camp Leavenworth - TBA

Celebrating the people of Leavenworth, KS, this free street festival features two days of national music acts, fireworks, food trucks and more.

 

Louisburg Ciderfest - TBA

Head to Louisburg Cider Mill for the annual Ciderfest, where guests are invited to watch how apples are pressed into cider, sample cider donuts and other treats, plus live music and activities for young ones.

American Royal World Series of Barbecue

American Royal World Series of Barbecue - TBA

The world’s largest barbecue competition includes live performances, a festival full of entertainment and plenty other activities, making it one of fall’s signature events.

 

OCTOBER

Weston Applefest - Oct. 5-6, 2024

Explore historic Weston, MO, as arts and crafts booths line Main Street, touting a tempting range of apple delicacies, from dumplings and pies to cookies, all made by members of local churches.

 

Missouri Town 1855 Festival of Arts, Crafts and Music - Oct. 5-6, 2024

Enjoy wagon rides, reenactments, crafts and more in this annual festival that takes place at Missouri Town 1855, where guests can travel back in time to experience life in the 1850s.

American Royal Livestock Show at the American Royal Complex

American Royal Livestock Show - Oct. 9-27, 2024

With roots dating back to 1899 and boasting a reputation as one of the toughest competitions, this iconic event draws thousands of owners, breeders, future business/agriculture leaders and animal enthusiasts from across the country.

 

Garmin Kansas City Marathon - Oct. 19, 2024

Featuring several distances, the Marathon is the area's largest and most exciting annual race event, taking runners on a tour through the coolest neighborhoods and past some of KC's most iconic landmarks, including the National WWI Museum & Memorial, the Country Club Plaza, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and more.

KC Oktoberfest

KC Oktoberfest - TBA

Head to Crown Center to experience a two-day celebration of KC Bier Co. craft brews, traditional European food, engaging games, activities and Bavarian-style entertainment.

 

Brew at the Zoo and Wine Too - TBA

Enjoy an evening of live music, delicious bites and a variety of beer and wine from local breweries and vineyards.

 

Boo at the Zoo - TBA

Break out your best costume and spend the day trick or treating at the Kansas City Zoo. Kids will also love the Halloween-themed activities that offer plenty of treats—no tricks here!

 

Latino Arts Festival - TBA

Local singers, artists, dancers, poets and others take center stage at this quickly growing regional celebration of Latino culture and creativity.

 

 

NOVEMBER & DECEMBER

Crown Center | Ice Terrace

Crown Center Ice Terrace Opening - Nov. 3, 2023-March 2024

The Crown Center Ice Terrace is a favorite family destination during the winter months thanks to the outdoor skating rink that offers fantastic, festive views.

 

Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) - Nov. 3, 2024

A lively festival celebrating Mexican art and culture, including an altar installation, features art activities, live music entertainment and Mexican food. A fall tradition for many families.

 

Holiday Boutique - Nov. 21-24, 2024

The Overland Park Convention Center becomes a winter wonderland of merry shopping and gift-giving. Browse hundreds of vendors and cross off everyone on your list.

 

The Nutcracker - Dec. 6-24, 2024

Performed by the Kansas City Ballet, this iconic, long-running show is a veritable holiday favorite in the Kansas City region.

Country Club Plaza | Plaza Lights

Evergy Plaza Lighting Ceremony - TBA

Timeless in every way imaginable, the Plaza Lights are a quintessential KC holiday tradition—and a delightful reminder of the Spanish-inspired Plaza’s undeniable beauty.

 

Home for the Holidays at Union Station - TBA

With the annual return of Holiday Reflections, Union Station's Grand Plaza is transformed into an immersive seasonal wonderland. Plus, enjoy holiday movie screenings, festive displays for family photos and more.

 

Legendary Tree Lighting at Legends Outlets - TBA

Fans of holiday lights and music will love this show at Legends Outlets, where the outdoor outlet mall dazzles with dancing lights synchronized to holiday music every 15 minutes.

Mayor's Christmas Tree Lighting

Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting - TBA

Crown Center’s magnificent centerpiece towers more than 100 feet high and is illuminated by more than 7,200 white bulbs, proving it a proud showcase of Kansas City’s seasonal spirit.

 

Buck O'Neil's Annual Birthday Celebration - TBA

It's a tribute to the heart and soul of the sport. Join the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum to celebrate the 112th birthday of museum founder and Baseball Hall of Famer Buck O'Neil.

 

Evergy Festival of Lights - TBA

More than 20 miles of holiday lights comprise installations that highlight the natural forms of Powell Gardens’ tree collection, show off the exceptional architecture and landscape design of the gardens, and with Instagram and holiday card-worthy photo stops along the way.

 

Northern Lights at Zona Rosa - TBA

The spirit of a 1950s Downtown Kansas City tradition lives on as several lighted crowns are suspended over the streets of Zona Rosa, plus the official arrival of the holiday Fairy Princess and Santa Claus.

A Christmas Carol at KC Rep

KC Rep presents A Christmas CarolTBA

Even Ebenezer Scrooge would appreciate the holiday spectacular at Spencer Theatre, a metro tradition for more than 40 years. 

 

National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame Weekend - TBA

Hosted by The College Basketball Hall of Fame, this tournament at T-Mobile Center kicks off a new season of collegiate basketball competition. On the same weekend, six to eight basketball players and coaches from around the country are inducted in the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame each year.

Christmas in the Park at Longview Lake

Christmas in the Park at Longview Lake - TBA

Gather the whole family and head to Longview Park & Lake for this drive-through holiday pastime that touts colorful displays conjured up by more than 300,000 lights.

 

City Lights - TBA

Several Downtown buildings light up the winter skyline, with the notable centerpiece being the front façade of the 22-story Marriott Downtown, featuring a synchronized display of 30,000 bulbs and 16.7 million colors.