Monday, January 4, 2016

Kansas City, Here We Come…

The contract has been signed and MASFAA will be heading to Kansas City for the 2016 Annual Conference in October.  So if its great BBQ and Jazz you want, you won’t want to miss MASFAA in Kansas City, Missouri, October 2-5, 2016! Mark your calendars now!

The famous song “Kansas City” promises a good time at the corner of 12th Street and Vine. But don’t take it too literally; there is no such place. Not anymore. But you can pose for photos under the commemorative sign that marks the historic intersection at the renovated park that has been there since 2005. You can, however, find a jazz museum, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and more at 18th and Vine!

The most iconic piece of public art in Kansas City might well be “The Scout,” a Sioux on horseback that has looked out over downtown since 1922. A 2008 Star Magazine cover story, “If Statues Could Talk,” asked readers what the Indian or its steed might say if given the chance. One reader suggested the following: “Tonto, I don’t believe we’re in Kansas anymore.”

Given that Walt Disney grew up partly in Kansas City (and found inspiration in a local mouse), you’d think Disneyland would have opened here. No. But in 1973, KC finally got its own theme park, Worlds of Fun.

Union Station draws tourists from all over the world who marvel at her Grand Hall's 95-foot ceiling, three 3,500-pound chandeliers and the six-foot wide clock hanging in her central arch. Just as you could 100 years ago, you can still catch the train at Union Station's AMTRAK STOP and head out across the country. You'll also find a permanent rail exhibit called the KC RAIL EXPERIENCE, exhibit spaces for traveling exhibits produced by the Smithsonian, National Geographic and other international organizations, a PLANETARIUM, an interactive science center SCIENCE CITY and a vibrant Theater District featuring GIANT-SCREEN MOVIES, LIVE THEATER, and so much more.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art's famous “Shuttlecocks.”  The museum is intended to be the net in the oversized game of badminton. That’s why there are three shuttlecocks on the south lawn and one on the north lawn. One sailed over the net!

Kansas City is a diverse city, not only with its culture, but also in its skyscrapers. Like most other large U.S. cities, it has an eclectic mixture of old and new structures. Many buildings incorporate art deco details in a number of ways, as exhibited by the Kansas City Power and Light Building, Municipal Auditorium, and the Bartle Hall Pylons.

The Kansas City Power & Light District is a premier dining, entertainment and shopping district in the heart of downtown Kansas City.

The Kansas City Marriott Downtown connects travelers and visitors to the heart of KC’s entertainment district. The KC Convention Center is attached to the hotel via an enclosed walkway. The nearby Power & Light District offers shopping, great restaurants, and a vibrant nightlife. 

Burnt ends — barbecue gold — are cut from the pointed end of a brisket and then barbecued to their charry best. (Or cut after cooking. Chef’s choice.) Fattier than the rest of the cut, they are commonly found inside sandwiches, baked beans, and grill masters named Bubba.

Kansas City is the City of Fountains. And every April, the fountains get turned on, on Fountain Day. The city is second to only Rome in the number of fountains.

The east side of Missouri has Anheuser-Busch, but this side has Boulevard Brewing Co., which is still locally owned. Boulevard was founded by John McDonald in 1989. Boulevard is the country’s 10th largest craft brewer. Biggest seller: Unfiltered Wheat.

The Jacksons’ (yes, those Jacksons) Victory Tour launched right here in Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium in 1984. It was the last concert tour featuring all of the Jackson brothers together, including Michael. Tickets were $30 each, an unheard-of sum at the time. Fans went crazy for the moonwalk, songs from “Thriller” and the other brothers, too, presumably.

So come see all this in Kansas City, and attend an exiting, informative and fun-filled conference with colleagues from the nine-state MASFAA region.  More information will be forthcoming!

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