816 Day, honoring Kansas City’s area code, is back again for the fifth year.  Brian Benton, Founder of 816 Day, said the community can expect another amazing event showcasing a lot of the city’s talent. 

Since August 16 falls on Tuesday this year, the celebration will be held on Sun., Aug.14. 

About 100 vendors are participating at the event, ranging from fashion, jewelry, health and wellness, cosmetics, and food trucks.

Children can have fun in bouncy houses, get face paintings, and enjoy some free snacks and refreshments.

Benton said the concept of developing the holiday started with a Facebook post.

“A friend of mine made a post and acknowledged that several big cities have been doing this for years and asked why we didn’t have one,” Benton said.

Saint Louis honors 314 Day, which is also their area code. 

Benton said for the first time ever, there will be a 816 Day Artwalk, with about a dozen local artists displaying their work. In addition, a workshop will be provided for children interested in art.

This proclaimed day is important to Benton because it’s a platform for all talented people in Kansas City to be showcased and seen by people that might not be able to see them on a normal basis.

“Personally, I just love to see people out and about having a good time. I love outdoor events and I love my city,” he said. 

Donations this year will support a scholarship through the Royale Cohesive Network, a non profit organization developed to create an educational and professional platform for historically under-resourced youth  ages 25 and younger.

Their elite group called Royal Youth Vendor Squad, serves as ambassadors to exhibit their businesses locally and build long-term relationships in the community. 

The program teaches entrepreneurship helping young entrepreneurs with developing business plans, securing capital, and running their venture. 

Benton said he wants to help build whatever their dreams are because of that he does not charge the youth vendors who participate in 816 Day.  

“I’m not trying to take away from the kids. I want to pour into them,” he said. 

People should also get ready to grub and savor deals from Jazz District Vendors. 

On Aug. 14 and Aug. 16, selected restaurants on 18th and Vine will have $8.16 specials like Soiree Steak & Oyster House and The Juke House.

Benton hopes people will have an enjoyable and memorable time attending this event. 

“ [I’m] just happy to provide a platform for people to come–from entertainers to supporters– to come and have fun. It’s a good look and feeling for the city.”

For those interested in donating to the 816 Day fundraiser follow this link.

Simone Garza

Simone Garza is a reporter in our Kansas City office. In addition to general reporting on Kansas City’s African-American community, she reports on economic inclusion for the African American community....