1 Heritage Festival – Join the fun and celebrate the city of Independence’s rich history and growing diversity, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Hill Park, 23rd Street and Maywood Avenue. The festival will have live entertainment, food vendors, merchandise booths and activities for people of all ages. Visitors will enjoy hearing traditional songs and watching dances from the different cultures represented. The annual Ted Stillwell Heritage Award will be presented to an outstanding citizen, and at 2 p.m., Nancy Erlich, a descendent of the Hill family, will give a history tour of the Hill Cemetery (upper level.) The featured charity this year is Drumm Farm. The Festival, coordinated by the Independence Human Relations Commission and the City of Independence, will be held in conjunction with the Heritage Skateboard Competition, sponsored by Diverse Skateboards, with registration starting at 11 a.m. and competition beginning at noon. Open to all skill levels. This event is free and open to the public. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets for seating. For questions, visit www.independencemo.org.

2 Flashlight Friday – Explore a 6-acre corn maze with just the light of your flashlight from 7 to 10 p.m. this Friday, Oct. 6 and 13, at Sylvia Bailey Park, 1800 S.E. Ranson Road, Lee's Summit. You can also enjoy the sky scraping Hay Mountain and other fun activities. Concessions available. Admission, $5; ages 3 and under are free.

3 Native Plants Restoration – In honor of National Public Lands Day, volunteers will gather at at George Owens Nature Park to bring back part of Independence heritage, the plants of the tall grass prairies. This event will take place from 10 a.m. to noon Friday and Saturday, 1601 S. Speck Road. National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer event that brings together hundreds of thousands of individual and organizational volunteers to help restore the country’s public lands. NPLD is also a “fee-free day” with entrance fees waived at national parks and other public lands. Everyone is invited to help, whether your with a group, troop or an individual. Contact Melanie Haney at 325-7115 or mhaney@indepmo.org.

4 Smokin' in the Creek – This End of Summer BBQ Bash and Cook-Off will be held at the Mike Onka Memorial Building, 11520 Putnam, Sugar Creek. Check-in is Friday, with judging beginning at noon Saturday. This is a friendly competition, just a bunch of friends coming together to cook some tasty barbecue. The same basic rules from BBQ competitions will be followed, but with a few changes. You can bring your smoker and tent and set up Friday night and start cooking. Everyone is welcome to participate. Four categories being judged are: Brisket, chicken, ribs and pork shoulder. Prize money will total more than $1,000. The cost is $125 per team. For more information or questions, contact Sue Mikula at 252-4413, ext. 1302 or smikula@sugar-creek.mo.us.

5 HamBingo: An Animals Best Friends fundraiser – This event will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday, at Hamburger Mary's, 3700 Broadway, Suite 110, Kansas City. HamBingo Mary’s is hosted by some of Kansas City’s most fabulous drag queens. This is not your typical “church basement bingo,” the show can get a little risqué. Enjoy an evening of fun while helping the ABF animals. Bingo cards are 10 for $10, plus there will be a 50/50 raffle.

-- HOW TO SUBMIT: Send your event and contact information to jill.ritchie@examiner.net. You can submit photos in jpg form.