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.
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, including several DJs. Free parking keeps this thriving neighborhood hub accessible.
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.
Parties are always better with friends?especially brand-new ones. In nine cities throughout the US, My Drink On creates occasions for people to meet, mingle, safely imbibe, and responsibly return their pint glasses to the table in one piece. Pub crawls and whiskey tastings, holiday and yacht parties, private fetes and trolley crawls?the group works to create and promote festive, fun events. The fun isn't the only draw, however; many of its parties also raise money for a designated local charity.
It?s hard to make new friends in a park; but, thanks to KC Crew, friendships have been blossoming all over Roanoke Park, Parade Park, and Penn Valley Park. The secret to their success is rec leagues, in which players compete in kickball, flag football, soccer, softball, and sand volleyball, a beachy sport far preferable to speed eating shells. The organization provides umpires, a game schedule, and a $100 credit at eight local bars awarded to the winning team each week. And after the sun goes down, the organization offers more in-depth studies of the area nightlife through bar crawls, themed to celebrate holidays such as St. Patrick?s Day or simulate a zombie apocalypse.
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.