A few years ago, Boulevard Brewing Co. employees started throwing around ideas for a street festival in Kansas City.
Marketing director Jeremy Ragonese envisioned the event as part beer festival, part community fair. But where would it be? The Crossroads? Downtown? In front of the brewery?
“We could have hosted a little party,” Ragonese says, “but not a big party.”
And Boulevard wanted a big party. So Ragonese and a team that included Keli O’Neill Wenzel, president of O’Neill Marketing & Event Management, kept searching for the perfect urban location. They found it after the brewery’s founder, John McDonald, suggested the West Bottoms, that warren of brick warehouses west of downtown.
That’s how Boulevardia was born. The street festival debuts Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The event offers live music on two stages, an art fair, an eco-expo, food trucks and a family-friendly carnival complete with a Ferris wheel.
Boulevardia will occupy a one-block area of the West Bottoms north of the 12th Street viaduct, roughly between Hickory and Mulberry streets. General admission tickets are $15 per day and are not expected to sell out.
The two-level 12th Street viaduct, which leads from downtown to the West Bottoms, is a major feature of Boulevardia. Look for some events on the lower level under the viaduct deck, while others will be on the ground under the viaduct. Most will be north of the structure.
Festival planners are expecting between 30,000 and 40,000 people over the course of the three-day festival. Thinking about going? Check out 10 things to do at Boulevardia.
About the Boulevardia app
Instead of printing paper maps, Boulevard opted to create a mobile app that helps Boulevardia attendees navigate the three-day festival.
The free Boulevardia app, built by Propaganda3 with help from Whiskey Design, is available for iPhone and Android. The app has a festival map, detailed info on participating breweries and beers, a music schedule with band info and a Brew Cam you can use to take, customize and share photos of beers you sample.
The app also sends notifications so you won’t miss out on a tapping or a show. Download it at boulevardia.com.