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The Boone County History & Culture Center is open and now features the Treasures of Boone County mural, a testament to the County’s bicentennial this year.

The mural was designed by Columbia’s own Stacy “Wildy” Self, owner of WildysWorld! MuralMakers Studio. It features the communities that create Boone County, including Ashland, Centralia, Columbia, Hallsville, Harrisburg, Rocheport, Sturgeon and The Missouri River Community.

Photo by Samantha Waigand

The mural captures different aspects of life in Boone County. Self reached out to the community for input on what should be featured and even had community paint nights year. Hundreds of people came together to help paint this historic mural. It is a beautiful symbol for all who live in and visit Boone County.

Photo by Samantha Waigand

Everyone is invited to see this historic mural on display. The Boone County History & Culture Center is open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 12 – 4 p.m. The first hour of each day is reserved for those over 60 years of age or high-risk individuals.

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The Black and White Ball is an event like no other. Every three years, beginning in 1960, alumni from Douglass High School and other local high schools come together for a fun-filled weekend that includes a parade through downtown Columbia, live music and dancing at a ball and a family picnic. It’s time for this year’s celebration, and the theme is “The Dream Lives On”.

Here is all that is happening at this year’s celebration:

The festivities begin Friday, August 3. Nora Stewart will have an open house at the Early Learning Center for Alums and their families from 1 to 6 p.m. There will be a Welcome Reception and tour of Douglass High School from 6 – 8 p.m.

On Saturday, there will be a parade beginning at 10:15 a.m. that will start and finish at The Armory and go to 7th and Ash. Following the parade from 12 – 3 p.m., The Blind Boone home will be open for tours. The Black and White Ball will begin at 8 p.m. at the Kimball Ballroom at Stephens College. Nora Stewart will have an open house for Alums and their families on Friday from 1 to 6 p.m.

There will be a picnic Sunday at 1 p.m. at Douglass Park, and food will be served until 4 p.m. Please remember to bring your Ball tickets.

Tickets can be purchased from May Hall, Frank Gardner, Dave Turner, Fran Tibbs, Velma Buckner, Bill Thompson and Alma Tapp.  The cost is $60.00 and covers the Friday reception at Douglass High School, the Black and White Ball Saturday night and the Family Picnic in Douglass Park on Sunday.

The Black & White Ball Ball and all the other events tied to this weekend celebration are marked with history and tradition. This historic event is a homecoming for families and friends to come back to Columbia and share memories and stories from their past. It’s a chance to look back and see how much and how little has changed over the years, all while taking part in fun-filled events that go on throughout the weekend.

People come from all over to attend this weekend celebration, and it proves to be a wonderful homecoming every time.

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day is Monday, Jan. 21, and there are community events taking place to honor Dr. King’s legacy. Check out these special events below.

MLK Day of Service

Saturday, Jan. 19 | 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.” Each year, Americans across the country come together to serve their neighbors and communities. To honor Dr. King’s legacy the City of Columbia Volunteer Program is offering volunteer opportunities to participate in MLK Day of Service with an environmental cleanup on January 19th. Volunteers are invited to the Rainbow Softball Complex lot in Cosmo Park at 10 a.m. to pick up supplies and receive a cleanup assignment. For more information, please call 573.874.6271 or email volunteer@como.govcreate new email.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Service

Monday, Jan. 21 | 11:00 a.m.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial, 800 West Stadium Blvd.

The Columbia NAACP will host its annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Program. A brief ceremony will be held at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial on Stadium Blvd. followed by a motorcade from the MLK Memorial to Second Baptist Church. Motorcade will travel via Stadium Blvd. to Worley St. to Fifth St. to Broadway and end at Second Baptist Church on Broadway. Upon the motorcade’s arrival, a celebration program will begin at Second Baptist Church. A free community luncheon will be served following the program.

The motorcade will depart at 11:15 a.m. (all cars participating in the motorcade are asked to be on site by 11:00 a.m.). For more information contact Mary Ratliff at maryratliff40@yahoo.comcreate new email or 573.445.3231.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Candle Light March and Memorial Celebration

Monday, Jan. 21 | 6:30 p.m.

The candle light walk will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Armory Sports Center, then proceed to the Memorial Celebration at St.  Luke UMC, where a service will be held. Open to all, free. For more information, please contact City of Columbia Parks & Recreation at 573.874.7460.

University of Missouri’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration with Bree Newsom

Wednesday, Jan. 23 | 7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Jesse Auditorium, 80 Conley Avenue

Bree Newsom, a contemporary civil rights icon, first garnered national attention for her daring act of peaceful disobedience in June 2015. Following the brutal murder of nine black parishioners at Mother Emmanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina, Newsome climbed the flagpole at the South Carolina statehouse and pulled down the Confederate Battle flag as a protest against racist symbolism. Her arrest galvanized public opinion and led to the permanent removal of the flag. As a recognized and celebrated voice on the topics of injustice and racial discrimination, Bree brings to light the importance of leadership development in building and sustaining social movements.

This event is free and open to the public. Tickets are required to attend the event but are free of charge and available at the Missouri Theatre. Visit for more information.

Unity: A Benefit Concert

Saturday, Jan. 26 | 7 p.m.

MO United Methodist Church, 204 S. 9th St.

This annual benefit concert features Columbia Community Gospel Choir, Columbia Chorale, and Columbia Kids Gospel Choir. The chorus will perform gospel-inspired works and highlight Dr. King’s call to serve one another regardless of one’s ability or resources. This event is free and open to the public. This year, all proceeds benefit the BOLD Academy, an organization that seeks to “empower and uplift Black and Brown Girls through enrichment opportunities, leadership training, education, and positive identity development.”

Below are other community sources providing cultural programs and events.

Blind Boone Home
Columbia Parks & Recreation
Confucius Institute
Daniel Boone Regional Library
Inclusive Impact Institute
Journey to Inclusive Excellence
Missouri Folk Arts Program

Thank you to the City of Columbia Office of Cultural Affairs for providing this information! Be sure to monitor the event statuses as the winter weather comes in this weekend.

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Looking for some fantastic family fun this fall? Look no further than Columbia’s opens in a new windowHeritage 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.

Heritage Fest 2008413opens IMAGE file

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.

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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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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Fans of history have no trouble finding great spots to explore here in Columbia. One place to absolutely not miss is a hidden gem on the University of Missouri campus, the State Historical Society (SHS) of Missouri. Nestled into Ellis Library, the SHS is the premier center for research and study when it comes to the history of our state.

The SHS is home to beautiful displays of Missouri art, including one of the largest George Caleb Bingham collections and Thomas Hart Benton works. Many other Missouri artists, both past and present, also are well represented.

Also ready to be explored are a variety of collections.

opens in a new windowThe Manuscript Collection

  • Began acquiring through members of the Missouri Press Association in 1898.
  • One of the earliest and most significant acquisitions is the Thomas Adams Smith (1781-1844), Papers.
  • In 1943 the Western Historical Manuscript Collection (WHMC) was created at the University of Missouri with the aid of a Rockefeller Foundation Grant.
  • In 1963 with SHSMO and WHMC manuscript holdings were combined creating a joint collection.

opens in a new windowThe Newspaper Collection 

  • Beginning with the July 26, 1808 issue of the St. Louis Missouri Gazette, the Society’s newspaper collection offers a wealth of information about the day-today lives of Missourians and the political, cultural, economic and religious events that have influenced them.
  • Available in 1,270 bound volumes and on over forty-one million pages of microfilm
  • Some 300 current newspapers, from every Missouri county are added to the collection each week.

opens in a new windowOral History Program 

  • Since 1993, the SHSMO has had a full-time oral historian recording and transcribing hundreds of oral history interviews that preserve Missouri’s history, culture and heritage.
  • The first project of the oral history program focused on artists from Missouri’s Bootheel region. Researchers collected oral history interviews and other recordings, which resulted in Art and Heritage of the Missouri Bootheel: A Resource Guide.
  • With over 4,000 interviews, the oral history program continues to actively produce and collect oral history interviews that represent Missouri’s culture and history. However, researchers will find our oral history collection reaches well beyond the Show-Me State’s borders.

opens in a new windowReference Collection 

  • Houses resources ranging from family histories and printed minutes kept by local literary societies to Missouri official publications and scholarly monographs on the history of the state and the lives of its citizens.
  • County and town histories, city directories, compiled cemetery records, and indexes to local records.
  • Primary and secondary sources on many aspects of the state’s and the nation’s history and culture.

Take some time during your next visit to Columbia to dive into the exciting history of our state. It’s a great place to get lost in the past.

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This weekend kicks off the festival season with the 35th Annual Heritage Festival. This Saturday and Sunday, September 15th and 16th, head to Nifong Park to enjoy the traditions of the past. Listen, learn and see history as it comes alive.

Couple dancing an old time dance.

 Enjoy entertainment including traditional and roots music, dancing and storytelling.

Blacksmiths making tools.

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 along with Saturday evening ghost stories. While you are there you can also tour the Historic Maplewood Home and the Walters Boone County Historical Museum. Great food and beautiful park seating will make the Heritage Festival a family tradition!

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

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 opens in a new windowwalking tour map to help you find all the can’t miss stops.

If you’re in Arrow Rock in May-November, be sure to see if you can add a performance at the opens in a new windowLyceum 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. opens in a new windowBuy your tickets early, these shows sell out fast!

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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Just 25 minutes away from Columbia, right off of Interstate 70 is a historical goldmine. opens in a new windowFulton, Missouri in Callaway County is a perfect day trip during your visit to Columbia. This is especially true for fans of history and small town charm.

Touch History

At the National Churchill Museum and Berlin Wall sculpture, experience significant pieces of world history.

Fulton Church

To honor the British statesman, Winston Churchill, and in commemoration of his famous “Iron Curtain” speech given on the Westminster campus, President R.L.D. Davidson proposed the idea of transporting and rebuilding one of Sir Christopher Wren’s churches on the Fulton campus. The church had been partially destroyed during the Blitz of 1940-41. On May 7, 1969, after four years of labor, the memorial was dedicated in the presence of many British and American dignitaries.

Berlin Wall

Former President Ronald Reagan came to Westminster College on November 9, 1990 to help dedicate Edwina Sandys’ sculpture “Breakthrough.” Mrs. Sandys, granddaughter of Winston Churchill, created the sculpture from sections of the infamous Berlin Wall. It depicts a man and woman who have “broken through” the barrier to freedom. The sculpture stands to the west of the Churchill Memorial.

Enjoy Small Town Charm

After you’ve explored the historical side of Fulton, take in some small town charm. Grab a bite at Beks or Fulton Café or sip a soda at Sault’s Ice Cream and Soda Fountain. Once you’ve addressed your appetite, shop for a bit at Schaeffer’s Store, Smockingbirds or Sweet Temptations.

On your next visit to Columbia, take half a day and explore Fulton. This hidden treasure will provide a surprising and memorable experience.

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