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For more than a decade, the Wyandotte County Ethnic Festival has celebrated the diversity of Wyandotte County, which includes Kansas City, KS, as well as Bonner Springs and Edwardsville. More than 50 organizations, countries and ethnic groups are represented through booths and onstage entertainment. The festival also includes a presentation of the Legends of Diversity Award. When you go, be sure to get a souvenir program that includes a blank “passport” page so you can collect stamps at every booth you visit. Plus, stop by the food court to enjoy a delicious array of ethnic food. The festival is held in the Kansas City Kansas Community College Field House.
Start your engines, race fans! Spring marks the start of racing season at Kansas Speedway with a NASCAR Sprint Cup series race. Grab your tickets and plan to get there early to explore the Display Midway, which features driver appearances, race education, scanner rental, games and giveaways. For a truly one-of- a-kind experience, purchase the Sprint FanWalk pass on Friday or the Pre-Race Pass on Saturday for access to the infield to see teams prepare.
Summer just isn’t the same without a county fair, and the Wyandotte County fair is no exception! The fair began in 1863 (yes, we’re serious!) and has been at its current location since 1955. What was once a 40-acre cornfield is now home to an 8,000-seat arena, 11 buildings and two picnic areas, plenty of room for a fun-filled fair agenda that includes a carnival, petting zoo, live music, barrel racing, go-kart races, livestock exhibitions, contests and much more. To get the most out of the fair, consider camping. RV and tent camping is available at electric and dry sites. If you want to bring your four-legged friend, pets are welcome in the campground.
Huzzah! The end of summer means it’s time for the Kansas City Renaissance Festival! A favorite local tradition since 1977, the Renaissance Festival (RenFest for short) celebrates the best in medieval living. Watch jousting knights battle each other atop towering steeds or take in an enchanting live music performance. Street performers roam the festival grounds, ready to entertain at a moment’s notice. And don’t miss the marketplace, a bustling area filled with artisan-made goods, games, rides and, of course, food. Be warned: no RenFest experience is complete without gnawing on a roasted turkey leg, so come hungry! Themed weekends are held throughout the duration of the festival, so check the schedule to see what’s in store.
High-speed racing action continues in the fall at Kansas Speedway with the second NASCAR Sprint Cup race weekend. Because Kansas Speedway is located on the rolling terrain of western Wyandotte County, you might also enjoy some prime fall foliage views while you’re at the track.
The holidays are a magical time in Kansas City, KS. The season kicks off with dual tree- lighting ceremonies: the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting in downtown Kansas City, KS, held at City Hall; and the Legendary Tree Lighting Ceremony at Legends Outlets Kansas City. Both events include food, music, live entertainment, and appearances from Santa Claus.
Once the holiday season is underway, don’t miss the magical experience that is Old World Christmas at the Strawberry Hill Museum and Cultural Center. The 1887 high Victorian home, located in the heart of the Strawberry Hill neighborhood in downtown Kansas City, KS, is transformed into a Christmas wonderland during the holiday season. Decorations are displayed throughout the museum, and a staff of volunteers works tirelessly for a month leading up to the event to decorate. What’s truly remarkable is that the decorations are done differently each year, so each time you return is a new experience. While you marvel at the incredible décor, don’t overlook the exhibitions throughout the museum, which celebrate the history of what was first a mansion owned by Margaret and John Scroggs, then St. John’s Orphanage. Upstairs, themed exhibits and rooms pay tribute to the rich cultural diversity of the Strawberry Hill neighborhood. No trip to the museum is complete without a stop in the tea room, which offers authentic desserts, tea and coffee.