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Weekend Possibilities | Planet Comicon, Pride Parade and Bird Bootcamp

Anything is Possible

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Above image credit: A fan dressed as Chewbacca in "Star Wars" is reviewed by the costume contest judges at Planet Comicon Kansas City 2015. This year's Comicon is at Bartle Hall all weekend. (Contributed | Bill Watters)

Back-to-school season makes the weekend that much more precious. Live music, comic book characters, chocolates and various other celebrations fill August’s fourth weekend with strong entertainment options.

Friday, Aug. 20

1 – 8 p.m. Planet Comicon touches down at Bartle Hall, 301 W. 13th St., this weekend. Things to do over the three-day convention range from live entertainment and photo ops to tabletop games, cosplay meetups and more. Special guests this weekend include Barry Williams of “The Brady Bunch,” Gaten Matarazzo from “Stranger Things” and cast members of Netflix’s “Supernatural,” to name a few. Tickets for the full weekend are $75 for adults and $22 for kids 12 and younger. Individual day ticket prices vary.

After selling out of delicacies late last month and shutting down to restock, Bliss Chocolatier in Blue Springs, 3100 S.W. 7 Missouri Highway, is back in business. The chocolate boutique makes menu items from scratch, including hand-painted bon bons that are almost too beautiful to eat. There’s no shame in ordering other treats like the homemade ice cream, assorted chocolates or the hazelnut caramel dragées.

8:30 p.m. There’s a free, all-ages show kicking off Johnson County Community College’s Light Up The Lawn concert series Friday night outside of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, 12345 College Blvd. Guests are encouraged to bring blankets, lawn chairs and picnics for Kelly Hunt’s set. A Kansas Music Hall of Fame inductee, Hunt’s music has appeared on Billboard’s blues album chart and has received acclaim all over the world. Alcohol is not permitted.

Saturday, Aug. 21

9 a.m. – 4 p.m. There’s still time to enroll in Bird Boot Camp this weekend at The Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St. The full day of immersive workshops brings Charlie Parker’s masterworks straight to campers, who will learn and play selections of Bird’s work. Guest speakers include music scholar Chuck Haddix and jazz artist Ronald McFadden. Lunch is provided. Registration is free.

11 a.m. – 5 p.m. The Kansas City Pride Parade launches from the corner of Broadway and Westport Road Saturday morning. The celebration will head south to Theis Park, Oak and 47th streets, near the Country Club Plaza, where the Kansas City Pride Festival will bring live entertainment to the stage, vendors and food trucks for the hungry and fun for the full family. You can pay $100 to walk in the parade. Float and group entries are also available, but you must register ahead of time. 

Noon The best pickers in the state are gathering Sunday at South Park in Lawrence, Kansas, 1141 Massachusetts St., for the Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championships. In its 40th year, the championships will award prizes to the best pickers and pluckers across multiple age groups and instrument divisions. Be sure to check the full schedule of events for start times. And don’t forget your instrument if you have any interest in joining a jam session. The event is free to attend. 

8:30 p.m. Make it a full day of Kansas City jazz and grab a ticket to the Count Basie Birthday Show in the Blue Room at the American Jazz Museum, 1600 E. 18th St. The Jazz Disciples will be joined by Grammy Award-winner William Matthews, a former member of the Count Basie Orchestra, to honor Basie on his birthday. Tickets are $9.

Sunday, Aug. 22 

Noon – 5 p.m. Check out Parkville Days before the festival comes to an end Sunday evening in the city’s downtown, 100 Main St. Parkville Days has carnival games and rides, helicopter tours, face painting, food trucks, local vendors, plenty of live entertainment to offer and more. Sunday’s schedule of events starts with yoga in Pocket Park and ends with sidewalk shopping across downtown. Carnival ride wristbands are $25. The festival is free to attend.

Parkville Days offers three days of carnival rides, festival food, face painting and more in Downtown Parkville. (Courtesy | Parkville Days)

3 – 4:30 p.m. If your little one was inspired by sharpshooters at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, there’s an Introduction to Archery Lesson for kids Sunday afternoon in Independence, Missouri, 4420 S. Noland Road. The free lesson at Archery Excellence only has 30 spots for children aged 5-15, so be sure to sign up ahead of time. Equipment is provided.

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