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Chipotle’s KC Cultivate Festival

Chipotle’s Cultivate Festival makes its KC debut July 18 at Penn Valley Park.

Now in its fifth year, burrito behemoth Chipotle’s Cultivate Festival is making its way to Kansas City for the first time 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 18 at Penn Valley Park. The free event is designed to get people thinking about—and enjoying—food.

Cultivate attendees can sample new Chipotle recipes for $6 each, including pork belly or barbacoa gorditas, choriza tostadas, Southeast Asian concept Shophouse’s rice bowls and Pizzeria Locale’s margherita pie. The Colorado-based quick-serve restaurants, operated in partnership with Chipotle, are expanding out of the state for the first time and coming to KC, with the first location set to begin serving in Waldo July 22.

Chipotle’s gordita, one of the featured food items at Cultivate.

The festival highlights local vendors in its Aristans’ Hall, which will feature samplings from Rye, The Roasterie, Shatto Creamery, Poppy’s Ice Cream Truck and Little Freshie. Local beverages from the likes of KC Bier Co., Somerset Ridge Vineyard & Winery, Free State Beer and more will be available along with Boulevard brews.

Boulevard also created Cultivate KC’s colla-beer-ration, the Cultivate Farmhouse Ale, a re-introduction of the original saison that evolved into Tank 7. Featuring spicy notes of black pepper and lemongrass, the light-bodied ale is ideal for KC’s July heat and pairs well with the spicy foods you’re likely to find yourself imbibing.

But Cultivate isn’t all about eating and drinking. National musical acts Max Frost, Betty Who, Smallpools, St. Lucia and Portugal. The Man will take the stage throughout the day, with DJ Christopher Golub spinning between bands. The festival also includes cooking demos with Bluestem and Rye’s Colby Garrelts; Pizzeria Locale’s Lachlan Patterson and Bobby Stuckey; chef and Food Network star Amanda Freitag; chef and “MasterChef” judge Graham Elliot; and restaurateur, chef and host Tim Love.

Chipotle, which has made its commitment to serving food with integrity a big part of the business, makes education a component of Cultivate, featuring five “experiences,” including short films about the journey toward better food and a healthier environment, discussion of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and a demonstration of how the restaurants’ guacamole is made, complete with a taste test. Collect stamps showing you went to at least four of the experiences and learn your way to a free burrito, bowl, tacos or salad and drink at any Chipotle as well as a card for free pizza at Pizzeria Locale.