The name Riverside evokes images of lazy Sunday afternoons in 1903, when people stopped to say hello and everything moved a bit slower. Rather than discouraging that olden-days feel, Riverside makes nostalgia a proud part of its annual Riverfest (located in E.H. Young Riverside Park just south of Argosy Casino), set to take place Friday and Saturday. Kids can enjoy what planners call "new age" events, such as a paintball tournament and Kwanzaa martial arts, but the fest also honors the past with hula-hooping, seed-spitting and rooster-calling contests. The family dog won't be left out during the doggie parade, which kicks off the festival Friday at 5:30 p.m. Overachieving parents can sign up their offspring for the children's beauty contest, then temper their disappointment with the suggestively named "adult bingo." Admission is free, and beer and food vendors are plentiful. Some might consider competing in the hot dog-eating contest, getting three (or four) square meals at once.-- Christopher Sebela
Would you, could you ... ?
Oh, crap, that wily Dr. Seuss is on the loose again. But that's a good thing, because the 1973 film of Dr. Seuss on the Loose -- offering animated renditions of The Sneetches, The Zax and Green Eggs and Ham -- uses drawings that are very faithful to the colorful, bubbly originals. We would watch it in a house. We would watch it with a mouse. We would watch it here or there. We would watch it anywhere. But most likely, we'll end up watching it at the Reading Reptile (328 West 63rd Street, 817-756-0441) at 7 p.m. Friday, screened using an original 16-mm print. -- Gina Kaufmann
That's the Ticket
In the first edition of Roald Dahl's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the small but industrious Oompa Loompas were described as Pygmies transplanted from African jungles to toil in a trippy treat factory. That was back in pre-PC 1964. By the time the 1971 film version came out, the Oompa Loompas had evolved into an orange-skinned, green-haired offshoot of the Lollipop Guild. Find out how much the Oompa Loompas have evolved over the past thirty years at the Blue Springs City Theatre's production of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. The Blue Springs Civic Center (2000 Northwest Ashton Drive) transforms into a confectionary for six shows starting Thursday at 7:30 p.m. Charlie Bucket had to find a gold ticket wrapped in a chocolate bar to get through the gates. Sucker. For kids younger than twelve, admission to the play costs only $6. For information, call 816-228-0137.-- Michael Vennard