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Weekend Possibilities | Fourth of July Celebrations In-Person or Online, VillageFest and Sips & Sounds

Finding Fun Safely

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Above image credit: Fireworks over Kansas City. (Brad Austin | Flatland)

Heading into an Independence Day weekend unlike any in recent memory, there are a range of in-person and online events scheduled for anyone looking to celebrate despite the pandemic.

Earlier this week, Comeback KC offered advice for celebrating the holiday safely.

The collaboration discourages attending large gatherings such as public pools, large family reunions, crowded public spaces, large public firework displays and indoor restaurant dining.

Smaller, outdoor bing-your-own food and drink celebrations are encouraged with social distancing measures in place, along with outdoor activities like bike rides, water balloon fights or walks.

Be smart. Be safe. Wear a mask when needed.

Friday, July 3

12:01 a.m. In lieu of running cancellations throughout the spring and summer, The Virtual Run Challenge will sponsor 2020 RunnerMania, a virtual running festival over Fourth of July weekend, starting in the wee hours of Friday morning. Participants can choose from a 5K, half marathon or 24-hour ultra run, which will be judged on how many miles are completed over a 24-hour span. Runners are expected to complete the 5K or half marathon over the weekend starting July 3 and ending July 5. The 24-hour ultra will start July 4 at 12 a.m. EST and end on July 5. Registration is $40-$65 depending on the race.

5 – 8 p.m. Be Part of the Art at City Market has gone virtual on the first Friday of the month for the time being, but that doesn’t mean you can’t peruse the latest work from local artists or bring home your favorite piece. When 5 p.m. hits on Friday, grab a drink and snacks and head to the City Market Facebook page. If you’re interested in showcasing your own work, contact organizer Sue Patterson via the event page.

Saturday, July 4

9 – 11 a.m. The city of Prairie Village will take its annual Fourth of July VillageFest celebration to-go this summer. Attendees are encouraged to decorate their car for a drive-by parade at City Hall, 7700 Mission Rd., where children will receive a goodie bag. The fun continues online with a social media sidewalk chalk competition, Spirit of Prairie Village photo competition and some local trivia. VillageFest To-Go is free.

7 – 8:30 p.m. If your local fireworks display is grounded, consider planting yourself in the virtual front row for Casi Joy Live from Union Station. The award-winning Nashville recording artist, who competed on NBC’s “The Voice,” will wrap Union Station’s Cocktail Concert series with a special free Independence Day set broadcast live from Union Station’s Facebook page.

8:30 – 10:30 p.m. If a socially distant Fourth of July sounds like a dud, consider something different for Saturday night over on Strawberry Hill in Kansas City, Kansas, as Barrel of the Bottoms presents its Drive-In Comedy Show with Susanna Lee and Stephen Taylor. Once registered, you’ll receive the event location, where you can park for $20 to enjoy a night of laughs. Organizers ask that face coverings are worn outside of the vehicle.

9:45 – 10:15 p.m. The show goes on in Olathe. Despite cancellations across the metro, the City of Olathe is going forward with its Fireworks Show at the College Boulevard Activity Center, 11031 South Valley Pkwy. Event organizers are, however, encouraging spectators to view the show from their cars or with social distancing measures in place. Parking spaces in select lots open at 8:30 p.m. The show can be synced to music with the J&M Displays app.

Sunday, July 5

1:30 – 2 p.m. Prairie Park Nature Center in Lawrence, 2730 Harper St., is continuing with its Sunday Afternoon Free Program for children of all ages. The 30-minute program includes a short video on nature topics, plus an outdoor stroll to look for birds, bugs and wildflowers. Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult. The event is free.

Diners on 14th Street in the Power & Light District
The Power & Light District closed on 14th Street to provide outdoor seating for the Bristol and Dubliner. (Courtesy | David Johnson)

4 – 7 p.m. Kansas City Power and Light District has marked off 14th Street between Baltimore and Grand for weekend Sips & Sounds. The space has been marked off for expanded outdoor dining for Bristol, along with patio seating for Drunken Fish and Chipotle. Plus there’ll be plenty of room to enjoy live music and drinks as Kansas City’s nightlife hub eases back into operation.

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