The annual Volkerfest celebration is coming up this weekend in Midtown’s Roanoke Park. The festival, started in 2015, was created to showcase the musicians and artists in Downtown, the Crossroads, Midtown and other areas of Kansas City’s urban core..
The Midtown KC Post asked Volkerfest Event Planner Melissa Martin to give us an overview of this year’s festival and what the Volker neighborhood hopes the event will accomplish.
Many neighborhoods in Kansas City have events that bring their residents together, but you say Volker created this festival to bring together local artists, musicians, restaurants, and businesses while strengthening our community. What was the idea behind that theme and why did it seem to make sense for Volker?
I came up with this idea for a festival a few years ago. I wanted to celebrate our neighborhood along with all of those surrounding it. I have never lived in such a vibrant neighborhood as Volker.
I saw that neighbors were asking for a social event to come together and call their own. That is basically how the idea was born. I brought the festival to the Volker Nieghborhood Association board where I am currently the social coordinator. They jumped on board and we have just hit the ground running. We were thrilled then to have The Kansas City Parks and Recreation Board of Directors understand our vision and partner with us.
Volker has a strong sense of community, as do all our surrounding neighborhoods. We are home owners, renters, artists, business owners, musicians, and families all combined. We are proud to start a festival to highlight individuals that make us one of the strongest communities in Kansas City.
I will be honest, I was nervous to see if people would even show up and how it would all play out last year. I was pleasantly surprised by the support from local neighborhoods and from artists. Some of our vendors have never shown their work before – let alone been able to sell it. They were thrilled to get the opportunity to use this festival as their start.
Residents didn’t even let me think about “Will there be a second Volkerfest?” At the Volkerfest cleanup last year, I had people coming up to me thanking the volunteers and saying they wanted to be involved for year number two. That’s when I knew we had something special.
Will you be expanding the festival this year?
We are expanding this year. We will have over 40 vendors showcasing their craft and talent compared to the 30 last year. We have also added a second stage to highlight more local musicians. This means there will never be downtime so music will continue around the clock. We have also expanded our kids activities so everyone in the family has something to look forward to this year.
- June 25 from 3 p.m .to 9 p.m.
- Festival will be held on the field north of the Westport Roanoke Community Center at 3601 Roanoke Road and in the community center
- Activities for children will be provided by Tikitum Sensory Science Lab, Imagination Playground, Stone Lion Puppets, and a visit from the Kansas City Fire Department.
- Art/talent/food/drink will be available for purchase.
- A bicycle valet will be provided at no cost.
- Dogs are welcome as long as they are on a leash.
- Organizers ask that no outside food or drink be brought to the festival in order to support our local vendors, as the festival is free to attend.
- Local food/drink vendors include Cupini’s, Anna’s Oven, Mud Pie Bakery, Aladdin Café, Kosmic Cake Art, and Sultan’s Bakery. Beer/alcohol will be available for purchase.
- Local bands include Scotty Stanton and Friends, Lauren Anderson, Arsenia/Hutchison, Longer Days, Amanda Fish, Frankowski, KC Bear Fighters, My Oh My! and Salar.
- More information