The sizzling and crackling of meat, the taste of cold, frothy beer, and the dulcet sound of live tunes can only mean one thing: Bacon Fest is in town. In preparation, local restaurants are lining up in the parking lot at the Rehabilitation Institute of Kansas City to display their mind-boggling array of creatively bacon-centered dishes. Guests traipse amid the booths to sample the wares, drink beer, and bond over their mutual love of the treasured pork delicacy. The Josh Vowell Band and Baconator supply live music, and vendors such as Bakon Vodka, Fogo de Chão, and Paradise Locker Meats supply more palate-pleasing edibles. Fun contests abound, including a bacon-eating contest, a contest for the best bacon-themed T-shirt, and a contest to see who can turn lead into 24-karat bacon. A portion of the event's proceeds goes to benefit the Rehabilitation Institute of Kansas City, which assists newly disabled adults and children with medical rehabilitation and job placement.
On June 8, runners converge on Union Hill and the Martini Corner Entertainment District for a four-mile relay race through the streets of Kansas City. Divided into teams of four, each competitor carries a baton in their hand or mouth as they dash through a one-mile portion of the route before handing the stick off to the next teammate. Those who chart the best times will be recognized with post-race awards for the fastest men's, women's, co-ed, and corporate teams. After the race, the lure of live music emanates from nearby bars Velvet Dog and Martini Corner, where a post-race party welcomes runners to replenish with included drinks and socialize with fellow runners.
Proceeds from the race will benefit Ozanam Guild, a 65-year-old institution that provides care and support for children and families in need. Since opening its doors in 1948, Ozanam Guild has helped more than 7,000 troubled children secure a better future through therapeutic care and academic assistance.
The disparate sounds of softly clinking wineglasses, cheering sports fans, and rhythmic dance beats simultaneously emanate from Kansas City’s eclectic entertainment district, Martini Corner. With six locally owned hot spots ranging from Velvet Dog, an upscale martini bar and DJ lounge, to Haus, a German sausage joint with European beers on tap, Martini Corner offers something for revelers of all kinds. Free parking keeps this thriving neighborhood hub accessible.
One autumn day, 13-year-old Shanita McAfee wandered through her local apple orchard, plucking the ripest, plumpest apples. She had done this for years with her dad and siblings, but this year was different. Instead of giving the apples to her mom for apple pies, Shanita decided to take on the challenge herself. She loved her mom's pies, but didn't understand why her mom would use a store-bought crust if she was going to put in the effort to make everything else from scratch. So, Shanita started experimenting with various homemade-crust recipes, and her passion for cooking was born.
Though Shanita’s repertoire has expanded to include savory dishes, such as New Orleans–style shrimp and pan-seared seafood, her cooking philosophy remains the same: fresh, seasonal ingredients prepared with love. Magnolia’s chef has also made it her mission to challenge people to "experience traditional Southern ingredients and food in a different way." That's why she creates things such as braised oxtail lasagna and Grown Up grilled cheese—toasted farm-to-market challah bread with smoked gouda and Tillamook cheddar served with bacon horseradish dip and a 401K pamphlet.
Founded by a husband-and-wife duo made up of a WBFF Pro Fitness model and a ACE/AFAA/FPI-certified personal trainer, the Hitch Fit training regimen transforms students' physiques and overall well-being. The complete in-studio or online program runs 12–16 weeks and focuses not only on exercise but also helps patrons to draft custom diets and eliminate negative lifestyle influences, such as guzzling milkshakes with a band of rebellious teens at the soda shop.
The workout portion of each private visit involves 60 minutes split into aerobic routines and anaerobic weightlifting. Trainers customize each program to accommodate personal goals such as weight loss, muscle building, or shaping up following a pregnancy. Meal plans are customizable as well and account for dietary concerns such as food allergies and a crippling fear of pineapples.
At Screenland, campy and classic are rarely mutually exclusive terms. The movie theater serves as a cinematic time machine, transporting spectators through the history of Hitchcock's mysteries and straight into the heyday of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Though it also shows current titles, its schedule is often beholden to audience whims—the Crossroads location hosts new independent films that are uniquely screened at this sole location. This dual devotion to cherished and modern flicks helped Screenland earn the 2012 Readers' Choice award for Best Movie Theater from the Pitch.
Even outside the projection room, nostalgia rules. More than 40 games, from Donkey Kong to Missile Command, test dexterity at the Crossroads location's retro arcade, where guests can purchase passes to play indefinitely or until Frogger finally flags down a cab. Photographs taken by former Kansas City mayor Dick Berkley accompany historical trivia in the adjacent gallery, and celebrity handprints mark the outdoor patio. Greeting cinephiles out front is a marquee salvaged from the Isis Theatre, just as it once greeted a young Walt Disney when he shared his early animations there.
Wedding receptions and corporate meetings alike have taken advantage of the theater's capacity for private functions. At both exclusive and public events, however, a full-service bar supplies guests with libations, cracking open bottles of Boulevard Pale Ale and Tallgrass Velvet Rooster.