Events/Festivals

Plan a Day in Clay.

Events in 2017/2018:

February 4 - Excelsior Springs Chocolate Tour

Excelsior Springs Chocolate Tour Explore Downtown Excelsior Springs while sampling delicious chocolate and shopping - need we say more?

March 11 - Snake Saturday Parade & Festival

Experience this Northland tradition, the largest Irish Festival in the area, a two-day event packed with carnival rides, cook-offs, vendors, delicious food, fun activities, and a parade all held in the heart of North Kansas City. This event is fun for the whole family and attending it will help do some good - over the last 30 years, Snake Saturday has given over one million dollars to charity.

March 11 - Mardi Gras and Irish Festival, Excelsior Springs

Excelsior Springs Mardi Gras & Irish Festival The fun is endless at Excelsior Springs' Mardi Gras and Irish Festival - with a beer garden, parade, live entertainment, food, vendors, and more - what more could you want for a festival?

March/April (tbd) - Smithville's Best Dam BBQ Bash

Enjoy this Kansas City Barbecue Society sanctioned barbecue contest at the Smithville Lake Dam. Delicious food and beautiful views are guaranteed!

May 11-14 - Gatsby Days

Gatsby Days Take a step back into the Roaring 20's with Excelsior Springs and experience the town's Golden Era first hand. Dive into the history and culture with art, fashion, food, dance, theatre, music, and educational programs! Don't forget to wear your Gatsby best!

June 3/4 - Gladstone Summertime Bluesfest

Swing down to Oak Grove Park for fun-filled weekend that is sure to get everyone - whether a fan of the blues or not - tapping their toes. Enjoy music, BBQ brisket sandwiches, brats, hot dogs, kettle corn, and so much more!

June 3 - Wine Festival, Kearney

This event features local wineries, vineyards and breweries, plus a variety of artisans and vendors, live music, silent auction/raffle and more. Adults only!

June 10/11 - Kearney Summer Jubilee w/Big Bam

The Kearney Summer Jubilee in Lion's Park takes place in conjunction with the Big Bam bicycle race and festival. There will be entertainment going on all day, obstacle courses (think TV show "Wipeout"), games, music, crafts and food.

June 17 - Wine Festival, Excelsior Springs

Excelsior Wine Fest Take a stroll done Lover's Lane in Excelsior Springs' East Valley Park while tasting delivious Missouri wines. Crafts, vendors, and live music will be present at the event as well.
 

June 21 - Make Music - Liberty

Make Music - Liberty Make Music-Liberty, a citywide festival of music. Throughout the day, you may hear music being performed on a sidewalk, a residential porch, in a parking lot, in one of Liberty’s city parks, at a public place of business, or wherever people feel like playing or listening, as the city comes together in a celebration of music and community.

June 23/24/25 - Water Fest

Excelsior Springs Water Fest A celebration of Excelsior's past, present and future, Waterfest is one of the largest festivals of the year. This three-day festival with vendors, live music, celebrity guests, contests, kids games, fireworks, food, a beer garden and so much more.

July 4 - Smithville Lake Fireworks

Enjoy your fourth while watching Smithville's explosive display over the lake. Watch the fireworks from the shore or take to the water for a truly unique Independence Day!

July 3 - Liberty 4th Fest

Enjoy free family fun activities, a beer garden, food trucks, live music, and fireworks on Independence Day at Fountain Bluff Sports Complex.

July 8 - Foodie Tour of Downtown Liberty

$10/person - Limited to 25 attendees - Tickets available here or call 816.781.3575 - Attendees bring your receipt to the corner of Main and Franklin on the day of the event. Tour starts at 10AM.

August 19-21 - Total Eclipse of Clay - Smithville

Start the celebration early with Family Fun Day on the beach at Little Platte Beach on Saturday. Camp at one of our beautiful campgrounds and stay for the full experience! Clay County is offering different experiences throughout the park on Monday the 21st during the eclipse.

August 20-21 - Solar Eclipse Festival - Excelsior Springs

Excelsior Springs, Missouri is in the Solar Eclipse path of totality! This event will be celebrated back-to-back with the annual BBQ & Fly-in on the River for four days of get-away fun!

August 18/19 BBQ and Fly-in on the River

Over 60 competitive smoke-cooking teams from around the Midwest gather in Excelsior Springs for one of Clay's most delicious competitions. Watch for vintage planes flying in and out of the Excelsior Springs Memorial Airport.

August - Hot Summer Nights in Smithville

August Saturday nights are filled with family entertainment, delicious food, and oodles of fun in Smithville!

September 8/9 - Swift Mile - North Kansas City

Swift Avenue was a prime location for the first two pieces of art installations coming from the street festival as a gift for city beautification. Almost 50 makers, craftsmen and artisans joined us in 2016 to sell their local and hand-made pieces. Festival patrons sated over and over how impressed they were with the quality of the vendors. Entertainment featured two music stages in the festival area showcasing thirteen local musicians and bands playing blues, jazz, country, rock and indie music as well as two artists painting murals "live" during the festival, which were later installed on two buildings along Swift avenue.

September 23 - Smithville's Backyard BBQ Bash

All backyard grillers are welcome! This contest is meant for amateurs - only backyard type grills are allowed in the competition, pros can compete, but they are not allowed to use professional level equipment! Vegetables, burgers, chicken, and ribs are grilled by contestants. Keep an eye out for schedule activities like pie and watermelon eating competitions!

Friday's and Saturday's Nights September - October 28 - WoF's Hallowe'en Haunt

Worlds Of Fun Hallowe'en Haunt
Get scared this fall at Worlds of Fun's Hallowe'en Haunt and have a hair-raisingly good time. Enjoy mazes, rides, scare zones, and shows all in one park!

Weekends September - October 28 - WoF's Great Pumpkin Fest

Worlds Of Fun Great Pumpkin Fest
Get ready for Worlds of Fun’s ultimate Fall Festival! This family-friendly Halloween event offers treats, themed activities, and PEANUTS themed ride and attractions in Planet Snoopy.

September 8/9/14-17 Jesse James Festival

Celebrate a unique period in Clay history with delicious food, fun activities, and a rodeo! Found in Kearney's Jesse James Park - not far from the infamous outlaw's birthplace - the Jesse James Festival has been an annual event in Clay County for over 40 years.

September 22/23/24 - Liberty Fall Festival

Liberty Fall Fest Celebrate the start of fall with this exciting festival in Downtown Liberty! Enjoy delicious fair foods, carnival rides and games, unique vendors, performers, and more at this event! Don't forget to watch the parade through Downtown Historic Liberty.

September 28 - October 1 - Gladfest

Gladstone Gladfest Welcome the fall with this exciting festival filled with fair foods, carnival ride, games, concerts, and more! Don't miss out on the Gladfest parade, held the Saturday of the event.

October 7 and weekends thru Oct 29 - Disciples of Gaming - VR House of Horrors

For just $10 you can experience 7 minutes of intense horror with the best VR technology available. Don't miss out on this virtual reality haunted house!

October 7 - Fall on the Farm - Watkins Mill

Come celebrate the arrival of fall at the Watkins farm and join us for a day filled with fun and learning from 12pm to 5pm! Witness 1870's style sheep shearing, stroll through our heirloom garden and participate in activities and chores that were commonplace in the 1870s. Activities will include wood stove cooking, cross-cut sawing, rag doll making, toy making, rope making, laundry, blacksmithing, weaving and more! Admission is free for the event. There will be an open house at the Watkins Family Home and a limited number of mill tours will be offered at a reduced rate. For more information, contact the park at (816) 580-3387.

October 22 - Pumpkins and Mums Festival

Pumpkins and Mums Festival Enjoy seasonal crafts, games, vendors, and artists with Excelsior Springs and their annual fall festival!

October 21st: 4th Annual Halloween Campout in Watkins Mill State Park

Enjoy a family-friendly Halloween Campout out Watkins Mill State Park! With activities including spookiest campsite contest, K-9 costume contest, and a spooky program called "Haunted Missouri" there will be plenty of fun for everyone!

November 18 - Christmas in Excelsior Springs Kickoff

Lane of Light opens at East Valley Park. Hall of Trees opens at the Hall of Waters. Head downtown in the evening for the Lighted Christmas Parade, Mayor's Tree Lighting, Santa's Workshop, Carolers, pictures with Santa and more.

December 2 - Christmas in Downtown Smithville

Head to Smithville for the downtown merchants' annual Holiday Open House and enjoy the Mayor's Christmas Tree lighting, shopping, hot chocolate, and visits with Santa!

December 2 - "E" Town Christmas Homes Tour

Five local residents open their homes to the public for a tour of their festive holiday decorations. Includes a guided passport to the homes and treats along the way. Sponsored by the Excelsior Springs Christmas Committee.

December 2 - Christmas on the Farm - Watkins Mill

Please join us for Christmas on the Farm! Admission is free for this event and there will be an open house at the Watkins family home for the duration of the event from 2pm to 7pm. Activities at the home will include holiday caroling, reading of family letters, free samples of traditional holiday treats, flaming of the plum pudding demonstrations, and an opportunity for children to visit with Father Christmas. Activities at the visitor center will include kids' crafts and live traditional holiday music.

Weekends November 23 - December 30 (see days below)

Worlds Of Fun WinterFest
Worlds of Fun’s first ever WinterFest is an event you won’t want to miss! This immersive holiday experience offers live entertainment, delicious treats, festive lights and décor, and endless amounts of cheer!
  • Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays Nov 24 - Dec 17
  • Daily Dec 18 - Dec 23
  • Daily Dec 26 - Dec 30

All calendar items subject to change. Please check the organization hosting the event to ensure event details have not changed.