Every Final Weekend is special in its own way, but August has a little something extra going for it: a Monday. Yes, that’s right, folks. It’s a Final Weekend and Labor Day weekend mashup and I am so excited to show you how we are going to marry the two. Not only do you get to enjoy the artisanal fruits of a Final Friday, but you also get to partake in Labor Day festivities and a whole extra day of doing non-laborious things (unless you include flipping burgers). The beautiful thing about spending Labor Day weekend with us in Lawrence is the plethora of festive options you have, from arts and culture to football and the outdoors. So book a room downtown amidst the art or pack your sleeping bag and tent-you can enjoy a little bit of everything this weekend!
Start the weekend off by immersing yourself in art, history, and culture. All the usual favorites will be representing, from Phoenix Gallery to Bon Bon. The Lawrence Arts Center will be showcasing a group show, “On the Importance of Drawing.” The show consists of work by KU students of various disciplines- metals, printmaking, painting and fiber arts. Watkins Museum of History will be hosting Professor Amanda Negel, who will be giving a talk at 7:00 p.m. for the opening of the “Far Afield: Kansans in the Spanish-American War” exhibit. The Cider Gallery will have a beautiful new show by Robert McNown opening Friday evening, and the Percolator will be holding an event that offers free food and free art for all. You can even bring a t-shirt and get an “Art Not Bombs” stencil spray-painted on it.
Sunflower Outdoor and Bike Shop has been hosting a series of wonderful humanities talks and experiences. This Final Weekend there will be an interactive music experience that you can test your instrument playing skills during and all the usual refreshments. And if football and barbeque are your love language, then you will want to head to David Booth Memorial Stadium for the first-ever Crimson and Blue BBQ. Whether you’re a pit master or just want to see how your famous ‘cue stacks up against the rest, you can enter the barbeque competition. You will want to register online beforehand to ensure a spot!
For those of you who don’t want to fire up the grill but do want to partake in some football festivities, head down to the Rock Chalk Rally at the KU Memorial Union. You’ll have to set your alarm-this tailgate party starts at 8:30 a.m., two and a half hours before kick-off. What better way to celebrate the first football game of the season? There will be live KJHK sports talks and DJS, games, music and lots of food and drink options. The best part is, you’ll be just steps from the stadium when game time rolls around!
Can’t convince the whole family to sit down for kickoff? Try a different kind of game at Lawrence Arts Center. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Woodstock music festival, the Center is hosting an I-Spy game. Search the gallery of Woodstock photos and enter your completed game for a chance to win a prize! If you’re staying in town, wind down on Saturday night at the Levee Cafe where Megan Lutrell will be performing an acoustic show of her own soulful songs from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Now, if you’re looking to blend the arts scene of downtown with the serenity and fun of the outdoors, then you may want to look into Clinton Lake State Park.* If you want to spend a night or two under the stars, then check out the park’s website. You can check the availability of campsites and in some cases, even make a reservation. The park also has trails, recreational areas, beach spots, and a full-service marina. If perusing art galleries one night and floating in a lake the next doesn’t scream Labor Day in Lawrence, then I don’t know what does. Clinton Lake could be the perfect spot to round out your weekend of fun, whether you park yourself under some shady trees all weekend or only spend Sunday afternoon.
We welcome you to spend the weekend with us any time you like, but we are especially excited about this Labor Day weekend. It includes all the wonderful, quirky, arty, sporty things Lawrence has to offer and is the perfect way to pay homage to summer.
Check out all of this month’s Final Friday events>
*Due to unusually high rainfall this summer, some areas of Clinton State Park are not accessible to the public. Click here to find out what is open and what is not.