Autumn just might be the best time of year in CoMo: the cooler weather is perfect for patio dining, our parks and college campuses become gorgeous scenes of fall colors, and of course, we have the return of four great festivals.
38th Annual Heritage Festival and Craft Show
September 19-20 | Nifong Park, 3700 Ponderosa
Step back in time at the Heritage Festival, and bring the whole family. This free festival features crafts, entertainment, traditional tradesmen presenting the ‘lost arts,’ activities for children, ghost stories, and delicious food. While you’re there, you can also tour the historic Maplewood Home, Boone Junction Village, and the Walters-Boone County Historical Museum. History buffs and craft lovers will not be disappointed. We suggest not leaving the festival without buying some homemade fudge.
Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival
September 25-27 | Stephens Lake Park, 2001 E. Broadway
Roots N Blues is one of Columbia’s largest festivals and showcases over 25 artists in the genres of roots, blues, country, folk, and soul. This year’s lineup includes some big names like Dwight Yokam, Brandi Carlile, The Punch Brothers, NEEDTOBREATHE, and Buddy Guy. The festival isn’t just about the music, though – over the weekend, Stephens Lake Park is home to craft vendors, food trucks, art installations, and delicious BBQ. Sounds like an awesome time, right? Get your tickets now, and don’t forget to pack a blanket or chairs.
Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival
October 10-11 | Hartsburg, MO
Just south of Columbia, the tiny river town of Hartsburg (population 105) has been known to bring in up to 50,000 people for the annual Pumpkin Fest. Browse through the 150 craft vendors while munching on fresh kettle corn, help your kiddos pick out the perfect pumpkins to take home for carving, and enjoy traditional fall activities: pumpkin painting, hayrides, straw mazes, and more. If you love fall and picture-perfect small towns, you absolutely cannot miss this festival. Be sure to get an early start – the town really is tiny, which means there will be traffic from the visitors flocking in.
Citizen Jane Film Festival
October 22-25 | Various venues in downtown Columbia
The Citizen Jane Film Festival was founded with Stephens College (the only women’s college in the Midwest to offer a film production program) to celebrate female filmmakers, who are typically underrepresented in the film industry. While this festival showcases female filmmakers, it isn’t just for women – everyone is encouraged to attend. Enjoy a weekend filled with films, after-parties, and lectures, and although the film fest continues to grow each year, it still boasts an intimate environment where you can interact with fellow festival-goers and filmmakers. It’s the perfect unique experience for any film fan, and you can get the Insane Jane Pass for only $100.