KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) — For the first time since KC RiverFest began 19 years ago, it won’t be at Berkley Riverfront Park.
KC RiverFest board member Stefan White said organizers were looking for a new location due to ongoing development on the Riverfront. On Wednesday, the city announced that the celebration will take place at the National WWI Museum and Memorial on July 2. It will end with the biggest fireworks display in town.
In the years since the launch of KC RiverFest, the riverfront has changed. You can find the beloved Bar K dog park, a bar and a restaurant. There are luxury apartments and others under construction. White said RiverFest needed a place with more space. The National WWI Museum and Memorial was the first place they called.
“For years people would call us saying, ‘When do the fireworks start?
In 2021, the museum and memorial held a smaller-scale Independence Day event with fireworks called the Stars and Stripes Picnic. It was the first year they did it. Now the Stars and Stripes picnic will be much bigger with the RiverFest budget in the mix.
The fireworks set up is the opposite of what they do on Memorial Day weekend. The area on the South Lawn provides even more space for a crowd.
“People can picnic on the Southeast Lawn, the Southwest Lawn, and even spread out in Penn Valley Park on this beautiful hill, in the baseball diamonds,” Naylor described. “We will have food trucks set up, stages here in front of the memorial and then the fireworks will then be lit from the north side above the memorial as a truly spectacular sight.”
There will be live music, DJs and activities for children. Strawberry Swing will have a handmade product fair.
White described this year’s location as the “temporary new home” of RiverFest, but added that he would like to see the National World War I Memorial and Museum as a long-term site for fireworks and the official celebration of the city’s Independence Day weekend.
As the waterfront continues to develop, including plans for the new KC Current stadium and an extension to the light rail line, RiverFest hopes to eventually rebrand itself into a multi-day festival unrelated to Independence Day. .
This year’s celebration will take place on Saturday, July 2. The picnic begins at 3 p.m. The fireworks will begin shortly after 9:30 p.m.
The musical headliner this year is Casi Joy. Beverage vendors will sell alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. BYOB will also be allowed. Bring a folding chair or a picnic blanket!
Due to the expected large crowd, the organizers recommend parking on the northern part of the tram route and taking the tram to the event. Paid parking is available.
The full range of entertainment is available on the Stars and Stripes Picnic website, which also includes important information on road closures and parking suggestions.
Kansas City announces official plans for Independence Day celebration
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