Troostapalooza aims to promote unity and community in Kansas City

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Unique artwork and crafts lined the streets of Troost in Kansas City Saturday afternoon.

“We’ve been just walking around everywhere. My favorite place so far was the painting and the drawings,” 14-year-old Ceona Tinnley said.

Several thousand people came out to enjoy a first-of-it’s kind fall festival in this area.

“I see people of all ages, races sexes having fun, walking, drinking eating and just having a good time,” Co-Founder of Troost Market Collective, Katie Mabry Van Dieren said.

But music, food and fun aside, most people say the real meaning of today is to promote unity.

“We wanted to bring everybody together on Troost because it’s been a historic dividing line and we wanted to say lets all get together and have fun,” Van Dieren said.

Those that live in the area say they’re glad to have a free event like this close to home.

“This is a transformative event for our community and we’re grateful to be a part of it,´ Brice Langford said.

The Langford’s said they hope to bring their children to this event for years to come.

“Historically this has been a dividing line and as parents and as adults we know that but hopefully raising kids in this area where there’s no division and where there’s actually unity our kids can grow up where Troost is actually a place to come together and to fund community rather than a dividing line,” Langford explained.

And even after this one-day street fest wraps up, all who drive by can see a permanent reminder of this event.

“Having this new mural being present on Troost and it’s right by the new developments going in, it’s a part of ruby jeans means something.” Artist JT Daniels said.

Daniels, along with some little helpers, spent his time at the event painting a brand new mural near 30th & Troost.

“I feel like the wall itself is already working and people are really liking it and they’re looking forward to driving by and seeing it and saying I did that, I did this,” Daniels said.

Organizers said they hope to hold this event again next year and for years to come.