Food Truck Friday planned today in KCK

Food Truck Friday is planned from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. today, April 17, in downtown Kansas City, Kan.

The location of a food truck will be in the parking lot across from the Hilton Garden Inn, 520 Minnesota Ave., Kansas City, Kan. This month the food truck is from Deco Catering’s Deco Street Eats.

The event is sponsored by the Downtown Shareholders.

Bike rodeo returns May 16

The Kiwanis West Bike Rodeo returns to the Schlitterbahn parking lot Saturday, May 16.

The ninth annual event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon May 16 at the Schlitterbahn waterpark, 9400 State Ave.

Tips on cycling safety, free bike safety helmets, T-shirts and a look at Schlitterbahn attractions will be the highlights of the day.

“Cycling is a fun and healthy way to stay active and enjoy the outdoors,” said Jan Wiley, KCK Kiwanis West event chair. “It’s also a leading cause of unexpected and sometimes serious injuries. Our goal is to ensure that youth learn the rules of the road and understand the importance of wearing well-fitted safety helmets.”

Kids are encouraged to bring their bicycles to the event to have their bikes inspected free and to complete the bicycle safety course.

Youth must be accompanied by an adult in order to participate.

The first 300 to arrive will get a free bike safety helmet and T-shirt. Participants will rotate through seven bike riding skill stations and have the opportunity to earn a bicycle safety certificate.

The KCK Kiwanis West, in partnership with Atmos Energy, Schlitterbahn Waterpark Kansas City, Big D Cycling and numerous community businesses and organizations, are committed to helping area youth ride their bicycles safely.

“Even though helmets can’t keep a cyclist from falling, they can save lives,” said Kevin Jones, Atmos Energy. “We’re pleased to be able to donate bike safety helmets for this event because when they are properly fitted, helmets can reduce the risk of brain injury by as much as 88 percent if a fall occurs.”

“Every year, more than half a million bicyclists visit hospital emergency rooms because of cycling mishaps,” Wiley said. “Nearly one quarter of those injured in bike-related accidents are youth. As the main sponsor of this bike rodeo, the Kansas City, Kan., Kiwanis West Club is committed to making sure area youth understand the importance of riding safely.”

Back again this year will be a free, drive-through car seat safety check. Experts will inspect car seats and ensure they are installed securely in families’ vehicles.

Kiwanis West Club president Kimberley Holm, a certified National Child Passenger Safety Technician with the Wyandotte County Sheriff’s Department, said, “Motor vehicle crashes are the No. 1 killer of children from ages 1 to 14. Even though most parents understand the importance of putting their children in car and booster seats, seven out of 10 kids in child safety restraints are not buckled in properly. We want to reduce that number.”

On Saturday, Schlitterbahn season passes will be on sale for $5 off the full gate price. Season pass holders will have an exclusive opportunity to beat the rush and process their season pass ID Cards during the event.

“Schlitterbahn Waterpark Kansas City is thrilled to host this popular community event,” said Chuck Stites, Kiwanis member and Schlitterbahn director of development. “In addition to helping kids gear up for a safe bike-riding season, the event promises to offer a morning packed with free family fun.”

Bike rodeo participants will be treated to a free cookie or doughnut, courtesy of Judi’s Bakery; get to enjoy performances by kids affiliated with Kansas Academy of Theatrical Arts; tour attractions at Schlitterbahn; get a close up look at emergency vehicles, get into the groove with fun Zumbatronics workouts; and engage in other activities, games and crafts provided by local businesses and organizations.

Those who have questions or need directions on the day of the event, may call 816-751-4227. To get to Schlitterbahn Waterpark Kansas City from I-435, take Exit 13 – State Avenue east. Turn left at the second traffic light and enter the parking lot.

Jazz Summit planned April 22-24 at KCKCC

by Kelly Rogge

Jazz music will be the focus as dozens of students arrive on the Kansas City Kansas Community College campus for the 2015 Kansas City Jazz Summit.

The summit is 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 22, 23 and 24 in the KCKCC Performing Arts Center, 7250 State Ave. The event, which is produced by the Kansas City Jazz Alliance, is free and open to the public.

“We try to offer the best performance experience with world class adjudication,” said Jim Mair, associate professor of music at KCKCC. “The PAC stage is set up like a NYC loft with great lighting, sound and an impressive stage. The judges are some of the best anywhere, and the festival prides itself for running on time and covering the extra details.”

The Jazz Summit caters to jazz groups at the middle school, high school and college level in both competitive and non-competitive sessions. It is a collaborative effort between the KCKCC Music Department, Audio Engineering department, Theater and the Intercultural Center. Awards are given for outstanding soloists, woodwinds, brass and rhythm section performers.

There are three levels of participation. These include:
• Jazz Summit. A non-competitive group where jazz groups perform for adjudicators. No winners are named, but outstanding groups and soloists are recognized. Groups that participate in this category receive a plaque or trophy.
• Kansas City Jazz Heritage – “Basically Basie.” This is a competitive category on Thursday of the Jazz Summit. Groups are required to pick three songs from an established list of Count Basie repertoire. These selections must have been recorded by the Count Basie Orchestra. Judging is based on the authenticity and attention to detail. The top two groups will compete for audience voting, which is done by text message. The winning group receives a traveling plaque. Roosevelt High School, from Sioux Falls, S.D. won the competition last year.
• Jazz Tyro. This is specifically designed for younger bands with little experience. Those that participate receive positive comments as well as a clinic following their performance.

Each day, 18 groups from as far away as Canada, Oklahoma and South Dakota will be performing. Local schools attending the Jazz Summit include Wyandotte High School, Harmon, Sumner Academy of Arts and Sciences, Schlagle, Basehor-Linwood, Tonganoxie, Blue Valley Northwest, Olathe South, Olathe Northwest, Shawnee Mission North, Ottawa University and Washburn University. The KCKCC Standard Jazz Choir will perform at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

“This is a one of a kind festival that celebrates jazz of all kinds, but in particular the music of Count Basie,” Mair said. “The Basically Basie competition has grown from three groups to 15 groups since its inception.”

For complete schedules for all three days of the event, visit www.kansascityjazz.org/kansascityjazzsummit.html. For more information or for questions, contact Jim Mair at kcjazz@kckcc.edu or by phone at 913-288-7503.

Kelly Rogge is the public information supervisor for KCKCC.