Annual Events in Kansas City
Note: due to the pandemic, some area events listed on this page have been postponed or otherwise affected. We recommend confirming these details directly with event organizers before proceeding with plans.
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.
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.
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.
Kansas City Restaurant Week - Jan. 13-22, 2023
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.
Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championships - March 8-11, 2023
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.
Big 12 Women’s Basketball Championships - March 9-12, 2023
The Big 12 Women's Basketball Championship returns to Kansas City as Conference teams battle for the coveted title.
Snake Saturday Parade & Family Fun Festival - March 11, 2023
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, 2023
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.
Planet Comicon - March 17-19, 2023
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.
Kansas City FilmFest - TBA
Grab your popcorn and enjoy more than 100 local, regional, national and international films during this annual juried film festival.
Fountain Day - TBA
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.
Brookside Art Annual - TBA
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.
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.
KC's popular amusement park opens for the summer with some of the region’s most thrilling rides.
NASCAR at Kansas Speedway - May 7, 2023
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 20, 2023
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 21, 2023
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.
Celebration at the Station - May 28, 2023
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.
Harry's Hay Days - TBA
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.
The largest outdoor water park in the Midwest begins its summer season, stretching until Labor Day.
Old Shawnee Days - June 1-4, 2023
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.
Hospital Hill Run - June 3, 2023
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"?
Boulevardia - June 16-17, 2023
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.
Q BBQ Fest Kansas City - June 23-24, 2023
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.
Great Lenexa Barbeque Battle - June 23-24, 2023
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 - TBA
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.
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.
KC Pride - TBA
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.
Future Stages Festival - TBA
The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts presents a free weekend of compelling performances, engaging youth-friendly activities and one-of-a-kind entertainment.
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.
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.
KC RiverFest - TBA
Celebrate July Fourth in this festival at Berkley Riverfront Park, which begins with live music, activities and food and concludes with one of the largest fireworks shows in the Midwest.
Amelia Earhart Festival - TBA
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.
KC Fringe Festival - TBA
There’s no better time to celebrate Kansas City’s vibrant creativity than during this 14-day showcase of local performing and visual arts.
Festival of Butterflies - TBA
This perennial favorite at Powell Gardens. Step into the magical world of butterflies and enjoy opportunities to learn more about the fluttering creatures.
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.
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.
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’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.
Jazzoo - TBA
Creative black-tie attire makes for an unlimited number of fashionable photo ops in this annual fundraiser at the Kansas City Zoo. Funds raised support the Zoo Learning Fund and help buy food for animals.
Pay tribute to KC native Charlie Parker, one of the finest and most influential jazz musicians to ever play, at this 10-day event that features live music, public programs and more.
Middle of the Map Fest - TBA
Immerse yourself in music, films and forums during Middle of the Map Fest, quickly becoming one of Kansas City’s favorite local events.
Kansas City Irish Fest - TBA
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.
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.
Santa-Cali-Gon Days - TBA
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.
Step back in time at the Kansas City Renaissance Festival, a medieval-themed village home to jousting knights, thrill-seeking acrobats and beautiful maidens.
Dancefestopia - TBA
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 - TBA
Local artists gather in KC’s oldest neighborhood for Art Westport, a weekend fair that showcases original art, jewelry, fine crafts and more.
NASCAR at Kansas Speedway - Sept. 10, 2023
Head to Kansas Speedway for fast-paced NASCAR action—plus, with two weekends each year, fans get a double dose of high-octane fun.
Jesse James Festival - TBA
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.
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 - 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.
Plaza Art Fair - TBA
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.
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.
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.
Polski Day - TBA
From polka to pierogis, Polski Day is your source for all things Poland. Enjoy ethnic foods, beer, dancing, games and a Polka mass, all while celebrating the rich heritage and history of Kansas City, Kansas' Polish community.
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.
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.
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.
Weston Applefest - TBA
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.
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.
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.
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..
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!
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.
NOVEMBER & DECEMBER
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.
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.
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.
Holiday Boutique - TBA
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.
Even Ebenezer Scrooge would appreciate the holiday spectacular at Spencer Theatre, a metro tradition for more than 40 years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Nutcracker - TBA
Performed by the Kansas City Ballet, this iconic, long-running show is a veritable holiday favorite in the Kansas City region.