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by Danny Lee

Missouri has something for everyone, and for festival fans, Columbia is the place to be. From the Salute to Veterans Memorial Day Weekend Celebration in May to the nearly year-round Show-Me State Games to the pageantry of football season’s Mizzou Homecoming, Columbia is prepared to show you a good time, and then some.

Salute to Veterans Memorial Day Weekend Celebration

The sky’s the limit in May, when patriots descend on Columbia—literally, in some cases—for the year’s opens in a new windowsignature celebration of those who have served the United States’ armed forces. The headline event is always the air show, in which fighting aircraft from armed conflicts throughout modern history show their stuff to the delight of a vast crowd looking upward and shading their eyes against the bright springtime sunshine. Demonstration teams show off workhorse aircraft like the A-10 “Warthog,” T-28s, the British de Havilland D.H. 100 Vampire, Air Force T-33, the Douglas AD-1 Skyraider and even the 1917 Curtiss JN-4 “Jenny” biplane. On the ground, visitors can get close-up looks at Vietnam-era Huey choppers, light observation aircraft and exhibitions by the nation’s military services. A parade on Memorial Day concludes at Columbia College Athletic Field, where the U.S. Army Black Daggers and the Canadian Armed Forces parachute teams make precision landings to kick off the formal Salute to the Nation Ceremony.

Art in the Park

It isn’t just about paintings. When the Columbia Art League sets out to create an opens in a new windowart festival every year in June, the palette ranges from sculpture to clothing to fabrics to ceramics and, yes, paintings in every medium and genre. To occupy visitors between exhibits and sales kiosks, the grounds abound with roaming entertainers such as jugglers and stilt-walkers. Kids won’t be bored for a second with magicians and face painters available to amaze and delight them and lemonade, ice cream and other savory snacks to nosh on. The site, Stephens Lake Park, offers a lakefront boardwalk perfect for enjoying a leisurely stroll, and there are woodland trails to get a close look at nature’s own artwork.

Show-Me State Games

For athletes and their fans, the opens in a new windowShow-Me State Games are the ideal proving grounds. In June, lacrosse, swimming, pickleball, soccer and volleyball are on offer. In July, the Games feature competitors in a wide variety of sports—archery, disc golf, power lifting, softball, synchronized swimming, volleyball and wrestling to name a few. Entrants want to walk away victorious, but everyone has the time of their lives, win or lose. The Games are hosted by the University of Missouri and grew out of the Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Health. Columbia plays host to more than 30,000 athletes competing in the Games, including contestants from nearly all of the state’s 114 counties. That means the competition is extremely challenging but the fun quotient is even higher.

Heritage Festival & Craft Show

A visit to the opens in a new windowHeritage Festival in Columbia doesn’t just turn back the clock, it turns back the calendar. Historically attired tradesmen and artisans put their skills on display, as well as their wares. It’s a rare visitor who doesn’t come away from this September festival with a handwoven basket full of handcrafted souvenirs and plenty of unique, happy memories. Entertainment on two stages gives a glimpse of the fun they had in Missouri’s early days. Back then, you couldn’t go down to the local cineplex for an afternoon double feature; people had to make their own fun. Not surprisingly, it’s still fun today to hear the singing, watch the dancing and listen to the tales of excitement and adventure relayed by gifted storytellers who seem to be left over from an age long before television and movies. On the beautiful grounds of Nifong Park, the festival leaves plenty of time to explore nature trails, the 1877 Maplewood Home and the Walters Boone County Historical Museum.

Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival

As the early autumn air fills with the scents of fall, the opens in a new windowRoots N Blues N BBQ Festival adds its own savory notes of barbecue and bluesy music. Every September, masters of the twin arts of blues music and barbecuing descend on Columbia to tantalize taste buds and well-tuned ears with sweet music and food. The laid-back atmosphere is contagious at Stephens Lake Park for this September event; even the songbirds along the nature trails seem to trill along with the music, and it must be hard for the raccoons to stay hidden with the tantalizing scent of barbecue drifting on the breeze. Just as there are many barbecue recipes available, the music menu is always shifting, as well. It’s not unusual to hear gospel, rhythm & blues, country & western, swing and maybe even a touch of Dixieland for a southern tang. As night falls and both the air and the music get cool, the festival heats up with music fans flocking to the bandstand, hands raised, feet tapping and more than a few couples clearing out space to dance and dip.

Mizzou Homecoming

By the third week in October, football season is well under way, and the time has rolled around again for the opens in a new windowUniversity of Missouri Homecoming. Interestingly, it’s also known as the original homecoming—in 1911, the then athletic director put out the call for graduates to “come home” and support their alma mater in the annual rivalry game against Kansas University. Tradition doesn’t go much deeper than that. In this case, tradition also involves a pulse-pounding parade through Columbia and around campus, three big talent nights and the distribution of beautiful Homecoming Mums. And of course there’s the football game itself, a riot of color, cheering, marching band music and tailgating that together turn Missouri’s historic Faurot Field into the Midwest’s epicenter of football for the duration of this fantastic festival weekend.

opens in a new windowCheck out the festivals in Columbia

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We’re only a few days away from the 11th annual Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival! The festival showcases over 30 artists in genres including blues, folk, gospel, and more. There will also be plenty of  opens in a new windowfood vendors on hand including Ozark Mountain Biscuit Co, Jamaican Jerk Hut, Grill-A-Brothers, and, of course, lots of BBQ. Roots N Blues will be at Stephens Lake Park; check out the map below to see the setup:

map of the 2017 roots n blues n bbq festival at stephens lake park

HOW TO GET TICKETS

Don’t have tickets for the fest? Don’t worry, they’re still available!

Prices:

General Admission Friday – $55
General Admission Saturday – $70
General Admission Sunday $55
General Admission Weekend Pass – $135

Whole Hog VIP – $295
This pass grants you access to two lounge areas, private restrooms, and upfront viewing areas at both stages, along with small plate meals, appetizers, and snacks served in the lounges.

Tickets can be purchased:

  •  online
  • over the phone at 877-987-6487
  • at the Box Office located at Vinyl Renaissance of Columbia, 111 S 9th in The District
  • at the MSA/GPC Student Box Office located at the MU Student Center

Children 12 and under get free general admission with an adult.

HOW TO GET THERE

Festival Shuttle: free shuttles will be running from downtown  opens in a new windowparking garages (which are free after 6 PM on Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday)

GoCOMO Transit: City transit will be free all weekend – check the map to find out which route will work best for you

Ride a bike: there will be secure bike parking at the entrance to the festival

Walk: park downtown and walk to the park – it’s about 15 minutes and a straight shot down Walnut Street

nighttime performance by Shovels and Rope at Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival

HOW TO PLAN YOUR WEEKEND

Below is the artist schedule. We suggest following  opens in a new windowRoots N Blues on Twitter in case there are any schedule updates during the weekend. Learn more about each artist at RootsNBluesNBBQ.com.

FRIDAY:

MO Lottery Stage:
5 PM – Paul Weber & The Scrappers
6 PM – The Suffers
7:30 PM – Old 97’s
9:15 PM – Gary Clark Jr.

Great Southern Bank Stage:
5 PM – Big Sandy and His Fly Rite Boys
6:30 PM – Lee Fields & The Expressions
8:15 PM – Booker T’s Stax Revue

11 PM – After Party at Rose Music Hall with Ben Miller Band

SATURDAY:

MO Lottery Stage:
11:30 AM – Kent Burnside & The Flood Brothers
12:30 PM – The Hooten Hallers
2:15 PM – Untamed Youth
4 PM – Nikki Lane
5:45 PM – Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives
7:30 PM – The Mavericks
9:30 PM – Leon Bridges

Great Southern Bank Stage:
11:15 AM – King of the Roots Winner
12:15 PM – The Bel Airs
1:30 PM – Nikki Hill
3:15 PM – Marshall Crenshaw & The Bottle Rockets
5 PM – The Steeldrivers
6:45 PM – Pokey LaFarge
8:30 PM – Band of Horses

11 PM – After Party at Rose Music Hall with Dirtfoot

SUNDAY:

MO Lottery Stage:
11:15 AM – Norm Ruebling Band
12:45 PM – Chump Change
2:15 PM – Music Maker Blues Revue
4 PM – Ana Popovic
5:45 PM – Margo Price
7:30 PM – Ryan Adams

Great Southern Bank Stage:
11:30 AM – Broadway Blues
1 PM – The Fairfield Four
2:45 PM – Amanda Shires
4:30 PM – Emmylou Harris
6 PM – John Prine

9 PM – After Party at Rose Music Hall with The Kay Brothers & The Driftaways

Take a look at our  opens in a new windowcalendar of events to find out what else is going on in town while you’re here.

Columbia MO What you unexpect

HOW TO FOLLOW ALONG IF YOU AREN’T ATTENDING

instagram logoWe will be at the festival so even if you aren’t able to go, you can still take in the sights and sounds! Follow us on Instagram ( opens in a new window@VisitColumbiaMO) and Roots N Blues on Instagram (@rootsnbluesnbbq) to see photos and stories from the fest.

The Blues in the Schools performance will be free to the public. The performance will be on Saturday, September 30 beginning at noon at the Stephens Lake Park Amphitheater.

HOW TO GO CASHLESS

The only form of payment accepted by vendors at the fest this year will be your RFID wristband, which will need to be loaded like a pre-paid account. You’ll be able to load money to your cashless account through the Cashless Website or the ‘top-up stations’ located throughout the festival grounds (see map). All you have to do is double-tap your wristband at vendor locations to make a purchase!

We recommend registering and topping-up your wristband before getting to the festival. Attend Swap Night at Academy Sports on Thursday from 4-7 PM to swap your paper ticket for a wristband (or bring your order confirmation and ID). You may also ‘swap’ at the Festival Box Office over the weekend.

Find out more about going cashless at RootsNBluesNBBQ.com.

HOW TO DECIDE WHAT TO EAT

Honestly, we can’t really help you here because we want to eat everything. Take a look at the vendors and what they’ll be offering, and tag us in your Instagram photos over the weekend to help US decide what to eat.

DO’S AND DON’TS

DO:

  • Recycle and keep the park clean
  • Bring a re-fillable water bottle (make sure it’s empty at the entrance – there will be fill stations inside)
  • Be respectful of the people around you
  • Try the food and check out the merchandise and art installations

DON’TS:

sunset at roots n blues n bbq festival

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We’re only a few days away from the 10th annual Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival! The festival showcases over 30 artists in genres including blues, folk, gospel, and more. There will also be plenty of opens in a new windowfood vendors on hand including Ozark Mountain Biscuit Co, Jamaican Jerk Hut, Grill-A-Brothers, and, of course, lots of BBQ. Roots N Blues will be at Stephens Lake Park; check out the map below to see the setup:

2016 Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival map

How to get tickets

While Whole Hog and Platinum Pig passes are sold out, there are still tickets available.

Prices:
Friday – $55
Saturday – $70
Sunday – $55
Weekend – $135roots and blues n bbq

Tickets can be purchased opens in a new windowonline, at Vinyl Renaissance of Columbia (16 N. 10th Street) or at The MSA/GPC Box Office located at the MU Student Center. Kids 12 and under get free general admission with an adult.

How to get there

Festival Shuttle: free shuttles will be running from downtown opens in a new windowparking garages (which are free after 6 PM on Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday)

COMO Connect: COMO Connect will be free all weekend – opens in a new windowcheck the map to find out which route will work best for you

Ride a bike: there will be secure bike parking at the entrance to the festival

Walk: park downtown and walk to the park – it’s about 15 minutes and a straight shot down Walnut Street

How to plan your weekend

Below is the artist schedule. We suggest following opens in a new windowRoots N Blues on Twitter in case there are any schedule updates during the weekend.

Thursday:

8 PM – opens in a new windowKickoff Party at Rose Music Hall with Paul Weber & The Scrappers, W.T Newton & The Ozark Blood, Tim Carey

Friday:

Missouri Lottery Stage:
6 PM – opens in a new windowThe Oversight Committee
7:30 PM – opens in a new windowMike Farris
9:30 PM – opens in a new windowNathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

Great Southern Bank Stage:
5 PM – opens in a new windowThe Fried Crawdaddies
6:30 PM – opens in a new windowHoundmouth
8:15 PM – opens in a new windowSt. Paul & The Broken Bones

10:30 PM – opens in a new windowAfter Party at Rose Music Hall with Old Salt Union

Saturday:

Missouri Lottery Stage:
11:30 AM – opens in a new windowThe Flood Brothers
12:30 PM – opens in a new windowDeke Dickerson
2:15 PM – opens in a new windowSouthern Culture on The Skids
4:00 PM – opens in a new windowThe Oh Hellos
5:45 PM – opens in a new windowSam Bush
7:30 PM – opens in a new windowThe Devil Makes Three
9:15 PM – opens in a new windowJason Isbell

Great Southern Bank Stage:
11:15 AM – opens in a new windowBrad Cunningham Band
12:15 PM – The John Lennon Songwriting Competition Winners
1:45 PM – opens in a new windowThe Budos Band
3:30 PM – opens in a new windowJackie Greene Band
5:15 PM – opens in a new windowThe Mavericks
7:00 PM – opens in a new windowShovels & Rope
8:45 PM – opens in a new windowGrace Potter

10:30 PM – opens in a new windowAfter Party at Rose Music Hall with Todd Day Wait’s Pigpen, Molly Gene One Whoaman Band

Sunday:

Missouri Lottery Stage:
11:15 AM – opens in a new windowChump Change
12:45 PM – opens in a new windowPaul Thorn
2:15 PM – opens in a new windowRayland Baxter
4:00 PM – opens in a new windowReverend Payton’s Big Damn Band
5:45 PM – opens in a new windowG. Love & Special Sauce
7:30 PM –  opens in a new windowThe Avett Brothers

Great Southern Bank Stage:
11:30 AM – opens in a new windowBroadway Blues
1:00 PM – opens in a new windowMusic Maker Blues Revue
2:45 PM – The Blind Boys of Alabama
4:30 PM – opens in a new windowBlues Traveler
6:15 PM – opens in a new windowBen Folds

8:30 PM – opens in a new windowAfter Party at Rose Music Hall with Aaron Kamm & The One Drops, Don’t Mind Dying, The Flood Brothers

New this year:  The Front Porch Stage will have instruments and musical equipment for anyone to perform.

Take a look at our opens in a new windowcalendar of events to find out what else is going on in town while you’re here.

columbia mo what you unexpect

How to win Columbia prizes

We know you’ll be taking photos at the festival – use the tag opens in a new window#ShowMeRootsNBlues on Instagram to be entered to win Columbia goodies. That’s it! So easy, right?

How to follow along if you aren’t attending

We will be at the festival so even if you aren’t able to go, you can still take in the sights and sounds! Follow us on Instagram ( opens in a new window@VisitColumbiaMO) or Snapchat (VisitColumbiaMO) for photos and videos from the festival.

visit columbia mo

Do’s and don’ts

DO:

  • Recycle and keep the park clean
  • Bring a re-fillable water bottle (make sure it’s empty at the entrance – there will be fill stations inside)
  • Be respectful of the people around you
  • Try the food and check out the awesome merchandise

DON’T:

Have fun!

Good food and good music

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Who else is excited for Roots N Blues N BBQ this weekend? We’re ready here at the CVB so we’ve put together some staff Roots N Blues-related favorites for you!

The Avett Brothers

(The Avett Brothers Facebook)

Megan: This year, Roots ‘n Blues ‘n BBQ has really outdone themselves with their lineup. With artists from John Prine to Trampled by Turtles to Roseanne Cash, there is such an incredible variety to choose from. I, for one, will be sure to find my spot at Stephens Lake Park for The Avett Brothers on Saturday night. I’ve heard for years about how incredible they are live, and I’m finally getting my chance to see them perform right here in Columbia. Hope to see you there!

Rosanne Cash

(Rosanne Cash Facebook)

Amy: Roseanne Cash – I have been a fan of her family for many years and I love the legacy she represents. It also doesn’t hurt that I was a child of the 80’s and remember clearly using the vacuum as a microphone when Seven Year Ache played on the radio. And I have to see Preservation Hall Jazz Band. I traveled to New Orleans many times growing up and my dad always had to go to Preservation Hall, I only wish he could be here to enjoy them as well. What memories! Every year I attend, my eyes are opened to music and bands I haven’t heard before. And THAT is my favorite part of the weekend.

Buckinham's

Julie: My favorite BBQ place in Columbia is Buckingham’s. Their beef brisket is always nice & tender with a sweet sauce. I also love their pit salads with turkey, and you gotta love their sweet potato fries!

Matthew Curry

(Matthew Curry Facebook)

Rachel: This year will be my first Roots N Blues experience so I’m excited to see what it’s all about! I’m looking forward to seeing Matthew Curry, JJ Grey and Mofro, and Bettye LaVette. I’ll be there for most of the weekend with some great CoMo goodies, so be sure to follow us on social media for your chance to find me and win!

Lutz's BBQ

Beth: My favorite BBQ in Columbia is Lutz’s barbecue.  It’s not an easy choice because Columbia has so many great options, but what puts Lutz’s over the top for me is their pork loin and their amazing sides.  Lutz’s has so many options for sides that I have a hard time deciding which ones to get every time I order: mac and cheese? Yum! Sweet potato fries? Yes, please! I love coleslaw and Lutz’s is delicious, so that’s another hard decision. And last, but certainly not least, those chips. I love those chips and they come in so many different flavors, it’s just impossible to pick one.

Amos Lee

(Amos Lee Facebook)

Billye: This will be my first time attending and I’m so excited. A friend of mine introduced me to Amos Lee a few years ago, and he is the artist I am most looking forward to seeing. I’m not familiar with a lot of the artists but hope to come away with several new favorites.

Have a great weekend, and enjoy the festival if you are able to attend!

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We’re only a couple days away from the Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival! This annual festival showcases over 30 artists in genres including blues, folk, gospel, and more. There will also be plenty of food vendors on hand including, of course, lots of BBQ and the Ozark Mountain Biscuit Co. For the second year in a row, Roots N Blues will be at Stephens Lake Park. Check out the map below to see the setup:

festival-map-large

How to: Get tickets –

Ticket Prices:
Friday – $40
Saturday – $45
Sunday – $40
All Weekend – $85
Whole Hog – $250

Kids 12 and under are free!

Tickets are available online, at The Blue Note box office, at the MSA/GPC Student box office, and by phone for a $3 handling fee. For phone orders, call 573-874-1944, noon-6pm M-F.

How to: Get there –

COMO Connect of course! The buses will be free this weekend, AND they will be extending their evening hours and providing the service on Sunday (when the buses don’t usually run)! Here’s the schedule:

FRIDAY – 6:25 AM – 10:00 PM
SATURDAY – 10:00 AM – 10:00 PM
SUNDAY – 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM

These are the hotels that will have bus service:

The Broadway
Budget Host Inn
Courtyard by Marriott
Hampton Inn & Suites
Holiday Inn Executive Center
The Tiger Hotel
Other Hotels on Clark Lane and Keene Street

There will be an additional bus added to the popular #10 Red / Downtown Route so be sure to check out The District in your spare time!

You can also ride your bike or walk from downtown (which is about a 15 minute walk). There will be parking for bicycles at the festival entrance.

Roots and Blues BBQ

How to: Plan your weekend –

Here is the artist lineup for the weekend:

FRIDAY
SHELTER INSURANCE STAGE
5 PM – The Flood Brothers
7 PM – Blackberry Smoke
9 PM – Los Lobos
MISSOURI LOTTERY STAGE
5:30 PM – Jay Farrar
7:30 PM – St. Paul & The Broken Bones
9:30 PM – Jason Isbell

SATURDAY
MISSOURI LOTTERY STAGE
12 PM – Madisen Ward & The Mama Bear
1 PM – The Hooten Hallers
2:30 PM – David Wax Museum
4:15 PM – Lake Street Dive
6 PM – Rosanne Cash
7:45 PM – John Prine
9:30 PM – The Avett Brothers
SHELTER INSURANCE STAGE
12:30 PM – Todd Day Wait’s Pigpen
2 PM – Chump Change
3:30 PM – John Lennon Song Writing Contest Winner
4:45 PM – Preservation Hall Jazz Band
6:30 PM – Robert Randolph and the Family Band
8:15 PM – Amos Lee

SUNDAY
MISSOURI LOTTERY STAGE
12:15 PM – Music Maker Blues Revue
1:30 PM – The 2nd Missionary Baptist Church Music Ministry
2:45 PM – Paul Thorn
4:30 PM – Hot Rize with Red Knuckles & The Trailblazers
6:30 PM – Trampled by Turtles
SHELTER INSURANCE STAGE
12:45 PM – TJ Wheeler
2:15 PM – Matthew Curry
4 PM – JJ Grey & Mofro
6 PM – Bettye LaVette

Be sure to check out our events calendar for more events going on while you’re here!

CCVB-Horiz-RGB

How to: Win cool CoMo prizes –

Megan and Rachel from the Convention and Visitors Bureau will be at the festival this weekend with great Columbia giveaways! Be sure to follow us all weekend for festival updates, photos, and your chance to win!

Facebook – Columbia Missouri CVB
Instagram – VisitColumbiaMO
Twitter – ColumbiaMOCVB

Do’s and Don’ts –

DO bring:

Blankets, chairs, baby strollers, non-professional recording equipment, and your friends!

DON’T bring: 

Outside drinks (including water), coolers, glass containers, weapons, noise makers and laser pointers, pets, or professional recording equipment.

MOST IMPORTANT: Have fun! And come back next year for Roots N Blues 2015!

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