Author Tanner Colby, Mega Kite Festival headline MCC-Longview Homecoming events

Tanner Colby, author of “Some of My Best Friends Are Black,” will be the MCC-Longview Common Read keynote speaker.

The author of a highly topical book and a high-flying family tradition will headline Homecoming week events April 16-21 at Metropolitan Community College’s Longview campus.

The Spring Convocation takes place Tuesday, April 17. It features the Community-Wide Common Read keynote speaker and New York Times bestselling author Tanner Colby. Colby is the author of “Some of My Best Friends Are Black,” a narrative history of modern race relations in the United States.

The Community-Wide Common Read is a book selected by a committee to present to the campus and surrounding community for everyone to read together.

“It offers a profoundly honest portrait of race in America,” said MCC-Longview’s LaSha Sanders, a member of the Common Read committee. Kansas City figures prominently in the book, including Troost Avenue’s reputation as a racial dividing line.

The Spring Convocation is in its fourth year. The free public event, to be held at the Pavilion at John Knox Village, 520 N.W. Murray Road in Lee’s Summit, gets underway at 6 p.m.

The annual Flights of Fancy Mega Kite Festival is held on the north lawn of the MCC-Longview campus.

Another free public event is the annual Flights of Fancy Mega Kite Festival, which will be on the north lawn of the MCC-Longview campus Saturday, April 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

People of all ages bring kites to fly on designated public flying fields, while Great American Kites and Events provides spectacular displays both in the air and on the ground.

“You can expect a vividly colored manta ray, 100 feet long, floating across the sky beside a 60-foot Nemo, a 130-foot octopus and a 40-foot cat,” said Tami Morrow, Longview’s community education coordinator. “Friends and families, from infants to seniors, relax together as they marvel at the incredible spectacle in the sky.”

There is also a children’s activity area with face painting, an inflatable obstacle course, photo opportunities and more.

Each year has seen an increase in attendance, with attendance last year topping 35,000.

Other Homecoming events include the President’s Panel on Monday, April 16, from 2 to 3 p.m. Representatives from each student organization will be on hand to discuss and answer questions about their groups. It will take place in the Black Box in the Cultural Arts Center.

A retiree reception will take place Wednesday, April 18, from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in the Education Center. Past retirees will gather with current faculty and students to honor this year’s eight retirees.

On Thursday, April 19, at 1 p.m., the campus will say farewell to Lakers Baseball. There will be a short program to acknowledge and recognize the players. The Longview Lakers’ last home game for the program will be Tuesday, May 1, as MCC sports teams transition to the new mascot, the Wolves.

For more information about Homecoming activities at MCC-Longview, click here.