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Go Back in Time at the Heritage Festival

September 4, 2013

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Looking for some fantastic family fun this fall? Look no further than Columbia’s Heritage Festival and Craft Show. This year marks the 36th annual festival in historic Nifong Park.  This free festival runs September 21 & 22 from 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. each day.

Not only is Nifong Park home to a historic home and the Boone County Historical Society, but the festival brings visitors into the past with traditional crafts, entertainment on two stages and special tours.

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Visitors will be taken back to the traditions of the past. Listen, learn, and see history as it comes alive. See artisans and tradesmen dressed in 19th century attire demonstrating their trades and selling their wares. A large contemporary handmade craft area will also be featured.

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Enjoy entertainment on two stages including music, dancing and storytelling. Saturday Evening Ghost Stories (8-9:30 pm) are sponsored by the Mid-Missouri Organization Storytellers.

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The Maplewood Home in Nifong Park

Tour the Historic Maplewood Home and the Walter’s Boone County Historical Museum and Village. Great food and a beautiful park setting will make the Heritage Festival a family tradition!

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Art in the Park Delivers Fun for the Entire Family!

May 20, 2013

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The first weekend in June is home to one of Columbia’s favorite festival traditions…Art in the Park. This year marks the festival’s 55th year and on June 1st and 2nd there will be something for every member of the family to love!

Stephen's Lake Park, Home of Art in the Park.

Stephen’s Lake Park, Home of Art in the Park.

One of the best parts of Art in the Park is its location. Stephens Lake Park is one of Columbia’s most beautiful locations, with a rolling landscape, open spaces, a stunning lake and play areas. Nature combined with the incredible art makes Art in the Park sure to inspire.

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Stroll through the booths in the park to explore the art!

Sometimes people may think Art in the Park is all paintings…but it’s so much more than that! The festival attracts artists from across the country to sell their work in mediums ranging from jewelry and ceramics to weaving and, yes, paintings. You can pick up a new coffee mug for your office, a new painting for that empty wall in the living room or a gorgeous scarf that all your friends will want.

Let the kids get their hands messy!

Let the kids get their hands messy!

Of course, buying and shopping isn’t all you can do. Let the kids get in on the act to make some art! Face painting, tie-dyed a t-shirts and more all await the little ones.

This June, take the first weekend and round up the whole family (and some sunscreen) for Art in the Park. It’s two days of art and play you’ll come to Columbia for every year.

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Finally Farmers Market Season!

May 2, 2013

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‘Tis the season…for the farmers market!

The local enthusiasm for fresh, sustainable produce, meats, baked goods and more means the Columbia is home to three farmers markets! On your next visit to Columbia you can take home something fresh and delicious almost any day of the week.

Boone County Farmers Market

1005 W. Worley Street (The corner of Worley Street and West Blvd)

Saturdays 8 am – 12 pm (April  thru October)

Home to around 20 vendors on any given Saturday morning, the Boone County Farmers Market has an array of produce and goods available. From spring to fall, you can pick up the ingredients for an incredible meal and also buy plants to help you grow your own garden!

Columbia Farmers Market

Main Market Location: The ARC (1701 W. Ash Street)

Monday Market (4:00-6:00 at the ARC), Wednesday Market (4:00-6:00 at the ARC), Thursday Market (3:00-6:00 at Forum Christian Church), Friday Market (3:00-6:00 at Brookside Square), Saturday Market (8:00-Noon at the ARC)

ColumbiaFarmersMarketphoto_by Sam Mead

Columbia’s largest farmers market brings in droves of people throughout the week to their various locations. Their largest market is on Saturday morning, when over 75 vendors fill the lots. The Saturday market often features live music performances, hot breakfast burritos made by local culinary students and other special events in addition to the products available to buy. Try honey ice cream from Walk About Acres, buy fresh cheese from Goatsbeard Farms or pick up something freshly baked from Uprise Bakery. From the salad to the steak to dessert, you can create an entire meal from what’s available at the Columbia Farmers Market.

North Village Farmers and Artisans Market

Wabash Parking Lot in the North Village

Sundays from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

The North Village Farmers and Artisans Market is Columbia’s newest market, celebrating not only local produce but local art. Artisans from the North Village sell their art alongside local farmers and you may even see one of Columbia’s delicious food trucks serving up breakfast during the market. You can also watch cooking demos and there’s a kids booth for the little ones.

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Get Outside! Our Tremendous Trails

March 27, 2013

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One of Missouri’s most popular features is the Katy Trail, a statewide trail that connects west to east, with a short spur called the MKT that lands you right in downtown Columbia. Once you’re here, there are so many other trails to explore it’s tough to know where to start! Here are a few options sure to be a hit.

Bear Creek Trail

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With multiple access points, Bear Creek Trail winds nearly five miles through northern Columbia and connects two of the city’s most popular parks, Cosmo and Albert-Oakland. The trail is crushed limestone and runs through wooded areas, wetlands, open spaces and residential neighborhoods. The trail also follows the general direction of its namesake water system, Bear Creek.

Rhett’s Run

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Have mountain biking on your mind? Head to Rhett’s Run. This 2.4 mile dirt run is a challenging one and was designed by  Brian Stickel and John Bailey of Mountain Designs, key course designers for the 1996 Olympic mountain bike courses. The trail originates in Cosmo Park and runs through 75 acres of beautiful wooded area.

County House Trail

CHTCollageCounty House Trail is a two-mile long trail in the southwest area of the city that extends from Stadium Blvd. at College Park Drive to the MKT Trail at Twin Lakes Recreation Area. It is an 8-foot-wide concrete trail with a gravel side path between Stadium and the Twin Lakes Recreation Area entrance. Once inside Twin Lakes Recreation Area, the trail routes through the parking lot and around the lake where it connects to the the MKT Trail on the southeast corner of the park.

These are just three options of dozens here in Columbia. Check out the list of community and neighborhood trails here and pick one to explore every time you visit Columbia!

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Uniquely Columbia: Stephens College Costume Museum and Research Library

March 12, 2013

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Some people just get up and get dressed, but then there are those who live fashion.

Since 1958, Stephens College in Columbia has been collecting stunning pieces of clothing and accessories. Donations from alumnae, friends and designers have resulted in the collection growing to over 13,000 pieces. The pieces within the collection date back to the 1730s and  range from everyday wear from many decades, representations of ethnic wear and priceless pieces from designers. These archival pieces allow students to study textiles, construction and design dating back to the very beginnings of America and from around the world.

While most of the collection is housed in Stephens’ archival space, rotating exhibits allow visitors to enjoy thoughtfully curated experiences based on a designer, a time period or an emotion.

The current collection, titled Emergence, will let visitors experience the emergence of spring through one imaginary socialite’s closet as it evolved from 1947 to 1990. At the beginning of the exhibit, the collection will consist of winter wear: White, silver, taupe suits and heavy garments. Like any woman of the time, our muse will swap out her winter pieces to make room for a spring wardrobe, consisting of lighter fabrics in pinks, greens and yellows. The second phase of the exhibit will emerge over spring break during the last week of March.

To visit this beautiful exhibit, head to the Historic Costume Gallery in Lela Raney Wood Hall on the Stephens College campus. The exhibit is open Thursdays from 5:30-8:30 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday from 12:00-3:00 p.m. Take a step back in time to see where the fashion we wear today originated and perhaps get a sneak peek into what’s next.

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Columbia Snapshot

March 4, 2013

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In our new Columbia Snapshot posts, we feature photos from around Columbia captured by our staff or by our readers to share little corners of our city that you might not always see. Have a snapshot you’d like to share? Send it to MLMccona@GoColumbiaMO.com and you might be featured on our next blog!

In the past couple of years, Columbia has been lucky enough to have an influx of popular food trucks. This particular day was sunny but frigid. Still, crowds braved the cold to get lunch from the Sunflower Waffle Company truck! Their small but delectable menu features signature chicken and waffles as well as waffles with toppings (like Nutella!) that hit the spot anytime day or night.

Want to grab a waffle next time you’re in town? Follow them on Twitter @SunflowerWaffle to get info on their spot for the day. Our mouths are watering just thinking about it.

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Get Active at the ARC!

December 26, 2012

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If you indulged a little too much over the holidays or if you’re just feeling cooped up in the cold weather during your visit to Columbia, make your way to the Activity and Recreation Center (ARC) for some sweating or swimming to break up the winter monotony.

The ARC in Columbia, Missouri.

This 73,000 square foot facility features two levels of active possibilities. Features include an indoor track, large weight room, dozens of cardio machines, group classrooms, a large gym with basketball courts and an indoor water park.

Make a splash!

The indoor pool area is home to a lazy river, swirly water slide and an in-water playground for little ones. It’s a great escape from the winter temperatures and the perfect place to get over your cabin fever.

Ready to work up a sweat?

If getting your heart rate up is on your to do list, head upstairs and hop on one of the many cardio machines at the ARC. From treadmills to ellipticals to rowing machines, get your workout in and say goodbye to those cookies you ate over the holidays!

The ARC makes a wonderful winter stop while you’re in Columbia. You can pay an easy one-day fee and there’s even a family option so everyone can join in on the fun. Shake off the winter blues and head to the ARC!

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In Columbia, Art is Everywhere!

August 28, 2012

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A lot of the time when we think of art, we think of museums and galleries. But in Columbia, art is truly everywhere! From traffic boxes (seriously) to huge sculptures, just walking around Columbia can be like spending a day in a museum. Plus you can walk around with a soda and a sandwich, making it unlike most museums really.

Howard Meehan’s ‘Keys to the City’ welcomes visitors to Columbia City Hall.

The City Public Art Tour even extends onto the University of Missouri campus.

Recognize this guy? Beetle Bailey creator Mort Walker attended the University of Missouri.

The City’s Office of Cultural Affairs has recently updated their online Public Art Guide, including a new map to help you find your way. It’s a new way to explore this great city.

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Uniquely Columbia – Laws Observatory

August 21, 2012

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Every Wednesday night, the skies above Columbia open up. No, we don’t promise rain every Wednesday, but from 8:00-10:00 p.m., the Central Missouri Astronomical Association is on hand at Laws Observatory at the University of Missouri campus to give you a look at the wonder of the night sky.

You’re just steps away from space!

The Observatory is home to a Celestron Scmidt Cassagrain telescope and experts are on hand to help you identify what you’re seeing.

Just what am I looking at?

In addition to their Wednesday night openings, Laws Observatory is also open during special celestial events including meteor showers, comets and appearances of planets. Don’t miss out on this Uniquely Columbia learning experience!

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Columbia Side Trip – Arrow Rock

August 16, 2012

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Just a short 45 minute drive from Columbia is the village of Arrow Rock. The entire village is a designated National Historic Landmark and is full of friendly people, charming shops and fascinating historical attractions.

Arrow Rock Visitors Center

Start your day by checking out the visitors center and museum right on the edge of the village. Get visitor information and learn about the rich history of the era. Then head down the path into the village!

Now Entering: The Village of Arrow Rock

Just like that, you feel as though you’ve stepped back in time as you explore historic buildings and merchants including antiques and a country store. You can also use this handy walking tour map to help you find all the can’t miss stops.

Sit back, relax and enjoy the calm of this charming village.

If you’re in Arrow Rock in May-November, be sure to see if you can add a performance at the Lyceum Theatre to your agenda. The theatre is one of Missouri’s oldest professional regional theatres and professional actors, directors, designers and technicians from across the country take residence in Arrow Rock for several months to bring our audience outstanding musicals and plays. This year’s season included the Music Man and Camelot with To Kill a Mockingbird and Sanders Family Christmas still to come. Buy your tickets early, these shows sell out fast!

From musicals to drama, don’t miss out on the Lyceum.

Next time you’re in Columbia, escape for an afternoon and immerse yourself in history in Arrow Rock. It’s just a short drive to the past.

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