Kansas City's 11 for 2011

Dec 16, 2010, 16:41 ET from Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association

11 reasons why KC will be making buzz in 2011

KANSAS CITY, Mo., Dec. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being released by the Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association:

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20101115/KCCVALOGO)

  1. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts – Bowing in September, the $413 million venue will be home to KC's acclaimed ballet, opera and symphony companies. The privately-funded facility was designed by renowned architect Moshe Safdie.
  2. George Caleb Bingham's 200th Birthday – Bingham is widely considered one of the greatest American painters of the 19th century. In celebration of the artist, peruse his masterpieces at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art or tour the Bingham-Waggoner Estate, where he completed his most famous work, Order No. 11.
  3. 150th Anniversary of the Civil WarSituated between pro and anti-slavery forces, Kansas City has several connections to the turbulent time period; after all, the largest battle west of the Mississippi River was fought in KC's Westport neighborhood. In remembrance, KC will host reenactments, special exhibits and even historical theater.
  4. College Basketball Capital of America – Every March, KC hosts more college basketball tournament games than anywhere else in the country. In 2011, the total comes to 67 games in just 16 days. KC is also home to the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.
  5. KC Soccer Stadium – The 18,500-seat arena is sure to change the way people watch Major League Soccer. Opening this June, the sports destination and its adjacent tournament complex are expected to host 2.5 million visitors each year.
  6. Schlitterbahn Vacation Village – Kansas City's only river tubing adventure is bigger and better in 2011 with a multi-million-dollar expansion that includes the region's only surfing ride, three water slides, a mammoth rapids river and a whitewater tube chute.
  7. 20th Anniversary of the Arabia Steamboat Museum – Housing the world's largest collection of pre-Civil War artifacts, the museum features 200 tons of artifacts from a sunken 1856 steamboat. The museum tells the story of the Arabia's Missouri River demise and amazing rediscovery in 1988.
  8. Planet Snoopy – Opening in April, this new "themepark within a themepark" at Worlds of Fun features more than 20 children's attractions, plus daily meet-and-greet opportunities with Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang.
  9. Kansas City Zoo The park has introduced the largest polar bear exhibit between Chicago and the west coast. The Polar Bear Passage is the Arctic home to Nikita, a 750-pound polar bear. The expansion is the latest in a long line of improvements at the zoo, the 10th largest in America.
  10. National Barbecue Month – May is the month for barbecue, and KC boasts more restaurants per capita than any other city. Visit well-known joints like Gates and Arthur Bryant's. For something different, try barbecue breakfast at Southmoreland on the Plaza or vegan barbecue at FuD.
  11. More NASCAR – Kansas Speedway is now one of only 12 racing venues in the country to hold two Sprint Cup series races. Attracting 80,000 people, the 1.5-mile racetrack will play host to NASCAR's most thrilling event on June 4-5 and Oct. 8-9.  

SOURCE Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association