Kansas has a decent roster of annual fairs and festivals, nearly all of them happening between June and October when the weather is at its best. Music, crafts, and art are the big themes of most festivals, but there are also national standouts like the Renaissance Festival in Kansas City and the cool rodeo days in Dodge City. If you’re here in the summer, chances are you can find something fun to do.
Brookside Art Annual
The charming little town of Brookside is host to one of Kansas’ most popular annual art fairs. Each May, the downtown area is transformed into a pedestrian street with more than 200 stalls set up to showcase the arts and crafts of Kansan talents. Food and live music add to the fun, which carries on after dark with concerts in town.
Kansas City Renaissance Festival
Just outside Kansas City in the town of Bonner Springs is one of America’s largest annual Renaissance Fairs. It kicks off on Labor Day each June and runs for seven consecutive weekends until Columbus Day. The 16-acre property where the festival is held is like a slice of medieval England revisited. Each weekend has a slightly different theme, but always includes loads of food, live entertainment, period shopping, and other great activities. Around 500 costumed characters ensure the atmosphere is sufficiently medieval.
Jazz in the Woods
If it’s June, then it’s time for the annual jazz festival in Kansas City. This weekend event is as popular with families as it is with music fans, and it takes place in Overland Park’s Corporate Woods areas. Despite the genre of music, this event is billed as a family affair and around 40,000 people come to the lovely park to enjoy the free music and good company.
Dodge City Days
Dodge City is a big attraction any time of year, but for 10 days each July, the town really dials up the fun with its multi-faceted festival. The fun includes a classic car show, concerts, a golf tournament, parades, and lots more. The highlight is the Dodge City Days Rodeo, the real deal with bucking broncos, bull riding, clowns, and a beauty pageant.
This fantastic festival brings together many of the country’s top musicians who play a genre called roots that is true Americana folk. For two days in August, the downtown park of Paola is filled with country, bluegrass, and other great tunes backed by arts and crafts, games, live entertainment, and a major barbecue competition.
Ciderfest and Craft Fair
A highlight of Kansas every September is this annual harvest celebration in the quaint town of Louisburg. Over two successive weekends, the town’s lovely cider mill opens the taps on its delicious apple cider. A party ensues with live music, stalls selling locally made crafts, and lots of tasty food where barbecue is the obvious standout.