McTavish Weekend Extra

Jason Wickersheim / Two West Inc.

If you consider three a crowd, you might want to catch up on your Netflix queue this weekend.

But if you’re ready to sample a bumper crop of community festivals and other organized excuses to party, then it’s time to join the waiting throngs.

What are they waiting for? Well, if you’re watching “Orange is the New Black” or “House of Cards,” we’ll miss you. But not that much!

1. Old Shawnee Days

overlandpark.com

To celebrate or not to celebrate is not the question this weekend. Only how.

Answers include a Memorial Day weekend party hosted by the Kansas City Symphony, a sprawling American roots music jamboree and a sentimental arena rock concert that might have fans “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’” anyone who’s handy – which is always one way to make a new friend.

Let the celebrations begin!  

1. Celebration at the Station

Barbara Haze

When things don’t necessarily go together, that doesn’t necessarily mean you shouldn’t put them together.

Like a weekend mix tape. What do all those songs have in common? Maybe nothing, except they’re all on the same weekend mix tape.

See how this works? With or without a pre-selected soundtrack this weekend, try mixing up a combo of asymmetrical activities, a potpourri of divergent diversions – you know, a bunch of stuff. It’s your weekend. You should do what you want.

1. Planet Comicon

ceedub13 / Wikimedia Commons

As the post-World War II Baby Boom generation inexorably relaxes its grip on the workplace, many who once rocked the night away still want to hold onto all of the youthful diversions they can. Translation: It’s hard to let go of the fun stuff.

Even if it doesn’t make wrinkles disappear, a virtual industry exists to appease the entertainment desires of those whose cherished memories of yesteryear might still be able to put a spring in their step. Translation: Fountain of Youth for sale.

karendesuyo / Flickr-CC

An irony of the Internet Age is that it can seem tougher than ever to get at the whole truth. Everyone seems to have their version and the ability to share it with the world in a nanosecond.

Aleksi Ollila / Wikimedia Commons

Keeping it real has its limitations.

Pretend your way out of them this weekend by encountering the ardent make-believe of ambitious air guitarists, the living legacy of a legendary animator and the unquenchable pursuit of assorted paraphernalia associated with the most famous fizzy water in the world.

Need more? Wow, you do need a break. Ready… set …pretend!

1. U.S. Air Guitar Contest

steve9567 / Flickr -- CC

Feeling a little funny in the head?

You might as well go with it this weekend, with help from brain-frying guitar players, crazy thrill rides and more.

Keep in mind, you could get carried away and totally lose your mind with all the insane fun out there. But something tells me you can handle it – yeah, that funny little voice in my head. Good luck!

1. Generation Axe: A Night with Guitars

Takahiro Kyono / Flickr-CC

Sometimes you’ve got to take a stand.

This weekend may or may not be one of those times – really, how should I know? But, perhaps, you can be prepared to take charge with the following bold suggestions for decisive weekend action.

Did I say perhaps? To be honest, a little wiggle room never hurts. Even when you’re not messing around!

1. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band: ‘The River Tour’

rumpleteaser / Flickr-CC

As one-hit wonder The Main Ingredient so melodiously clarified way back when: “Everybody plays the fool sometimes / There’s no exception to the rule / Listen, baby!”

Are you listening? I hope so, because you wouldn’t want to miss the point of April Fools' weekend.

You didn’t know there was an April Fools' weekend? Well, there is when April Fools' Day falls on a Friday. No fooling – well, maybe a little.

Ethan Hickerson / Flickr -- CC

Legends loom large. It’s what they do.

Still, they come in all shapes and sizes and even species, like the Easter Bunny or Mickey Mouse – yes, “cartoon character” is a genus, at least in my pop-culture-infested mind.

So buckle up this weekend. It’s going to be a legendary ride.

1. Kansas City Easter Parade

Otterbein University Theatre & Dance / Flickr-CC

Some things are smart to do. Others are not.

We could argue forever about which is which, which wouldn’t be the brainiest move on anyone’s part.

My advice? Just pick something to do this weekend from the list that I’ve dutifully assembled for your intelligent perusal. See, you’re smarter already.

1. ‘The Fantasticks’

UCI UC Irvine / Flickr-CC

Don’t be afraid of the obvious.

I get it. Every once in a while, for one reason or another, we all like to be hip or trendy. But the truth is that some of the best experiences can be had by doing things that are readily apparent.

And keep in mind: A thing can be so obvious that people might miss it. So if you do that thing, does that mean you’re secretly with-it? Obviously.

1. Mavis Staples and Nick Lowe

Joe Mabel / Wikimedia Commons

Want to do something different? Really different? Really, really different?

Well, let’s not get too carried away. We’ve only got the weekend to work with here. And, besides, you don’t want to show up to work on Monday as Bernie if they’re expecting Hillary. (If they’re expecting Donald, I’m not sure what to tell you.)

So, instead, consider the following things to entertain or educate yourself in a different way this weekend. At least they’re totally different from each other. Baby steps, right? And then the revolution!

C. Jill Reed / Wikimedia Commons

Remember ‘Oz the Great and Terrible’? Turns out he wasn’t such a bad guy. In the end, you might say he was terribly good.

In that spirit, there are things to do this weekend that might well be terrible, but in more than one sense.

Am I being absolutely awful to propose potentially dire diversions? Actually, I’m just being alliterative. But terrible? Now you’re talking.

1. Wavves with Best Coast and Cherry Glazerr

Allan Ajifo / Wikimedia -- CC

Sunday is Valentine’s Day, the great validator of lovingly bestowed flowers and candy, as well as hugs and kisses that hopefully go with them.

If you have a special someone, good for you. If not, that opens up other opportunities, doesn’t it?

Whatever your romantic status, follow your heart this weekend. You never quite know where it will take you. Or who might join you on the way.

1. Dancing with the Kansas City Stars Sweetheart Dance

Nate "Igor" Smith / Wikimedia -- CC

Should you?

That’s the lingering question when considering some of this weekend’s, shall we say, more debatable activities – things that might feel good or be otherwise stimulating, yet also challenge everything from waistlines to moral judgements.

Not to worry. Much. It’s only the weekend. Isn’t that when you’re supposed to let it all hang out?

1. Monster Jam

Ryan Van Etten / Flickr Creative Commons

Sometimes you have to be an adult. Other times, it’s more of an option.

This weekend, with any luck, the choice will be yours to take full advantage of your adult status without the pesky baggage of grown-up responsibility.

I didn’t say it would be easy. I’m just here to nudge you in the right direction. Or maybe it’s the wrong direction. Either way, I’m nudging.

1. Margaret Cho: The PsyCho Tour

Moondrop Circus / Facebook

It’s shaping up to be quite the magical weekend, including opportunities to behold satiric sorcery, partake of enchanting eating deals and be mesmerized by momentous sleight of hand on the basketball court.

Your mission: Get out and see what pleasures can be conjured before the weekend spell is broken.

A wand shouldn’t be necessary. Although waving your arms around in a wizardly way would seem irresistible. Anyway, that’s my plan.

greyloch / Flickr -- CC

The real world is full of obligatory routines and predictable patterns.

Who needs that on the weekend?

Unload the ordinary and stack up on the fantastic by exposing yourself to amazing superheroes, distant planets and — if you dare — maybe even the dawn of a zombie apocalypse. It could get weird, but if you want to get out of this world, you’ve got to take a few chances.

1. ‘Marvel Universe Live!’

Creative Commons

You can’t do everything in 2016, but there are probably things that you’d rather not miss.

To decide what those things might be, you first need info – like when will the pennies from heaven be dropped and where’s the best place to stand? As it turns out, I can’t help you with that.

But I can suggest the following candidates for not-to-miss stuff this year. In the end, personal choices will be made. Fun and enrichment will be fashioned. And if I find out anything about the sky raining money, I’ll get back to you.

Walt Disney Studios

Remember when you were inordinately riveted by famous people? Think way back – like five seconds ago.

Say what you will, but the public continues to be captivated by an ever-expanding continuum of both real and imagined personalities populating our star-struck media universe.

If you’re impressed by Luke Skywalker or Barbra Streisand, then your star-struck self is already covered this weekend. Just tell me again: Which one is flesh-and-blood and which one is made up?

1. ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Costume Watch Party

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

The coming of the holidays typically means more time with family, which is the best gift to give or receive.

Even so, extra family time can contribute to holiday stress – whether it’s dealing with bored kids on Christmas break or hosting relatives you haven’t seen since the last time you felt this frazzled.

Happily, the holiday season also comes with family friendly entertainments and attractions that provide an alternative to being cooped up with dear ones who might be driving you crazy. I said, might. Whew, that was close.

Julie Denesha / KCUR 89.3

How nutty is this weekend’s entertainment scene?

Pretty nutty, whether you’re attracted to a play about the influence of The Simpsons on post-apocalyptic America or the Kansas City Ballet’s revamped version of The Nutcracker – you knew that was coming, right?

Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a nutty ride.

1. ‘The Nutcracker’

Ron Baker / Wikimedia Commons

The great jazz saxophonist John Coltrane said, “You can play a shoestring, if you're sincere.”

While more sophisticated instruments will be used to engage entertainment seekers this weekend, the most rewarding displays of talent will still require sincerity to reach their full potential.

And sincerity is a two-way street. Frank Sinatra, the Chairman of the Board himself, said, “An audience is like a dame. If it ain’t sincere, it’s over.”

Paramount Pictures

It’s important to show appreciation. That includes showing up to laud cherished entertainment heroes and/or concepts when the opportunity arises.

Sometimes, the heroes are able to appear in person to receive their due. Other times, worthy stand-ins embodying the notion of the original’s excellence must suffice.

This weekend offers chances to be laudatory in both categories. Lay it on thick, because when we acknowledge what we admire, we bring out the best in ourselves.

1. Gladys Knight and the O’Jays

taymtaym / Flickr-CC

Dressing up as someone you’re not is more common than ever in today’s society.

It’s called costume play or "cosplay," and participants need only the slightest excuse to turn themselves into their favorite character from, say, "Game of Thrones," or maybe one of the nerds on “Big Bang Theory.” Because some people just think it’s fun to go out and pick up a quart of milk as Sheldon.

Rs-foto / Wikimedia Commons

Need a lift?

Whether you’re stuck on the side of the Road of Life or just feeling a bit down, we can all use a boost now and then.

So here are a few opportunities to feel better – not only about yourself, but about your fellow human beings. Wow, thank you, weekend.

Mike / Flickr-CC

As we have come to learn in our society, diversity is vital to achieving optimum success in the workplace. But did you know that it can also work wonders for your weekend?

Well, let me tell you. I mean, literally, right now. Yep, that’s what I’m here for.

Prepare to diversify!

1. Lenexa Chili Challenge

Cristina / Flickr-CC

Fall is in full swing – and fading fast.

That’s the funny thing about fall. One moment the leaves are changing color and the next they’re on the ground. Turn away and you’ll miss it.

Don’t be left holding a rake – or, worse, a snow shovel – before taking advantage of what this fun and fleeting season has to offer.

Kenneth Hagemeyer / Flickr-CC

As the Beatles posited in their pithy ditty, “Revolution”: “You say you want a revolution/Well, you know, we all want to change the world.”

Despite such lyrical caginess, John, Paul, George and Ringo couldn’t help but shake things up for all the world to see. That’s what revolutionaries do.

This weekend, the malleable ’60s mop-tops and other ground-breakers will be given their revolutionary due. Take to the streets! No, you can’t bring a torch. Nice try, though.

1. The Fab Four: The Ultimate Tribute

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