In 2001, Kansas Speedway opened its doors to some of the fiercest and fastest competition in the history of Kansas sports. Since then, much growth has been made. Blair Stover recognizes Kansas Speedway as one of the most diverse and popular motorsports venues in the country and if you’re looking for the place for speed the Speedway is the place to go.
The Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR’s premier series, is held at Kansas Speedway twice each year. Along with this, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, NASCAR’s Nationwide Series, and ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards are hosted by Kansas Speedway.
Fans in the numbers of 73,000 per race weekend can be found sitting in the speedway’s yellow and purple grandstands watching their favorite drivers in competition. An additional 10,000 or more fans view their favorite drivers from the track’s massive infield from their comfortable motorcoaches. Season ticket holders for Kansas Speedway range as far as six states, and a population of 42.1 million people. On average, fans travel from roughly three to six hours in order to reach Kansas City.
As the newest of the country’s race tracks, many features make Kansas Speedway a fan favorite. The speedway is comprised of convenient traffic ingress and egress, superior sightlines, as well as a streamlined flow from the open and airy suites in the grandstand to the parking lots.
Along with the racing, the Speedway hosts high-speed driving schools for race fans to learn what it is like to be Richard Petty. Also, community functions, car shows, and private parties comprise the year’s activity calendar, so be sure to check the schedule online to see what’s new!
For those who have never experienced tailgating at Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium, you are missing out on something special. It isn’t like other typical tailgating parties and you do not need to know one thing about the Chiefs organization or the stadium. You don’t have to know about football or even sports in general. It’s all about the cultural experience you’ll receive and the lasting memories that will be permanently imprinted for the rest of your life. Blair Stover has more on the wonderful experience of Arrowhead tailgating.
Tailgating can’t be tied to the stadium itself but it is the turnout that will drive you and other tailgaters to the passion that drives people mad. People come from miles around to dive deep into this cultural phenomenon – from the casual anthropologists to the sports fanatic.
Some people have been tailgating at Arrowhead for decades. Many say that these folks, in their own right, are professional athletes. Arriving early is a key component of tailgating. That means if a game starts at 1pm, you are there at 9am. Even then, that is late for some tailgaters.
Camaraderie is a must for people who tailgate and it’s great for people to see each other that they have met at games before. Once inside the stadium, it is very hard for people to meet up.
For many people, tailgating it is all about trying out the food. These aren’t your normal hot dogs and hamburgers – we’re talking salmon, brisket, ribs, lobster and so on. But you can’t have a Chiefs’ tailgating party without the barbecue.
Will you be tailgating this year at Arrowhead Stadium? What’s going to be on your grill?
Liberty, Missouri plays home to Martha Lafite Thompson’s Nature Sanctuary and the 100 acres of forested hills and protected lands it sits on. Founded on the many dreams Martha Thompson, who was a local of Liberty, this nonprofit nature sanctuary gives viewers a variety of short trails to be in awe of. Blair Stover has more on this story below.
The Visitor Center parking lot is where the main trail begins and there is also a one-mile wheel chair accessible trail that runs east of that very same parking lot, which ends at the Rush Creek overlook. The Rush Creek trail connects to the Meadow and Prairie trails, creating a beautiful three-mile escapade, while the Woodland Trail will wander off to the North. All of the primary trails are marked clearly and have information plaques that explain regional wildlife, plants and history. There is a detailed map of the entire area that can be printed of the website as well.
The varied forestation and landscape offers up several opportunities for plant study and bird-watching. If you come up from the south part of the entrance road, you will notice a wide stretch of golden fields. Beyond that, the forest encompasses streams and creeks, creating a beautiful habitat for a wide variety of wildlife.
The non-profit organization relies solely on donations from sponsors and members so it can maintain the grounds and offer up programs for the public. It is open from 8am to 5pm daily and is the perfect place to get away from the normal grind of daily life.
The 2nd annual Dancefestopia will make its repeat performance in Kansas City, Missouri soon. With over five dozen hip-hop and EDM artists ready to perform, such as Porter Robinson, Lotus, Wiz Kalifa, Adventure Club, EOTO and more, festival goers across the country are looking to make the drive to the Midwest to take part in one of the biggest and most except music festivals in today’s society. Blair Stover has more on this story below.
September 13th-14th will be the dates for the much-anticipated event, which takes place at Kansas City’s very own Berkley Riverfront Park. Dancefestopia will be stretched over a span of 40 massive acres of vast, uncorrupted fields, helping the patrons seemingly feel engulfed in an enchanted and magical experience. Artists will have three stages to perform on and will be playing until late on both days, making Dancefestopia truly an epic experience for all involved.
Borda Productions, the group in charge of making improvements, is in league with Vibe Tribe KC, who deals with lighting, sideshows, workshops and props. The two year old festival may be in its infancy still but the fan base is growing in massive numbers due to the great improvements made so far.
With just days to go before the festival starts, passes are still on sale for $114.99 on Dancefestopia’s website. There is a “no money down” feature as well as exclusive VIP options. If you didn’t attend last year, make the trip this year. It is well worth the time and effort.
If you are in Kansas this year, you will definitely want to visit the Union Station to experience the Real Pirates exhibit. The exhibit extends from June 22nd to January 5th.
You will be able to experience first-hand the Golden Age of Piracy while aboard the Whydah, one of the most successful ships of her day. In this, you will be able to learn of the ship’s roots as a slave ship then succeeding takeover resulting in the conversion into a pirate ship. You will feel like you time-warped into the 1700s.
The Whydah was quite technologically advanced for her day. On her maiden voyage, however, she was captured by the renowned pirate Sam Bellamy and his crew. The Whydah then flew the Jolly Roger becoming the flagship of Bellamy’s flotilla. It, then, led raids up the Atlantic coastline as well as through the Caribbean waters.
When the perfect storm hit on April, 26th, 1717, the sailing days of the Whydah came to an end. The ship sank with the majority of her crew aboard. Additionally, the bounty of over fifty ships that were captured were aboard when the ship sank. For more than 300 years, the Whydah remained in Davey Jones Locker. That is until now.
Raised from her watery grave by Barry Clifford and his team, she can now be visited at Union Station. Additionally, you are able to experience this first fully authenticated pirate ship from U.S. waters.
If you go, be sure to tell us here at Blair Stover how the exhibit was!
Kansas City is known for its fabulous, culturally enriched Country Club Plaza. Home of numerous dining and shopping experiences, The Plaza is also beautifully designed with many sculptures, murals, fountains, and Spanish architecture and full of history. Blair Stover recommends the Country Club Plaza as a do-not-miss site for visitors.
Prior to the 20th century turn, not much more than a watering hole was found in Brush Creek Valley, for those passing through. On their way to somewhere else, soldiers, fur trappers, early settlers and Native American all traveled these banks.
This all changed when one man saw something more in this little valley. Jesse Clyde (J.C.) Nichols worked with unwavering purpose coupled with a lot of hard work, forever changing the land. What began as a swampy and uninviting tract of land became the first shopping center in the country.
Designed in 1922, The Plaza was the first suburban shopping district in the nation. The Plaza has something for everyone. It has been described as an outdoor museum with over three dozen art piece designed throughout the property in a public, open-air gallery. A self-guided walking tour is plotted out in brochures located at Plaza Customer Service so that one can enjoy the art at their own pace.
A few of the pieces found in this The Plaza of the Midwest actually come from England. They include a statue of Sir Winston Churchill, located near the Seville Light and the Giralda Tower, which are two of Spain’s landmarks. In a serene courtyard, Donatello Gabrielli’s original bronze of Pomona is found.
This summer, immerse yourself in Mexican art and culture while staying right here in Kansas City, courtesy of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art’s Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Masterpieces of Modern Mexico exhibition. Running from June 1 through August 18 in the Bloch Building, the special exhibition showcases more than 100 paintings, sculptures, drawings, and photographs that demonstrate the artistic traditions of past and present Mexican art.
Built around the works of masters Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, the exhibition is pulled from the private Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection works never-before-seen in this region. The stunning exhibition boasts a variety of subject matters, and styles, including surreal, abstract, conceptual and figurative works. European Eastern immigrants, the Gelmans fell in love with their adopted homeland of Mexico after becoming Mexican citizens in 1942. The pair became close friends with generations of Mexican artists, and celebrated their friendships and love of Mexico in the acquisition of their expansive private collection.
Beyond its collection of past and modern works, the Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Masterpieces of Modern Mexico exhibition features a variety of specialized programs and events throughout the summer. The museum will hold a film series celebrating Mexican cinema every Saturday afternoon at 1 PM from June 1 through August 3. All screenings will start with a presentation by local film experts and Latin American studies scholars; tickets are required.
On Friday, July 19 from 5 to 9 PM, join the free fiesta at the Annual Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park Celebration by dancing, creating your own sombrero, sampling Mexican fare, and learning about the sculpture. Learn more about the Gelmans and their collection at the August 1 The Gelman Collection in Depth event. Scheduled for 6 to 7 PM in the Atkins Auditorium, the event will feature scholar Edward Sullivan and his views on the Gelmans’ masterpieces and friendships.
Tickets to the exhibition cost $8 for adults, $7 for senior over 55 years of age, $5 for students with IDs and free for children under age 13. Are you planning on going?
This summer, “As You Like It” is being presented by the Heart of America Shakespeare Festival. “As You Like It” runs from June 18-July 7, 2013 at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday through Sunday evenings at The Festival. One Monday show will be held on July 1st. There will not be any shows on the July 4th holiday. Blair Stover notes that this productions marks Southmoreland Park’s 21st season of Shakespeare.
Admission to all shows if free, although donations are requested. The Festival will be held in the Country Club Plaza Area located at Southmoreland Park, on Oak and 47th Street in Kansas City, Missouri. Questions can be answered by calling (816) 531-7728.
Seating up front can be reserved, as can blanket space. Patrons must provide their own blankets and chairs. Check for availability, as reserved seating is limited and sells out quickly. Operators are available 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday to assist with reservations.
“As You Like It” is an enjoyable comedy in which the heroine, Rosalind, travels to the Forest of Arden. Along on her journey are her cousin, Celia, as well as her philosophical Fool, Touchstone. The forest houses an exiled Duke, Orlando, with his entourage. As the characters meet up, the comedy quickly comes to life.
Within the wild of the forest we will find numerous adventures take place. The most beloved traits of a Shakespeare comedy are encompassed in this play. Plan on mayhem, mistaken identity, madness and love. Shakespeare fans can plan to be delighted. This play also provides a wonderful first Shakespeare experience, for those who are being introduced.
Need a vibrant, family-friendly, and entertaining idea for a Fourth of July celebration in Kansas City? Blair Stover recommends checking out the Booms & Blooms Festival, held every year at the beautiful Powell Gardens. As the only botanical garden in the Kansas City area, Powell Gardens celebrates the Midwestern spirit of place and serves as a fantastic haven for wildlife and a breathtaking tapestry of gardens, landscapes, and even a nature trail.
This year’s Booms and Blooms Festival will be held on Wednesday, July 3. Festival admission ($12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $5 for children ages 5 to 12, and free for children under age 5) includes all-day access to the gardens, parking, trolley service and performances. Performances include live music by Luehrman, Shaffer & Checkat at 4:30 pm and a pops concert by the Lee’s Summit Symphony Orchestra at 7:30 pm.
The fireworks display will start at the conclusion of the symphony orchestra concert or approximately 9:30 pm. Other fun, family-friendly activities include Paint-a-Pot, face painting, the NATURE CONNECTS Lego exhibit, and Heartland Harvest Garden tasting stations, which are open from 1 to 7:30 pm.
Feel free to bring a picnic to enjoy in the performance area, and be sure to bring lawn chairs or blankets to stay extra comfy during the day’s performances. Food selections will be available for purchase. Some portions of the gardens will close early to prepare for the fireworks display, so get there early to see the Perennial Garden, Island Garden, Rock & Waterfall Garden, and more.