The race takes place in the historic neighborhood of 18th & Vine. This neighborhood developed during a time of segregation as African Americans migrating to Kansas City were not allowed to live south of 27th Street. Life and vitality sprung forth from the black community during this time. Much of the vibrancy and culture that exists in Kansas City today can be credited to the beauty, art, and swagger that developed here during the early 1900’s.
Back in its day, everybody who was anybody would find themselves on the corner of 18th & Vine. This city within a city was home to over 200 nightclubs in the 1920’s and 30’s. Jazz icons such as Louis Armstrong, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald and (Kansas City’s own) Charlie “Bird” Parker were known to perform here. It’s also home to the Paseo YMCA, where Negro League baseball was born. Many of baseball’s all-time great players could be found on the Kansas City Monarchs. Legends such as Satchel Paige, Bullet Rogan, Jackie Robinson, and Buck O’Neil led the team to several championships playing just a few blocks south of 18th St.
Be sure to take some time to appreciate this neighborhood while you’re here. The 5K route passes more than a dozen iconic sites. You can learn more about its history at the American Jazz Museum and the Negro League Baseball Museum, located right by the corner of 18th St & Vine St.