Here are twelve great things to do in KC this weekend, September 28-October 1, including: Overland Park Fall Festival, Grand Funk Railroad & Jefferson Starship and Beyoncé.
Step back in time and immerse yourself in the captivating world of the KC Renaissance Festival. What started as a small benefit for the Kansas City Art Institute in 1977 has blossomed into one of the country’s most celebrated Renaissance events, drawing 200,000 visitors each year. This festival aims to transport attendees to a bygone era with live performances, unique merchandise, giant turkey legs and men in tights.
September 2–October 15. Times vary. 130th Street, Bonner Springs.
Kansas City Actors Theatre presents Skeleton Crew, a powerful drama written by 2018 MacArthur Fellow Dominique Morisseau. Set during the 2008 recession, the play delves into the lives of Detroit auto plant workers facing uncertain futures. With echoes of Arthur Miller, Morisseau’s deeply moral storytelling offers a poignant exploration of resilience and community in the face of adversity. Catch the last performances of this powerful play this weekend.
September 12–October 1. Times vary. City Stage Theatre at Union Station.
American Royal World Series of Barbecue
If there’s one thing Kansas City is known for, it’s our barbecue. The American Royal World Series of Barbecue only helps fortify that reputation. Every fall, the smell of hickory wood smoke and pork dripping takes over the Kansas Speedway as competitors battle it out in the world’s largest barbecue competition.
September 27–October 1. Times vary. Kansas City Speedway.
Kansas City Chamber Orchestra Featuring Pianist Kuok-Wai Lio
The Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, in its annual collaboration with the International Center for Music at Park University (Park ICM), opens its thirty-seventh concert season with this blockbuster concert. Featuring Park ICM’s Avery Fisher award-winning graduate student, Kuok-Wai Lio on piano, this concert features the thrilling Brandenburg Concerto No.5 in D major by J.S. Bach and the hauntingly beautiful Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.9 in E-flat major. The concert will be preceded by a complimentary pre-concert talk on the music’s interesting history.
September 28. 7:30 pm. Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral.
Grand Funk Railroad & Jefferson Starship
Grand Funk Railroad, known as “The American Band,” brings their high-energy music to KC. Original members Don Brewer and Mel Schacher will be joined by rock veterans Max Carl, Bruce Kulick and Tim Cashion. Special guest Jefferson Starship, an arena rock legend with a rich history, adds to the night’s iconic lineup.
September 28. 8 pm. Uptown Theater.
Overland Park Fall Festival
Downtown Overland Park bursts to life during the Fall Festival, a vibrant celebration of community and creativity. Explore the artistic charm as you roam local artisan booths like Dank Artistry, a company hailing from Iowa that skillfully transforms discarded silverware into exquisite pieces of jewelry. There will also be live local entertainment and a variety of food trucks.
September 29–30. Times vary. Downtown Overland Park.
Cavalleria Rusticana & Pagliacci
Kicking off The Lyric Opera’s second full season since the beginning of the pandemic is Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci, composed by Pietro Mascagni and Ruggero Leoncavallo. Both operas will be conducted by Roberto Kalb with English-language translations displayed above the stage so the audience can enjoy every note.
September 29 & October 1. 7:30 pm. Kauffman Theatre.
Louisburg Cider Fest
The temperature is dropping and the leaves are beginning to crunch underneath your feet. That’s your sign that Ciderfest is just around the corner. Louisburg Cider Mill becomes a fall-lover’s dream for just two weekends in the fall, where guests of all ages can enjoy pony rides, live music and, of course, a hot cup of cider.
September 30 & Oct. 1. Times vary. Louisburg Cider Mill.
Gregory Alan Isakov
South African-born singer-songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov used to be a horticulturist before turning to another study—music. Quickly becoming a major player in the indie-folk scene with albums like That Sea, the Gambler and The Weatherman, his music uses banjos and violins and sometimes brings in orchestras and whimsical elements like whistles to bring a down-home feel to his songwriting. He is opened by early-aughts folk crooner Damien Jurado.
September 29. 7:30 pm. The Midland Theatre.
The Second City’s Comedian Rhapsody
Founded in Chicago in 1959, the improv comedy group The Second City has had generations of powerhouse comedians from John Belushi to Tina Fey. Still a stage performance group, The Second City also performs original productions across North America. This brand-new revue features iconic sketch comedy and songs from their history, new classics and, of course, their trademark improv.
September 29 & 30. 8 pm. Polsky Theatre.
Tower of Power with the Kansas City Symphony
Horn-driven soul, R&B and funk band Tower of Power has been melding genres for a groovy new sound for fifty years. In their debut with the Kansas City Symphony and David T. Beals III Associate Conductor Gonzalo Farias, they will be playing a diverse lineup of songs both old and new like “Step Up” and “You’re Still a Young Man.”
September 30. 8 pm. Helzberg Hall.
Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour
Fans are expected to arrive in sequined cowboy hats and black bodysuits, creating a vibrant prelude to Beyoncé’s Renaissance World Tour stop in KC. Her opening act features soulful ballads, leading into a show that showcases most of the Renaissance album along with other hits from her iconic career. Beyoncé’s enduring impact and legacy within the realm of Black musicians and artists resonate throughout the three-hour performance, embodying her far-reaching influence.
October 1. 8 pm. GEHA Stadium at Arrowhead.