Celebration at the Station Union Station Kansas City

Summer in Kansas City: 2024 events, festivals you don’t want to miss

The sun is shining, patios are open, and the music is playing!  

Summer festivals, international soccer, top concerts and more lead the way this summer in Kansas City. From annual favorites to first-time fun, here are over 40 events worth checking out.   


Kansas Speedway NASCAR


Brookside Art Annual (May 3-5) – 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. 

Cinco de Mayo Fiesta (May 3-5) – This three-day celebration hosted by Guadalupe Centers will showcase local and national entertainment. Families can also enjoy local food, vendors, kids' activities and more. 

Worlds of Fun opening day (May 4) – KC's popular amusement park opens for the summer with some of the region’s most thrilling rides. This season, Worlds of Fun is adding two new weekend festivals.  

NASCAR at Kansas Speedway (May 4-5) – Head to Kansas Speedway for fast-paced NASCAR action. Three races in one weekend means plenty of high-octane fun.  

“MJ” at the Music Hall (May 7-12) – One of the greatest entertainers of all time, Michael Jackson’s story comes to the stage as “MJ,” a Tony Award-winning musical. This new show is stopping in Kansas City on its first national tour.  

Final Spike Anniversary Steam Tour (May 18) – At this free event, CPKC celebrates the anniversary of the final spike that connected Canada, the U.S. and Mexico by rail. The Empress 2816 Steam Train will be on display at Union Station as guests learn more about CPKC and North American rail history.  

Turkey Creek Festival (May 18) – This all-day event in Merriam, Kansas, includes everything from a pancake breakfast and a 5K to live music and a Kid Zone at the picturesque Antioch Park. 

Kelce Jam (May 18) – Kansas City Chiefs star Travis Kelce is hosting his second annual Kelce Jam at Azura Amphitheater. Rappers Lil Wayne, Diplo and 2Chainz are this year’s headliners.  

Kansas City Triathlon (May 19) -- 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” (May 24 through Nov. 30) – Walt Disney began his animation career right in the heart of Kansas City. This summer, Disney’s history and impact will come to Kansas City again as “Disney100: The Exhibition” takes over Union Station. Kansas City is one of the first three cities to host the historic North American tour.  

Oceans of Fun opening day (May 25) – The largest outdoor water park in the Midwest begins its summer season, stretching the fun until Labor Day. 

Celebration at the Station (May 26) – Enjoy the official start of 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, followed by fireworks. 

Festa Italiana (May 31 through June 3) – 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. 


Tacos and Tequila Festival Kansas City Kansas


Hospital Hill Run (June 1) – Featuring half-marathon, 5k and 10k races, this Kansas City running tradition benefits Children's Mercy Hospital. Do you have what it takes to challenge "the thrill of the hill"? 

Tacos and Tequilia Festival (June 1) – The popular Tacos and Tequilia Festival is back, this time with T-Pain, Ashanti, Chamillionaire and more hitting the stage. And of course, there will be plenty of tacos from KC chefs, margaritas and tequila tasting.   

Vaile Strawberry Festival (June 1) – 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.  

Noah Kahan at Azura Amphitheater (June 5) – After a breakout year, Grammy nominee Noah Kahan is hitting the road in 2024 and he’s headed to Kansas City. The singer-songwriter is known for hits like “Dial Drunk,” “Stick Season” and “She Calls Me Back.” 

Old Shawnee Days (June 6-9) – Past meets present during this four-day event that celebrates the history of Shawnee, Kansas, with attractions including rides, music, games, historical reenactments and crafts. 

KC Pride (June 7-9) – 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. 

Heart of America Shakespeare Festival (June 11-30) – To festival, or not to festival? At the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, that’s not even a question. This year, the free festival features performances of William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.” 

Boulevardia (June 14-15) – Crown Center transforms into an all-senses destination during this 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 brews. 

JuneteenthKC Heritage Festival (June 15) – This annual festival in Kansas City’s Jazz District will feature live entertainment from local artists, including a gospel jubilee, plus food, vendors and children’s activities.  

Great Lenexa BBQ Battle (June 21-22) – 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. 

Q BBQ Fest (June 21-22) – 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. 

Copa America 2024 Peru vs Canada (June 25) – Children’s Mercy Park will host two-time Copa America champions Peru vs Canada, playing in the tournament for the first time. Copa America is the oldest national team tournament in the world, and Kansas City is one of 13 host cities.  

Country Stampede (June 27-29) – The popular Country Stampede festival is making Azura Amphitheater its new home. This year’s lineup includes Jon Pardi, Riley Green, Billy Currington, Chris Janson and more.  


Stars and Stripes Picnic Kansas City


Copa America 2024 USA vs Uruguay (July 1) – The U.S. Men’s National Team comes to GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium to face Uruguay in a major matchup. The USMNT has never lost in Kansas City, so all eyes will be on the soccer capital of America. 

Stars and Stripes Picnic (July 4) – 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. 

Kenny Chesney at Arrowhead Stadium (July 6) – Country music star Kenny Chesney is returning to GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, already holding the record for the most performances in history at the stadium. The Zac Brown Band, Megan Moroney and Uncle Kracker will join him.  

Barbie the Movie: In Concert (July 15) – Barbie fans of all ages can enjoy a new experience under the night sky at Starlight Theatre. The hit movie “Barbie” will play while accompanied by an all-women orchestra.  

Festival of Butterflies (July 18 through Aug. 24) – At 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) – 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) – Head to Atchison, Kansas, 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 a fireworks show. 

“Moulin Rouge” at the Music Hall (July 23 through Aug. 4) – The popular film comes to life on stage in this Tony Award-winning musical. Enter a world of splendor and romance as “Moulin Rouge” comes to Kansas City in its first US tour.  

Olivia Rodrigo at T-Mobile Center (July 26) – Popstar Olivia Rodrigo is coming to T-Mobile Center for her GUTS Tour, her first arena tour. It’s also her first show in Kansas City.  


Starlight Theatre Kanas City


Heart of America Hot Dog Festival (Aug. 3) – 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. 

“Come From Away” at Starlight (Aug. 6-11) – Enjoy a night under the stars with the true story of “Come From Away.” The musical explores a town’s remarkable act of kindness after the 9/11 attacks.  

PickleCon (Aug. 8-11) – Pickleball has taken the nation by storm, and the center of all the action can be found here in Kansas City. The first-ever PickleCon will fill the Kansas City Convention Center with 100 courts, plus clinics, adaptive play and other opportunities for fans at all levels. 

Blink-182 at T-Mobile Center (Aug. 9) – Blink-182 will bring their “ONE MORE TIME…” tour to Kansas City’s T-Mobile Center. The reunited pop-punk band are off on their first tour in about a decade.  

Sunflower Festival (mid-August) – Enjoy Kansas’ state flower as it pops up at dozens of local fields, including the popular KC Pumpkin Patch. The sunflowers make for great photo opportunities, and this Olathe farm has plenty of fun for the family.  

Zach Bryan at T-Mobile Center (Aug. 20 and Aug. 21) – After setting a new attendance record last year, country star Zach Bryan is returning to T-Mobile Center – this time for two shows.  

Parkville Days (Aug. 23-25) – The quaint riverfront community of Parkville, Missouri, celebrates its history and future with this annual family friendly festival, featuring crafts, carnival favorites and more.  

SantaCaliGon Days (Aug. 30 through Sept. 2) – This Independence, Missouri, festival commemorates the origin of the Santa Fe, California and Oregon trails during westward expansion. Browse over 500 artisan, craft, food and commercial vendor booths, a carnival, a 5K and more. 

Kansas City Irish Fest (Aug. 30 through Sept. 1) – 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.