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Weekend Possibilities | Irish Fest, Middle Of The Map Film Fest, And Other Labor Day Weekend Options

Irish Fest crowd gathers below the Kansas City skyline. Irish Fest takes over Crown Center Labor Day Weekend | Contributed: KC Irish Fest
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This holiday weekend, there are about 72 hours between leaving work on Friday and the time you start thinking about work once again Labor Day evening. Weekend Possibilities is your roadmap for food, drinks and fun for the perfect Kansas City weekend.

Friday, Aug. 30

5 – 11:00 p.m. Ditch work and head to Crown Center (2450 Grand Blvd.) for night one of Kansas City Irish Fest. Twice voted “Best Festival in Kansas City,” the cultural celebration runs through Sunday, Sept. 1 and features over 30 bands on seven stages, heritage arts and crafts, comedy, whiskey tasting for those 21 and up, genealogy, a children’s area and much more. Be sure to check the website for a complete events schedule. Ticket prices and packages vary and will be available on site only starting Friday, Aug. 30.

Saturday, Aug. 31

10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Step back in time at the opening day of the 43rd Annual Kansas City Renaissance Festival in Bonner Springs (633 N 130th St.). The fest features 21-and-up events like the Beer and Bacon and Royal Wine tastings, “faire food” at the Cottswald Commons, and live entertainment from jousting to axe throwing. Tickets: Adults $22.95; Children (5-12) $13.95; Seniors $20.25. The festival is open weekends Aug. 31 – Oct. 14.

12 – 9:30 p.m. The Middle of the Map Film Fest, running Aug. 28 – Sept. 2 at Screenland Armour Theatre (408 Armour Road, North Kansas City) has a full slate of flicks and live music set for Saturday. At 4 p.m., catch a screening of “This is Love”, “the story of an unsung singer-songwriter who turned down fame to play music with his family,” followed by a Q&A with the film’s stars and executive producer. Check the event’s website for a full schedule of films and live music. Full festival passes are $35, individual films are $10. 

2 – 11 p.m. Knuckleheads (2715 Rochester Ave.) is the battleground for Saturday afternoon’s Kansas City Wing Fest. Try wings from The Blue Line, Gus’s Fried Chicken, No Other Pub, Strouds, The Rub BBQ & Catering, and Granite City Food & Brewery, then cast your vote for the best in town. Live music from Chris Stewart, Big Time Grain Company and Uncle Kracker starts at 6 p.m. Tickets are $25. 

Sunday, Sept. 1

2 – 6 p.m. Sign up for the Second Annual Street Medicine KC Beer Olympics, hosted by Brickhouse KC and Sol Cantina at Martini Corner (400 East 31st St.). Teams will compete in badminton, a tricycle relay, water balloon toss, a basketball shootout and other games for a good cause. SMKC works to ensure access to quality health care and social services for Kansas City’s homeless and at-risk populations. Tickets range from $15-20. Participants may sign up individually or as a team. 

7 p.m. The three-day weekend celebration will be in full swing at Howl at the Moon’s (1334 Grand Blvd, Power & Light District) Labor Day Weekend White Party. Expect a range of drink deals, a Chiefs ticket giveaway, and FREE admission if you wear all white. Sleeping in on Monday morning is optional. 

Monday, Sept. 2

10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Toast the unofficial end of summer at Hoghead KC’s (4743 Pennsylvania Ave.) Labor Day Brunch. Enjoy menu items like the hoghead stew and poutine starters. Or perhaps indulge in the chicken and waffles entree, followed by the doughnut bread pudding dessert? 

8 p.m. Cap the long weekend with a concert from Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter John Mayer at the Sprint Center (1407 Grand Blvd.). Since his solo career took off in the early 2000s, Mayer has achieved multi-platinum status, added blues, pop, jazz and rock & roll to his repertoire, and toured alongside former members of the Grateful Dead on lead guitar in Dead & Company. Tickets are still available.

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