Labor Day weekend is one of the best weekends of the year in Downtown Kansas City, as the KC Irish Fest returns on Friday through Sunday. Then, when you add in a First Friday, four concerts at Crossroads KC, the Fiesta Kansas City fiesta and the return of WWE mania, well, this is a rock star week ahead in Downtown KC. Here’s the highlight reel for Monday to Labor Day Monday, Aug. 28 to Sept. 4:
Charlie Parker Celebration: Kansas City’s hottest jazz event of the summer, a celebration of the life and legacy of its native son, Charlie “Yardbird” Parker, will conclude with a special 12th Street Jump + Bobby Watson at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at MTH Theater at Crown Center. The Jump will mark the 97th anniversary of the birth of the jazz legend.
CrossroadsKC at Grinders will serve as the epicenter of the KC concert scene this week with four shows in five days, including:
- Umphrey’s McGee, with special guest Aqueos, kicks off the holiday weekend at 6:30 p.m. Thursday
- Indigo Girls, featuring special guest Becky Warren, will rock the Crossroads at 8 p.m. Saturday
- John Butler Trio, with opening act Nattali Rize, keeps the party going at 8 p.m. Sunday
- Lake Street Dive, featuring Matt Stansberry and the Romance, wraps up the Labor Day weekend at 8 p.m. Monday
Fiesta Kansas City – featuring Little Joe y La Familia and The Como La Flor Band – is set for the KC Live! stage in the Power & Light District from noon to 11 p.m. Sunday. The Fiesta is presented by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City and features delicious food, ice cold beverages, superb entertainment and a host of vendors. For tickets or more information, click here.
First Friday – one of the KC’s coolest/hottest events of the summer – returns for its September shindig with visual and performing arts bursting throughout Downtown with:
- The full First Friday experiences at the Crossroads Arts District and the 18th & Vine Jazz District from 5-9 p.m.
- One of the country’s most complete vintage marketplaces – First Friday Warehouse Weekends – returns to the West Bottoms on Friday through Sunday.
KC Irish Fest – one of KC’s most anticipated events annually – returns this Labor Day weekend to the friendly confines of Crown Center. With more than 30 bands on seven stages, heritage workshops and displays, comedy, genealogy, a massive children’s area and so much more, there is no better way to celebrate Celtic Pride than the Kansas City Irish Fest! All the fun begins at 5 p.m. Friday and continues through The Elders‘ closing performance that begins at 9 p.m. Sunday. Visit kcirishfest.com for complete details.
Katy Guillen & The Girls will rock The City Market from 5-8 p.m. Thursday. The performance is part of the monthly Music Under the Arch summer concert series, located just inside the City Market Arch at 5th & Walnut. All shows are free, open to the public and rain or shine.
Mummies of the World: The Exhibition – described as “fascinating, intriguing, and inspiring,” by NBC, “absolutely extraordinary,” by NPR and “a must see,” by FOX TV – instills a sense of curiosity and wonder in each and every visitor. For tickets and more information, visit UnionStation.org/Mummies.
Sprint Center will stage two, mildly different, performances in back-to-back shows this week, including:
- WWE Live, featuring John Cena and other WWE superstars, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday
- Banda MS – Banda Sinaloense MS de Sergio Lizarraga is a regional Mexican group that will rock the house at 7 p.m. Sunday.
Trailer Park Boys are coming to Downtown this week. Be afraid…! What’s supposed to be an intimate evening quickly goes off the rails when, after escaping arrest for ‘a simple misunderstanding’, the boys realize they have limited time to party before the cops inevitably track them down. Expect the boys to be at their drunkest, highest and greasiest for a hilarious night you’ll never forget! The fun begins at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Midland Theatre.
LIVE THEATER is thriving on Downtown stages, which feature two productions this week:
- The Tragedy of MacBeth – a fiery, kinetic, and deeply impassioned three-person 90-minute retelling of Shakespeare’s Macbeth – runs through Sunday at The Living Room.
ARTS – your guide to arts and culture in greater Kansas City:
- ArtsKCGo is the new, online guide to arts and cultural events in greater Kansas City – including First Fridays, Art in the Loop, Charlotte Street and all other Downtown-centric events. ArtsKCGo.com is a service of ArtsKC, the Regional Arts Council of Kansas City. Check it out!
LIVE MUSIC – of all tastes and flavors – is performed at these Downtown venues on most nights:
- Angel’s Rock Bar in the Power & Light District
- The Black Dolphin in the Crossroads
- Blue Room in the Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District
- Brewery Emperial in the Crossroads Arts District
- The Brick in the Crossroads Arts District
- The Dubliner in the Power & Light District
- Gem Theater in the Historic 18th & Vine Jazz District
- Green Lady Lounge in the Crossroads
- Haverty Family Yards at Union Station
- Howl at the Moon in the Power & Light District
- KC Live Block! in the Power & Light District
- Kill Devil Club in the Power & Light District
- Knuckleheads Saloon in the East Bottoms
- Leinenkugel’s Kansas City in the Power & Light District
- The Majestic in the Downtown Loop
- The Midland in the Downtown Loop
- Mosaic Ultra Lounge in the Power & Light District
- Mutual Musicians Foundation in the 18th & Vine Jazz District
- The Phoenix in the Downtown Loop
- PBR Big Sky in the Power & Light District
- Prohibition Hall in the Downtown Loop
- Record Bar in the Crossroads
- The Ship in the West Bottoms
- Stockyards Brewing Company in the West Bottoms
- The Truman in the East Crossroads – Coming soon!
MUSEUMS are alive and well throughout Downtown, including these 16 destinations:
- Airline History Museum in Hangar 9 at the Downtown Airport
- American Jazz Museum in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District
- American Royal Museum in the West Bottoms
- Arabia Steamboat Museum in the City Market
- Black Archives of Mid-America in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District
- Hallmark Visitors Center at Crown Center
- Historic Garment District Museum in the Downtown Loop at 801 Broadway
- Kansas City Museum in northeast KC at 3218 Gladstone Blvd.
- Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
- National Archives of Kansas City, west of Union Station
- National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame at the Sprint Center
- The National WWI Museum and Memorial at Liberty Memorial
- Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in the historic 18th & Vine Jazz District
- Science City at Union Station
- TWA Museum at the Downtown Airport
- Union Station Gallery at Union Station
For more of what’s happening in Downtown and Kansas City, check out our friends at VisitKC.com
Public Parking Maps of Downtown KC are available at DowntownKC.org.