Kansas City Events and Festivals

(Kansas City, Missouri - MO, USA)

Kansas City's unstoppable spirit can be witnessed in the multitude of festivals, fairs and events held throughout the year at various venues scattered across the city. These include the Repertory Theatre, the Bartle Hall Convention Center and the nearby Overland Park Convention Center.

Art, music, sports, culture, history and more are all celebrated annually in the city, with a vibrant array of parades, performances, exhibits and contests.

The helpful tourist information outlets in Kansas City are a useful place to obtain a current list of events, festivals and similar things to do. These start with the Martin Luther King celebrations in January, followed by the Flower, Lawn and Garden Show in February, and a popular Irish-themed St. Patrick's Parade each March, which is well-supported by the city's sizeable community of Irish-Americans. April sees the arrival of the Brookside Art Annual, while in July, the summer Blues and Jazz Festival stands out in particular.

National Public Holidays

  • 1st January - New Year's Day
  • Third Monday in January - Martin Luther King Day
  • 12th February - Lincoln's Birthday
  • Third Monday in February - Washington's Birthday
  • Last Monday in May - Memorial Day
  • 4th July - Independence Day
  • First Monday in September - Labor Day
  • Second Monday in October - Columbus Day
  • 11th November - Veterans Day
  • 4th Thursday in November - Thanksgiving
  • 25th December - Christmas Day

Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015


  • Martin Luther King Celebration - this week-long tribute to the most significant figure in America's civil rights history includes educational events, performances, talent shows and more


  • Flower, Lawn and Garden Show - a horticultural extravaganza held at the American Royal Complex, offering endless inspiration for developing and landscaping your garden
  • Great American Train Show - mid-February, thousands of model trains are exhibited at this unique event held at Bartle Hall
  • National Wildlife Art Show - mid-February, this long-standing annual event brings together artists from all over the nation to exhibit a diverse selection of works related to wildlife and the environment


  • Home Show - an expo featuring a myriad of displays and retailers offering ideas and advice on all aspects of home-owning
  • Kansas City Winter Jazz Festival - bringing warmth to the winter months, this annual festival highlights female jazz performers and incorporates a number of educational events
  • St. Patrick's Parade - one of America's largest and most riotous St. Patrick's celebrations involves a downtown parade drawing almost half a million participants, followed by a vibrant street party in Kansas City's Westport Square


  • Brookside Art Annual - each year the Brookside neighborhood comes alive with this sizable art fair featuring a wide selection of assorted artists and artworks
  • Earth Day - mid-April, contrary to the implications of its name, this environmental festival extends over an entire weekend, with scheduled events at venues across both Kansas City Missouri and Kansas City Kansas, with a common focus on the celebration of nature and the creation of environmental awareness


  • Harry's Hay Day - a one-day event celebrating the life and work of the region's most famous personality, the late President Harry South Truman
  • Truman Week - also devoted to President Truman, this event features a variety of activities commemorating his contributions to Kansas City and the nation


  • Juneteenth Celebration - this five-day long celebration of emancipation encompasses a diverse range of events such as musical performances, martial arts tournaments, a health fair and a festive parade
  • Quilters Unlimited Annual Quilt Festival - Bartle Hall becomes a vibrant melting pot of designs and colors with a plethora of beautiful quilts on display at this yearly craft festival


  • Blues and Jazz Festival - this wildly popular summer event sees a profusion of regional and national musical artists coming together at Kansas City's biggest open-air concert series
  • Heart of America Shakespeare Festival - a celebration of Shakespeare's life, works and contributions to theater and literature. The festival runs for three weeks and includes theater performances, lectures and activities
  • Dawg Daze of Summer Festival - held in mid-July in Savannah, Missouri just over an hour north of Kansas City. Started in 2011, the event took a hiatus in 2013. This is a three day Bluegrass festival with camping if desired
  • Kansas City Indian Club Pow Wow - late July, an ethnic festival featuring three days of dance and skill contests, with participants from various Midwestern tribes
  • The Southwestern Golf Classic - late July, keen sports have the opportunity to view some of the world's most prestigious golfers competing for the title and takings of this senior PGA tournament


  • Elvis Parade - this quirky birthday tribute to the 'King of Rock' is a visual and auditory extravaganza featuring all manner of Elvis-related events, ranging from parties and parades to performances. Revelers can follow the parade from 12th and Central to the Barney 'Elvis' Plaza
  • Ethnic Enrichment Festival - mid-August, one of America's biggest and best ethnic festivals, this Kansas City event brings together over 56 diverse cultures showcasing cuisine, crafts and performing arts
  • Jazzoo - mid-August, this stylish musical event is held at the Kansas City Zoo and features a delicious dinner and a smooth selection of jazz performances in incomparable surroundings


  • Art Westport - held in Kansas City's über-trendy Westport neighborhood, this event brings together more than 100 local and regional artists and craftsmen in an atmospheric open-air environment
  • Barbecue Blaze Off - Kansas City's barbecue legacy is legendary throughout the nation and visitors are invited to try the cream of the crop at this state championship barbecue contest
  • Fiesta Hispana - a two-day celebration of Hispanic culture held in central Kansas City and featuring music, dance and art
  • Grecian Festival - initiated by Kansas City's Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, this vibrant Greek event includes cuisine, traditional music, dance performances and items for sale
  • Heart of America Quilt Show - hundreds of exquisitely designed and decorated quilts as well as other decorative items are displayed for a one-week period at the Crown Center
  • Plaza Art Fair - mid-September, an annual event that has been running for almost three quarters of a century, the Plaza Art Fair is held in southern Kansas City's Country Club Plaza district and brings together over 200 artists, photographers, jewelry designers, sculptors, metal workers and wood carvers
  • Renaissance Festival - mid-September, spanning six consecutive weekends and celebrating the vibrant historical period of artistic and educational revival, the Renaissance Festival is held in a spectacular outdoor setting and recreates facets of 16th century life
  • Spirit Festival - devoted to the art, crafts, culture, cuisine and music of Kansas City, the Spirit Festival showcases a kaleidoscope of stalls, carnival rides and performances at the centrally located Grand Boulevard
  • Cigar Box Guitar Festival - held late September at BB's Lawnside Blues and BBQ. The event is a celebration of blues, folk, gospel and rock music


  • American Royal Barbecue Contest - an annual festival celebrating Kansas City's barbecue tradition, this event is held at the American Royal Complex and features music, dance and a creative if somewhat bizarre 'bones art' display
  • The Kid's Fair - a family-style event held at Kansas City's Bartle Hall and comprising of interactive displays, educational events and a plethora of entertainment features and figures
  • 18th and Vine Heritage Festival - the historical district of 18th and Vine, birthplace of the Kansas City jazz scene, celebrates the city's impressive musical legacy with a full weekend of free performances and street activities
  • Worlds of Fun Oktoberfest Celebration - mid-October, bringing even more excitement to this fabulous amusement park, the festival features a feast of international cuisine and diverse entertainment acts


  • American Royal Livestock, Horse Show and Rodeo - this is the globe's most sizable event of its kind, with a parade and art exhibition to complement the traditional Midwest rodeo and livestock contests
  • Country Club Plaza Lighting Ceremony - mid-November, drawing almost 200,000 onlookers annually, this event heralds the start of the festive season in Kansas City and ushers in a lighthearted holiday atmosphere
  • Mayor's Christmas Tree Lighting - mid-November, an evening of entertainment is followed by the illumination of the Crown Center Square Christmas tree


  • Kansas City Symphony Holiday Concert - December 24th, a free Christmas Eve musical performance by the Kansas City Symphony Orchestra is held at Music Hall