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Fiesta Kansas City & Other Weekend Possibilities

Barbecue ribs The Olathe BBQ Championships will let us believe, if for one weekend only, that spring is here. (Contributed | Plowboys BBQ)
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Fiesta Kansas City runs all weekend at Crown Center. The 16th annual event, put on by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City, is a great mashup of music, food and drinks. There’s also a jalapeno-eating contest and tortilla-rolling contest.  It’s free admission before 4 p.m. and $10 per day ($20 for a weekend pass) later in the day. Kids under 12 get in free with a paid admission.

Boulevardia kicks off tonight and runs through Sunday in the West Bottoms. To learn what goes into the massive food, beer and music festival, check out Dan Calderon’s piece. You can also meet Flatland’s Jonathan Bender in the Maker’s Tent on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. He’ll be signing copies of his book, “Cookies & Beer.”

Whether or not you’re a dad, it’s time to put on your serious eating pants. We’re assuming those pants come with an elastic waist, something in the style of Zubaz. Plowboys BBQ at 3111 SW Route 7, Blue Springs, Mo., which recently claimed local bragging rights with a win in USA Today’s 10 Best Best Burnt End Sandwich in Kansas/Missouri, is offering an all-you-can eat special: $18 gets you unlimited ribs, Texas toast and a fountain drink. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. Good luck.

You’ve got two options if you’re looking for a movie night. The Off-The-Wall Film Series returns to the Kansas City Public Library at 14 W 10th St. Tonight, it’s “Warm Bodies,” an off-beat romantic comedy about zombies, and cold beer from the Kansas City Bier Co. Bring your own blanket or chair. The doors open at 8 p.m., and the movie starts at 8:45 p.m.

Downtown Lawrence has Dinner & A Movie at 7:30 p.m. tonight in front of the Lawrence Public Library at 707 Vermont St. They’ll be showing “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and serving food from Jazz, a Lousiana Kitchen, along with Torched Goodness, a truck that makes creme brulee mobile. The movie starts at 9 p.m.

The SoJo Summerfest is tonight and tomorrow at Corporate Woods Founder’s Park in Overland Park, Kan. The event —which was previously Jazz in the Woods — features live acts like Big Time Grain Co. and The Elders, Tallgrass and KC Bier Co. beer, along with a local maker area. Admission is free, but donations and money raised benefit Growing Futures Early Education Center, Sunflower House, Operation Breakthrough and the Future of Hope Fund through the Overland Park South Rotary Club Foundation.

JuneteenthKC returns to 18th and Vine this Saturday from 12 to 9 p.m. The celebration of African American Community Heritage features music, including Riz Canady, a youth zone with bouncy houses and face painting, and plenty of eating and shopping. Admission is free.

Taps at the Tower begins this Sunday and runs through next Saturday. The third annual event is a Taps bugle call at 8:45 p.m. to coincide with sunset. Bring a picnic for the lawn by Liberty Memorial, slow down and listen to Taps.

What makes donuts better? How about cupcakes and donuts. Cee-Cee’s Sweet Creations Cupcake Extravaganza is a cupcake pop-up — think everything from strawberry shortcake to Bomb Pop flavors — at 2 p.m. on Sunday at LaMars Donuts at 9926 Holmes Road. Just a heads up, it’s cash only.

They turned the room. Bread and Butter Concepts’s newest restaurant is open on the Plaza at 4807 Jefferson St. Earlier this month, the local restaurant group shattered República — a tapas and sherry-centric concept, and in it’s place is now The Oliver — an American tavern. The menu puts white cheddar on everything from enchiladas to a high-end Sloppy Joe. The sides are tweaks on childhood favorites —sweet potato macaroni and cheese and cauliflower fried rice. The gin tonics remain from Republica, as they should in this heat.

— Jonathan Bender writes about food trends and is the author of “Cookies & Beer” and “Stock, Broth & Bowl.” Follow him on Twitter @jonathanbender.

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