Archive | May, 2012

Uniquely Columbia: Ragtag Cinema and Uprise Bakery

May 31, 2012

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When visiting Columbia, could we interest you in…

-An independent film enjoyed on a comfy couch?

-A cold microbrew?

-A delicious Reuben sandwich made with fresh-baked bread, house-made sauerkraut, house-made dressing and corned beef, and melted cheese?

-A place to relax, drink some coffee and check your email?

-Beautiful local art displayed for patrons to enjoy?

What if we told you that all of the above is an option? It’s true! Here in Columbia all you need to do is make your way to…

Ragtag Cinema and Uprise Bakery

Ta-da!

This local treasure in downtown Columbia is a favorite hangout for everyone from college students cramming for a final to retirees enjoying a documentary. With three businesses (Ragtag Cinema, Uprise Bakery and 9th Street Video) all housed in one complex, this place is always bustling!

With a diverse schedule of independent films, documentaries and series of shorts, Ragtag Cinema has established itself as Columbia’s arthouse theater. Two theater spaces allow Ragtag to show Oscar nominated shorts in one room and a football documentary in the other. Ragtag also hosts a variety of other events each year including concerts, trivia nights and, most notably, serves as the home base for the True/False Film Festival. Check out the calendar to find out what’s playing this weekend.

As if an amazing, one-of-a-kind theater wasn’t enough, Uprise Bakery is ready for you to eat (and drink!) through your film. Everything at Uprise is made from scratch with the best (often local) ingredients. Start your day at Uprise with coffee and a delicious homemade pastry, then come back for a sandwich and a beer during your movie. And yes, you can take that beer and sandwich into the theater with you!

So put it on your to-do list when you come to Columbia, to at least make a stop by Ragtag and Uprise. We’re confident this Uniquely Columbia spot will fast become one of your favorites too.

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Make a Splash in Columbia!

May 30, 2012

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We don’t know about you, but for us it’s truly summer when you can end your day or spend your weekend lounging poolside. Whether you visit Columbia to relax, attend a sporting tournament or shop, make sure to schedule some time to soak up the sun at one of Columbia’s splashtastic hot spots.

Sensational Spraygrounds

If you’re not quite ready to completely jump in, Columbia has two fun spraygrounds to enjoy. Both Stephens Lake Park and Flat Branch Park have small spraygrounds perfect for little ones to love. Even better than running through the sprinkler at home!

Play in sprinklers without accidentally flooding your garden!

Pristine Pools

Albert-Oakland Park
This park has baseball/softball fields, basketball court, disc golf courses, playgrounds, soccer field, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, and the Family Aquatic Center that includes a double loop slide, sprinklers and slides and diving boards.

Stephen’s Lake Park
This park includes and 11 acre lake (swimming and fishing areas) which can be used from dusk to dawn, spraygrounds and a sandy beach. Admission is free.

Douglass Family Aquatic Center
This pool includes a loop slide, climbing wall, shaded shelter, and spraygrounds. Admission is only $1.

Little Mates Cove
This children’s water park is equipped with slides, sprinklers, water cannons, and falls.

ARC
On rainy day, head to the ARC! This indoor recreation facility houses a gymnasium, game room, indoor track, and cardio/strength training zones. The leisure pool has a zero depth entry, interactive water play feature, triple loop water slide, lazy river, vortex, three lap
lanes and a heated hydro therapy pool.

Don’t let a little summer shower stop you from making a splash!

We know we’re not the only ones excited that summer has arrived, even if it’s not official until June 20th, so throw on your suit, grab and towel and make a splash in Columbia!

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Three Days of Entertainment at the ‘Blind’ Boone Ragtime Festival

May 25, 2012

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Columbia is just over a week away from hosting the ‘Blind’ Boone Ragtime and Early Jazz Festival, a three-day event packed with outstanding musical performances, seminars and nightly ‘afterglows’ to celebrate.

The events will take place at the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts, a beautifully restored vaudeville theater in downtown Columbia. Celebrate the history of early American music and one of the men who made it famous with internationally renowned musicians and fellow music fans. We really think the schedule of performers speaks for itself:

Monday June 11th
o The Ragtime Concert at 7:30 pm
With John Reed Torres, Martin Spitznagel, The Sedalia Ragtime Orchestra, and Robert Milne

Tuesday, June 12th
o Living the Ragtime Life with Max Morath at 2:30 pm followed by The Young Turks Concert
With Will Perkins, Max Keenlyside, Vincent M. Johnson, John Reed-Torres, and Frank LiVolsi
o The Early Jazz Concert at 7:30pm
With Max Keenlyside, Terry Waldo, Paul Asaro, Adam Swanson. Featuring Richard Dowling and Frederick Hodges performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue on two 9-foot concert grand pianos.

Wednesday, June 13th
o The Stride, Boogie and Blues Concert at 7:30pm
With Paul Asaro, Terry Waldo, Adam Swanson, Frederick Hodges, Dalton Ridenhous, Max Keelyside, Will Perkins. With a finale solo performance by Morten Gunnar Larsen

Pretty incredible, right? We hope you’ll agree and come join us for this outstanding event. Get your tickets in advance and come honor one of Columbia’s most famous citizens.

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Columbia Salutes its Veterans on Memorial Day Weekend

May 23, 2012

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In between the day off from work, the time with family and the burgers on the grill, don’t forget to take the time to remember that it’s Memorial Day. This year, Columbia will celebrate the 24th year of its Salute to Veterans Memorial Day Weekend Celebration. It’s an amazing time to honor history, spend time with your family and, of course, watch people jump out of airplanes.

The Screaming Eagles Jump Team will take part in the both the Airshow and the Parade on Memorial Day Weekend.

The two main events of the weekend are the Airshow at the Columbia Regional Airport on Saturday and Sunday and the Parade in Downtown Columbia on Monday morning. Here are a few tips and highlights for how to best enjoy this Columbia tradition.

-The Shuttle Buses are the fastest way to get to and from the Airshow. At only $3 per person roundtrip, it makes enjoying the event simple.

-When you pack for your day at the Airshow, don’t forget your sunscreen, hat, binoculars and ear protection (especially for small children).

-Don’t forget to check the airboss schedule to find out when the aircraft you want to see will be in the air!

-The Parade starts at 9:55 a.m. on Monday morning with the jump team parachuting onto each corner of Broadway. Get there early to claim your spot!

Enjoy flyovers and more than 150 entries in the Memorial Day Parade. Get close to a corner on Broadway to see the jump team land up close and personal!

No matter when you go or how long you stay, the Salute to Veterans events are a wonderful way to say ‘thanks’ to our country’s active and veteran military.

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Summer Family Fun in Columbia

May 21, 2012

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The beautiful spring and summer weather here in Columbia provides numerous opportunities for families during the warm months. We’ll be covering them as they come along…and here are a couple you won’t want to miss!

Family Fun Fests

Go ahead and mark the third Wednesday of each month on your calendar for the Columbia Parks and Recreation Family Fun Fests! Each month, a new theme transforms Flat Branch Park into a fantastic place for families! Kids can participate in games and hands-on activities, enjoy entertainers,  and benefit from new learning experiences with themes ranging from ‘Around the World’ to ‘Explore the Outdoors’. Located on the edge of downtown Columbia, Flat Branch Park is a wonderful spot to attend the festival and then head into The District for dinner!

Art in the Park

Art in the Park is the oldest and largest fine arts festival in mid-Missouri. On Saturday and Sunday, June 2nd and 3rd, Stephens Lake Park will be home to over 100 visual artists from across the country. Mom and Dad can shop for pieces in a variety of media including painting, drawing, photography, pottery, jewelry, fibers, sculpture, wood and glass. The kids can participate in hands-on activities, live music and come home with art of their own. Food vendors will also be on hand, so your family can enjoy an entire day immersing yourself in everything Art in the Park has to offer!

We hope you can make it out to these two fabulous family events and we’ll keep them coming all summer long. What’s your favorite Columbia summer activity?

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For All Moms Do, This Blog’s For You

May 9, 2012

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Did you know that this Sunday is Mother’s Day? You forgot?! Don’t panic!

Ok, now that you’ve calmed down, we’re here to help! Columbia is the perfect place to turn Mother’s Day from this…

Into this…

Ready? Here’s how:

Take Her Out to Eat!

This one is really a no-brainer. First off, make sure you don’t make your mom do this on Mother’s Day…

There are plenty of places to do the measuring, stirring, baking and general getting up earliness that a fantastic Mother’s Day brunch requires. Give these a try:

-Courtyard by Marriott Mother’s Day Brunch

With special music, children’s activities and an extensive buffet, the Courtyard is a great way to say thanks to Mom. Call 573.443.8000 for more information and to make reservations.

Holiday Inn Executive Center

Featuring an amazing variety of brunch food (and a chocolate fountain!), you definitely won’t go hungry. Call 573.445.8531 for reservations.

Sophia’s

With a unique brunch menu that includes a Lobster and White Truffle Quiche, Sophia’s is a classy but relaxed spot for Mother’s Day (and any other Sunday!)

Columbia Star Dinner Train

Treat Mom to a Mother’s Day to remember while watching the Missouri landscape roll by your window. Enjoy a fresh Brunch prepared on board and a relaxing 1 ½ hour ride on the classic passenger train.

Imagination Library Mother’s Day Brunch

Enjoy dining for a cause? Come celebrate Mom’s special day and support the Imagination Library while Boone County Commissioner Karen Miller and her dedicated team of volunteers prepare a scrumptious meal for you and your guests. Tickets are $30 and provide Imagination Library books for one child for an entire year.

Get Her  a Gift!

It’s easy to bring a smile to mom’s face with a gift from one of Columbia’s unique shops.

-Does mom love sweets? Make a stop at The Candy Factory and pick her up a box of handmade truffles, chocolate covered strawberries or even a chocolate pizza!

-Drop in to Makes Scents in The District. They have an array of beautiful items and you could even help her create her own signature perfume oil!

-Ready to get your hands dirty? Moms paint free on Mother’s Day when you register at The Mud Room, where you can tap into your creative side and paint your own pottery piece.

-Pamper the one who changed your Pampers with a spa day at one of Columbia’s fabulous day spas. A massage, mani/pedi and a facial sounds like the perfect afternoon, don’t you think?

As you can see, no matter what kind of mom you have, there’s something to suit her here in Columbia. Of course, when all else fails, a nice hug works too!

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Tourism Means Business – National Travel and Tourism Week

May 7, 2012

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We’ll be honest…this isn’t your usual blog post.  Here in Columbia we’re very lucky…we get to talk about delicious dining, super shopping and fantastic festivals. Of course, what some people don’t think about is that all of these fun things come together to create one big industry. The Travel and Tourism Industry. When it comes down to it, Tourism means business.

Each year, the industry takes one week (hint: it’s this week!) to celebrate the people who make our destinations shine each and every day and the economic impact travel has on the country.

Nationally speaking, travel has a ginormous (yes, ginormous!) impact. In 2010, $1.8 trillion (that’s a lot of zeros) was generated by domestic and international visitors to the United States. Travel expenditures also supported 14 million jobs across the country, with 1 out of 9 U.S. jobs depended on travel and tourism. Pretty important, right?

Here in Columbia, travel and tourism is just as important. In 2011, tourists spend nearly $322 million in Boone County and tourism-related employment was at almost 10,000 people!

Of course numbers are great, but it all comes down to people who make the industry great. So thank you to our tourism partners; our local hoteliers, restauranteurs, airport workers, taxi drivers, football game ushers and everyone else who puts on a smile and welcomes people to our amazing city.

And, of course, a huge thanks to YOU for visiting.

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The Inside Columbia Wine and Food Festival

May 4, 2012

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Columbia really is a festive place. Nearly every month is home to a few days of extra food, fun and festivities. And in May, we have…

The Inside Columbia Wine & Food Festival is perfect for the Columbia visitor. The events are presented a la carte, so you can purchase your tickets to create your own custom festival experience! It’s a week of food, art and, of course, wine.

Direct from the Wine & Food Festival, here’s just a few of the events you can choose from…

-Wine Dinners:

It’s an unforgettable dining experience when Columbia’s best local chefs break free from their traditional menus and prepare extraordinary, imaginative meals created specifically for the Wine & Food Festival’s Wine Dinners. Check out the special menus here and here.

Our mouth is watering just looking at these. Let us know in the comments which one you would pick!

-The Grand Tasting:

This is the night Columbia’s wine lovers look forward to all year long. This year’s Grand Tasting showcases more than 400 wines. Stroll through the Holiday Inn Expo Center and sample the wines that intrigue you most. Previous festival participants have asked for more opportunities to visit one-on-one with winery representatives, and we’re delivering with a more intimate event that will enhance the knowledge of both the beginning wine drinker and the experienced oenophile.

-Sip and Stroll:

This year’s Sip & Stroll invites you to 20 local shops and restaurants. Each of the 15 participating shops and five participating restaurants will offer exclusive discounts — some as high as 50 percent off one item — for Sip & Stroll passport holders. You’ll also have a chance to sample a red and a white wine at each location. Many locations will feature a festival chef who will present tapas and small plates.

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Sounds pretty incredible, right? Now all you have to do is pick your events, buy your tickets, and get ready for an unforgettable week in Columbia.

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Keeping it Fresh…Columbia’s Farmers Markets

May 1, 2012

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Many visitors love to experience the local flavor that Columbia has to offer. Often this involves plenty of stops at Columbia’s exceptional local eateries. If you want to shop where the chefs shop, look no further than Columbia’s outstanding farmers markets…that’s right markets. We’re home to three distinct and delightful spots to procure your produce (and more!).

The Columbia Farmers Market

The Columbia Farmer’s Market is a producer’s only market, meaning all the fresh vegetables & fruit, meat, farm fresh eggs, cheeses, honey, cut flowers, plants and artisan items are sold by the purveyors themselves. Come rain or shine, 80+ vendors come out to the market, located in the ARC parking lot every Saturday morning. There are also other markets open nearly every day of the week.

The Boone County Farmers Market

Located just down the street from the Columbia Farmers Market, the Boone County Farmers Market boasts a variety of vendors selling fruits, vegetables, eggs, meats, plants and much more. With both a Saturday market on West Worley and a Wednesday market at Parkade Center, you can stock up on goodies no matter when you visit.

North Village Arts District Farmers & Artisans Market

Like a little art with your produce? Then stop by the North Village Arts District Farmers and Artisans Market on Sunday from 9-1. Head down to the NVAD (here’s a map) for a plethora of produce, handmade artisan goods, informative workshops and great entertainment!

No matter when you visit Columbia, there’s always time to stop by and check out one of our farmers markets. You’ll be supporting local growers and artists and there’s one to choose from almost every day of the week!

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