The Kansas State Fair will be a whole lot of fun, but several just as fun activities are happening closer to home this weekend and into next week. Here are five to add to your in-town list.
1. ICT Fest: This annual party will feature more than 45 bands performing over two days at Parkers Grotto, which is at 123 N. Sycamore in Delano. The music starts at 3:30 p.m. Friday and continues with a new band about every 30 minutes. Fridays lineup includes 18 bands, from Wichita and around the Midwest. Saturdays lineup, which starts at 2:30 p.m. and changes every 30 minutes as well, has 19 bands. Live music also will be part of after-parties both nights. Fridays is at Kirbys Beer Store, 3227 E. 17th St., and Saturdays is at Luckys Everyday, 1217 E. Douglas. Admission to the ICT Fest, now in its ninth year, is $20 for both days. Tickets are available at the gate or online at ictfest2013.eventbrite.com.
2. Shakespeare in the Park: The Wichita Shakespeare in the Park Company will close its 2013 series with Cymbeline, a Shakespeare play that will be performed Friday through Sunday evenings through Sept. 22 in various public parks around the area. The performances all begin at 7 p.m. and run about two hours. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs, blankets and bug spray. This weekends performances are in Central Riverside Park on Friday, Hap McLean Park in Park City on Saturday, and Riggs Park in Haysville on Sunday. See the remaining schedule by visiting www.wichitashakespearecompany.org.
3. Anniversary party at the Shamrock: On Saturday, the building at 1724 W. Douglas, which currently houses the Shamrock Lounge, will celebrate 80 years as a continuously operating tavern. Now owned by Dave Stough, the bar is home to several popular annual events, including the Tornado Bait party and a big St. Patricks Day celebration. Saturdays celebration will start at 6 p.m. with music by the Watchers followed by Ruby White and the Blues at 8 p.m., Sleepy Truckers at 10 p.m. and Venus Fixer at midnight. Barbecue will be served, and the bar will offer free pool and shuffleboard. Patrons are encouraged to bring old photos of fun times had at the bar. Admission is free. For more information, call 316-267-3100.
4. Tech N9ne at the Cotillion: Tech N9ne, the Kansas City-bred rapper also known as Aaron Donetz Yates, will perform at 8 p.m. Friday at the Cotillion, 11120 W. Kellogg. Opening acts will include Krizz Kaliko, Mayday, Stevie Stone, Prozak, Ces Cru, Big Boyz and 3 Fold. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 at the door, and all ages are welcome. For more information, visit www.thecotillion.com.
5. Luke Bryan at Intrust Bank Arena: Country star Luke Bryan, the winner of the Academy of Country Music Awards Entertainer of the Year award, will perform a concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Intrust Bank Arena. Doors open at 6 p.m. Bryan is best known for hits such as Country Girl (Shake It for Me), I Dont Want This Night to End and Crash My Party. His opening acts will be Thompson Square and Florida Georgia Line. Tickets are $27.25 and $52 and are available at the Intrust Bank Arena box office, at Select-A-Seat outlets, at www.selectaseat.com or by calling 316-755-SEAT.