I don’t exactly know what’s going on with the weather in Wichita right now, but I’m not exactly complaining.
The forecast for this weekend calls for unseasonably high spring temperatures, and you know what that means – take advantage of all the outdoor activities you can before it inevitably gets cold again.
There are some outdoor standbys like going to OJ Watson Park or the Pop-Up Park downtown for a stroll, but if you’re looking for special events, there are plenty of those to be had this weekend as well.
If you’re planning out your weekend, use this list of top events to guide your itinteraries:
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Wichita Eagle
Friends University Jazz Festival
8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fri., noon to 4 p.m. Sat., headlining performances at 7:30 p.m. Fri. and Sat., Friends University Riney Fine Arts Center, 2100 W. University
Friends’ 24th annual Jazz Festival is this weekend, and this year, the university has internationally known Cuban jazz group Jane Bunnett & Maqueque on the ticket. The festival, largely, is a chance for middle school, high school, and community college bands to come and play short sets for professional critique. Those daytime performances Friday and Saturday are free and open to the public. Bunnett & Maqueque, the headliners, will require tickets, however. For an Eagle profile on Bunnett & Maqueque, click here.
‘The Miracle of Father Kapaun’ at Newman
8 p.m. Fri., Sat., 2 p.m. Sun., Newman University – De Mattias Hall, 3100 W. McCormick
Newman University is producing a world-premiere play based on the life and legacy of Emil Kapaun, Kansas’ saint-in-the-making. The show is based on a Wichita Eagle series of articles by Roy Wenzl and Travis Heying. I happened to drive by Newman on Thursday night – opening night – and the place was packed.
$12 adults, $10 seniors and military, $5 students, free for Newman, Kapaun Mount Carmel or Bishop Carroll students. Buy tickets at the door.
Women’s Fair 2017
noon to 8 p.m. Fri., 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sat., 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sun., Century II Expo Hall, 225 W. Douglas
More than 300 exhibitors will be on tap for the annual Women’s Fair this weekend at Century II. Grab your gal pals and get on over there for stage presentations and demonstrations about cooking, fashion, shopping, entertainment, business, and more. There will even be a doggy fashion show at 12:30 p.m. Sat.
Winter Bluegrass Festival
Concerts start 6 p.m. Fri., noon Sat., Wichita Marriott, 9100 E. Corporate Hills Drive
The Kansas Bluegrass Association is hosting its 28th annual winter bluegrass festival this weekend at the Wichita Marriott, which includes lots of picking sessions for bluegrass players, and a series of concerts by local bluegrass bands. Those concerts start at 6 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday. On both days, the concerts run until “close,” which likely means sometime after 10:30 p.m.
Split Lip Rayfield at the Cotillion
8 p.m. Fri., The Cotillion, 11120 W. Kellogg
Wichita’s prodigal sons have returned. Split Lip Rayfield, a favorite local bluegrass/rock band, returns to Wichita this weekend after touring extensively out of town. Another local favorite, Carrie Nation and the Speakeasy, will open for Split Lip Rayfield as well, pretty much guaranteeing a good time will be had at the Cotillion tonight. Split Lip Rayfield will also have its first album in eight years, “On My Way,” for sale, likely.
FREE: Academy Awards Short Film Screenings
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sat., The Orpheum, 200 N. Broadway
What better way to spend your Saturday than by watching all those little-heard-of Academy Award-nominated short films? All of the films are no longer than 40 minutes long, and perhaps best of all – they’re all free to watch Saturday at the Orpheum. If you can’t make it Saturday, the Wichita Public Library will host screening sessions at its various library locations throughout the week, starting at the Alford Branch on Sunday. For full details on when and where films will be at the libraries, visit www.wichitalibrary.org/academyawards. For the schedule Saturday, visit www.wichitaorpheum.com.
Food truck rally at Mayberry Middle School
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sat., Mayberry Middle School, 207 S. Sheridan
The Mayberry choir is still raising money for its March performance trip to Carnegie Hall, and this Saturday will give you the opportunity to help them – and get some good lunch in the process. Food trucks Uno Mas, Funky Monkey Munchies, Hot2Trot, Big Chili and others are scheduled to be in attendance. Blue Baboon Books will also be on scene.
Free to attend, food costs. www.facebook.com/MayberryTakesNYC
‘Newsies’ at the Warren
12:55 p.m. Sat., Warren East, 11611 E. 13th St.
Fathom Events, a national company in the business of filming live performances and then screening them around the country, is doing a special live “Newsies” event this weekend (and next week). The Warren will host a screening of the musical “Newsies,” filmed live on Broadway, early Saturday afternoon. For how much it would cost you to see “Newsies” on Broadway, this seems like a fantastic deal. If you can’t make it on Saturday, the Warren is also hosting another screening at 7 p.m. Wednesday.
DJ Throwdown at Barleycorn’s
7 p.m. Sat. to midnight Sun., Barleycorn’s, 608 E. Douglas
Do you like to dance? If not, then you can cash me outside, how bow dah? Local DJs DJ Carbon, J Skratch, Marcobiotics, Karetaker and Kyle Norwood will be on the boards Saturday night at Barleycorn’s, likely to ensure a high-energy night of dancing activity. 21+.
‘A Night at the Opera’
8 p.m. Sat., 3 p.m. Sun., Century II Concert Hall, 225 W. Douglas
Are you looking for a fancy night (or afternoon) out? Look no further than the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, which, this weekend, is bringing baritone Alan Held in to perform Wagner, Puccini, Verdi and other classical pieces. Held is currently a Wichita State professor and a WSU alumnus.