Feria de Kansas event invites Lawrence to celebrate spring with Spanish culture

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Lawrence community members will have the opportunity to “celebrate spring like the Sevillanos do” during Feria de Kansas on May 1, according to a news release from the event’s sponsor, 45º (45 Grados).

45º is a “new endeavor” from flamenco dancer and choreographer Melinda Hedgecorth and flamenco singer and electric guitarist Anthony Rojas that allows the married couple to “share our love, knowledge and experience of Sevilla,” according to the 45º website

Hedgecorth lived in the Spanish city for 14 years, performing and developing her flamenco skills alongside local singers and guitarists, according to her bio on the 45º website

Now living in Kansas City, Hedgecorth is “inspired to pass on the precious information shared with her during those years.”

Rojas is a flamenco singer and electric guitarist who has been performing since his early teen years, according to his bio. Rojas also moved to the USA in 2018, and has since “widened his focus to include flamenco singing as a way to maintain contact with his roots in Sevilla.”

Rojas and Hedgecorth are also the founding members of FlamenKcmo, a performing group.

The Feria de Kansas, which will take place from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, May 1 at Cider Gallery, is full of events such as performances and servings of paella, a Spanish dish typically composed of rice, saffron, chicken, seafood and more. Tickets, which can be purchased at this link, are $12 for entrance only, $20 for entrance and paella, and free for children under 12 with an adult. 

Rojas will be making the paella onsite, but other food options include Tortilla Española or Croquetas with Ensalada de la Bahía.

The event encourages anyone in attendance to “put on your best traje (dress or suit), anything with polka dots and don’t forget the flowers in your hair” as they enjoy food, dancing, performances and special artist showings by Taj Mattingly and Amado Espinoza.

Here’s a look at the event’s schedule, from the news release:

Noon-12:30 p.m.: Sevillanas class 

12:30: First paella serving (other food choices do not have serving times) 

2 p.m.: Second paella serving

2:30: Student performance

3 p.m.: Guitarist Beau Bledsoe performs

3:30: Final performance with Bledsoe, Rojas and Hedgecorth

There will be Sevillanas music for everyone to dance throughout the event.

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