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Sep 29

Enjoy a 5K or Family Fun Run, musical performances, and more at this ‘thank you’ event

Posted on September 29, 2023 at 9:54 AM by Becky Burnside

By David Markham

Planning has been going on for months, and now the first-ever Fun Fest at the Theatre in the Park on Oct. 14 will be here soon! 

“We’ve had a great response so far from community members who are excited about joining us at this expanded new event,” said Associate Artistic Director Guy Gardner. “The day is full of fun and all generations seem to be excited about the opportunity to enjoy the day!”

Main festivities for this new free family-friendly event will start at 10 a.m., and will be preceded by a 5K at 9 a.m. and a Family Fun Run at 9:30 a.m. The event will also feature concessions, hayrides and facepainting, crafters from Strawberry Swing, and performances on the main stage from family musicians, local groups, bands. The event will conclude with an announcement of the lineup for Theatre in the Park’s 2024 season beginning at 3:45 p.m.   

The fest’s current entertainment schedule is as follows:

  • 10:30 a.m. - Funky Mama
  • 11:15 a.m. - Stage Right Performing Arts
  • Noon - Talya Groves
  • 12:45 p.m. - KC FLO
  • 1:30 p.m. - Chiefs Rumble drumline
  • 2:15 p.m. - Kate Cosentino
  • 3:00 p.m. - Miller Marley School of Dance and Voice
  • 3:45 p.m. - TIP 2024 Season Announcement

“We tried to curate a stage schedule that had a wide array of audiences,” Gardner explained. “Funky Mama brings great quality for families and little ones early in the day. Talya Groves is an amazing singer in Kansas City and we are excited to present her solo act on our stage. KC FLO Is a small instrumental band that is a part of Patrick Lentz Entertainment, one of the premiere event bands in the area. Kate Cosentino did our area proud this year on NBC’s “The Voice” and is excited to have a hometown show! Miller Marley will present multiple groups on stage so everyone coming to the event can enjoy this up-and-coming talent in Johnson County!”

But this event isn’t just for people, it’s also leashed-pet-friendly.

“We love our pets,” said Gardner. “We wanted the whole family to be able to enjoy it, including our furry friends!  Whether it’s just you and your fur baby, or your family of seven and three little doggos that run around, we wanted this “thank you” to be for you and your household!!”

Gardner stressed that this event is being planned for all ages. 

“Bring your friends and challenge yourselves to a free 5K in the morning, or bring the family and plop down some lawn chairs and watch different bands and performances on stage throughout the day,” he said. “Fun Fest was created as a thank you to the community for their support of JCPRD. Our hope is that it becomes a yearly event at our beautiful Theatre in the Park location. It’s simple…. have FUN!!”

For more information about Fun Fest at Theatre in the Park, visit This venue is located in Shawnee Mission Park via a separate entrance at 7710 Renner Road, Shawnee.