You’ve got four days and nights to eat and drink this weekend. Make them count.
Turkey legs and mead are finally here. The Kansas City Renaissance Festival (633 N 130th Street, Bonner Springs, Kansas) begins Saturday with the Pirates’ Ale Fest. In between the magic and sword fighting, you can work your way through apple cider floats, Belgian fries, cheesecake on a stick, Teriyaki beef, gyros and potato skins [full food list here]. It’s like a sports bar meets an Old Country Buffet. And it’s one of the few fairs where vegetarians can eat like kings. Bacon lovers should note there’s a bacon and beer tasting every day of the fair at 3:30 p.m. (it’s $20 for a trio of bacon and beer pairings). The festival will be held every weekend through October 13. Tickets are $10.45 for kids (5 to 12 years old) and $17.95 for adults.
Kansas City Irish Fest kicks off tonight and runs through Sunday at Crown Center. There are Boulevard beer ($10) and whiskey tastings ($20 to $50). You can also munch on everything from Scotch eggs (a hard-boiled egg wrapped in sausage, dipped in breadcrumbs and fried) to Dippin Dots to Scimeca’s Italian sausage. Minsky’s, the Street Wings food truck and Kona Ice will all be vending, as well. Tickets start at just $5 for tonight.
The Old West returns with the Santa-Cali-Gon Days Festival. For 42 years, the festival has been celebrating the pioneer heritage of Independence, Missouri. The name is derived from the fact that Independence marked the start of the Santa Fe, California, and Oregon Trails. Let yourself go back in time with Keck’s Root Beer and kettle corn and keep an eye out for Unk’s Burgers. In addition to live music and a healthy selection of crafts and clothing, there’s a carnival and a Budweiser beer garden. The festival in Historic Independence Square (Osage to Memorial Drive, between Truman and Walnut streets) starts today at 12 p.m. and goes through Monday.
Farmland is hosting The Great Bacon Treasure Hunt in three cities (Kansas City, Denver and St. Louis) tomorrow for International Bacon Day. The winner of the treasure hunt — you’ll have to solve five clues to win — earns a year’s supply of bacon and a cash prize. Farmland has advised checking its Facebook, Twitter and Bacon Club page for hints.
Happy Gillis (549 Gillis) in Columbus Park got a new menu (see above) a little earlier this week. Hello, Bacon-Date melt. They’re open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. They’re closed on Monday.
Renee Kelly’s Harvest (12401 Johnson Drive, Shawnee) is holding a Flippin’ Out Patio Party tonight and Saturday from 4 to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They’ll be cranking out better versions of backyard classics — a 1/2 pound ground tenderloin burger with Shatto cheddar cheese and a fried egg, a buffalo burger with tomato bacon jam, and vanilla custard with grilled peaches.
Ever just wake up and feel like a whole pig? Julian (6227 Brookside Plaza) is roasting a whole pig for its Sunday night family dinner. It’s $40 per person and that includes the pork, five side dishes and dessert. Call 816-214-8454 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a seat.[Turkey leg image and Menu image via Facebook: Kansas City Renaissance Festival and Facebook: Happy Gillis]