240 Artists and three music stages all converge on 55-acres just 4 miles south of downtown Kansas City on the Country Club Plaza. Those 240 artists celebrate the unofficial beginning of Fall in Kansas City.Along with the crowd of 240,000 that converge on “the plaza” as the locals call it.
The Plaza, 4-miles south of downtown Kansas City was established in 1922 and architecturally based in Seville, Spain. One of the things that you will quickly notice is that “The Plaza” is not a plaza after all. There are over 30 statues, murals, and tile mosaics in the area.
The Plaza Art Fair began in 1932 as a way to bring new shoppers to the area during the Great Depression. The continued growth of the art fair has not been without it is up’s and downs, however. In the early years, many artists held up their work with chicken wire, hoping that it could withstand the elements, and a late summer weekend in Kansas City. In 1977 Kansas City suffered a flood in the weeks leading up to the art fair. Kansas City rallied, and many gathered on the Country Club Plaza to help clean-up the area just in time for the art fair.
You’ll find everything at the Plaza Art Fair.
The Plaza Art Fair plays host to many different forms of art. Traditional forms such as photography to the more eccentric 3D mixed media. It will be hard pressed to find something that doesn’t strike your fancy.
First-timers will want to take it all in. Take your time, find the art that you enjoy and spend some time talking to the artists. Art fairs such as the Plaza Art Fair are great places to get in touch with your favorite artist and learn what inspires them. Sit down and take in some of the local music scenes that Kansas City has to offer along with more than 25 restaurants offering up some great Midwest cuisine.
Beware, though, don’t plan on taking photographs of your favorite art. Many of the artists do have signs telling you that they would like you to respect their art and not take any pictures.
If you have gone a few times, it might be a chance to branch out from some of your favorites. Take in a performance or two, stop and talk to one of the jewelry makers, or maybe just find a place to people watch.
The Plaza Art Fair is great for kids.
Your kids will not be bored either. There is an entire section dedicated to inspiring the artist within your child. The Nelson-Atkins Museum always has a huge tent that offers up the change to color and make a work of art based on their latest exhibit.
Be sure you pick up your Kazoo at the Kansas City Symphony booth, you might not even be able to make it to the booth without your kids asking what “that noise” is.
If you are looking for an excellent time to go and avoid, the crowds look at early on Saturday morning or Sunday morning. Typically, as the day goes on, specifically on Saturday, the crowd grows. On Saturday nights, the art fair many times turns into a party-like atmosphere for the younger crowd.
While you are road tripping it across the nation on I-70 in late September, be sure to stop by the Plaza Art Fair as a pit stop.