Thousands visit The Legends
The Legends at Village West shopping center kicked off its grand opening of several new stores with music and a lot of sun on Saturday.
The event, which thousands of people attended, featured the Kansas City Marching Cobras, a balloon artist, several bands playing music ranging from bluegrass to reggae to pop, and fashion advice and an autograph-signing by Robert Verdi of the cable television show, "Fashion Police."
The biggest draw of the day may have been the 7 p.m. concert by the Counting Crows, for which people began staking their locations in the parking lot two hours before.
For families with young children the day's temperatures in the high 80s may have increased the appeal of the center's new, two-tiered fountain, which shoots water as high as 60 feet.
Robert Bennett of Roeland Park sat with his 8-year-old son, Dakota, as he dried off after playing in the large, many-jetted fountain.
Dakota said his favorite part of the day had been bowling at Pin-Up bowl, and playing in the fountain.
Jim Harriss, Kansas City, Kan., visited the center with his family, including 4-year-old daughter, Haley, who also enjoyed playing in the fountain. Harriss said he'd been to the center before.
"It's cool here -- I like it," he said.
Harriss said the new fountain was probably his favorite part of the center now.
Bernice Blakeney, Overland Park, may have appeared to be just watching people and enjoying the sun late Saturday afternoon, but in fact, she was working.
Blakeney is an image consultant for the Wilhelmina I & I modeling agency, and was sitting outside the T Rex Restaurant scanning the crowd for photogenic shoppers. She wasn't having much luck after about six hours at it, she said.
"I expected more good-looking people," she said. "I'm ready to leave."
Blakeney said she thought Dave & Buster's would be successful at the center.
"That'll be a hangout spot," she said.
Deputy Chief Samuel Breshears of the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department said the day had been trouble-free.
"There's been absolutely nothing but a lot of happy people" who complimented the stores and quality of service, Breshears said.
By about 6 p.m. Saturday, Breshears said, he estimated the shopping center's expected attendance of 8,000 to 10,000 people had nearly been filled.