12 Things To Do This 4th of July Weekend In KC: June 30-July 4 2022

Kenny Chesney

Put on the puka shell necklace, pull the straw cowboy hat down real low, and purchase one (1) case of White Claw per person. Set up in the parking lot of Arrowhead around noon and remove clothing until you’re comfortable. They say anyone who remembers more than a flash from a Kenny Chesney concert on a summer Saturday night wasn’t really there.

Saturday, July 2. 5 pm. Arrowhead Stadium.

Party in the U.S.A. with DJ Pauly D 

It’s certainly arguable that the Jersey shore is America at its most American given its proximity to our nation’s birthplace and the existence of Bruce Springsteen. So kick the holiday weekend off with a DJ set by Pauly D, who is still boogie boarding the falling swell that came from his appearance on Jersey Shore nearly fifteen years ago. Get your GTL handled, then head down to Power & Light.

Friday, July 1. 6 pm. KC Live!

Bright Eyes

Bright Eyes has been a band for over twenty years, with lead Conor Oberst forming several other bands throughout the years but always coming back to his first (and most successful) venture. Bright Eyes has been re-releasing some of their oldest records as “companion versions” that have put a new twist on nostalgic favorites.

Friday, July 1. 8 pm. Uptown Theater.

Classic R&B Concert

Throwback to some smooth jams at Kansas City Convention Center with special performances by Howard Hewett, Miki Howard, Alexander O’Neal, Cherrelle, Keith Washington, and sounds by the Legendary DJ Fresh.

Friday, June 1. 7 pm. Kansas City Convention Center

Stars and Stripes Picnic

RiverFest is no more, the annual event at Berkley Riverfront Park having been absorbed into the Stars and Stripes Picnic at the National WWI Museum and Memorial. You can start picnicking (a.k.a claiming a spot on the lawn) at 3 pm on Saturday, July 2. Organizers promise food trucks, vendors and live music performances though details were not available at press time. The event is free and the fireworks will begin around 9:40 pm. There will also be over twenty-five food and beverage vendors, live entertainment, including Casi Joy and Boogie D, and the largest fireworks display in the city. 

Saturday, July 2. 3 pm. National World War I Museum and Memorial.

Dirty Heads 

Dirty Heads are back with their “Let’s Get It Kraken 2022” tour, with reggae band Tribal Seeds and Grammy-winning SOJA at the outdoor venue Grinders. Nearly fifteen years since their debut album, Dirty Heads is back, bringing California reggae rock to the masses.

Sunday, June 3. 7 pm. Grinder’s.

Star Spangled Spectacular

Corporate Woods in Overland Park is no longer home to Sprint, but it is still home to a massive fireworks display at Founders’ Park on 109th Street. Live music starts at 6 pm when Jim “Mr. Stinky Feet” Cosgrove plays—you may know Cosgrove as either a children’s musician or as a true-crime author whose work on a savage murder was excerpted in these pages. The fireworks begin at about 9:45 pm. 

Monday, July 4. 6 pm. 9711 W. 109th St., Overland Park

Independence Day Festival in Gardner 

Gardner sits on the dividing line between suburban and rural Kansas, and its annual fireworks display at Celebration Park gives you small-town Kansas charm with a short drive. The event is on Monday, July 4, and is headlined by Nashville-based Niko Moon, who has written songs for Dierks Bentley and the Zac Brown Band. If you’re looking to see fireworks without having to pop lawn chairs, there are dirt roads around Celebration Park where you can pull off and watch.

Monday, July 4. 3-10 pm. Celebration Park, Gardner

Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow

Starting this Friday Black Citizenship in the Age of Jim Crow, a new and haunting exhibition highlighting the decades between emancipation and the age of Jim Crow, will be on display at the National WWI Museum. The exhibit comes from the New-York Historical Society and has been enhanced by items from the WWI Museum’s collection. “This exhibition is important and relevant especially in light of the Buffalo shooting last week,” Karis Erwin says. “It’s disturbing, and we want people to sit with that and think.”

Through Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022. The Wiley Gallery at the National WWI Museum and Memorial. 

Zeros at Zona

Local new wave cover band The Zeros are opening Zona Rosa’s summer concert series in the open green space right behind Bravo Italian Kitchen. On Friday and Saturday evenings this June, you can bring a chair or blanket and camp out with family and friends to enjoy free concerts. Every Friday, Hereford House will have a tent for burgers and brews. Others in the lineup include The Uproot, Steven Bankey & The Flatlanders and Lily B Moonflower.

Fridays and Saturdays in June and July, 6:30 pm. Zona Rosa Central Park.

Hugo Ximello-Salido at InterUrban ArtHouse

Mexican-American artist Hugo Ximello-Salido has a series exploring the Muxe (moo-shey) community in Oaxaca, where gender fluidity has been part of the local culture for many generations. The panels on display at InterUrban ArtHouse in June and July were created by Ximello-Salido in Mexico using traditional textiles. “The work represents the discovery of gender fluidity as a journey and the awareness that gender can be perceived through many lenses, including through the history of the Zapotec culture that still resonates today,” Ximello-Salido says. 

On display in June and July at InterUrban ArtHouse, 8001 Newton St., Overland Park.

“The Path to Gender Fluidity,” Hugo Ximello-Salido.

Tivoli Under the Stars 

Tivoli Under the Stars is back for its second season, meeting every Friday night to screen a different film. Each ticket purchase includes an eight-foot “pod” of dedicated Nelson Atkins lawn that seats up to four people (five if the fifth is a child under three years old), movie tickets for four, museum admission for four, and garage parking for two cars. Food and drink are available from the Walking Snack Bar. Curated by Jerry Harrington, Tivoli Under the Stars is committed to continuing the legacy of Tivoli Cinema in a new outdoor setting.

Friday, June 10-Friday, July 29. Showtimes vary. The Nelson-Atkins. See more info here

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