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Festival

Every fall, thousands of music and barbeque fans gather in Columbia to attend the opens in a new windowRoots ‘n Blues ‘n BBQ Festival. The two-day festival begins on a Friday night and concludes on Saturday, but there’s a part of the festival that not everyone sees. While concert goers sleep in and the BBQ teams tend to their smokers, hundreds of attendees wake up at the crack of dawn to run the opens in a new windowRoots ‘n Blues Half Marathon/10K race.

This popular race grows each year as runners appreciate the beautiful routes through Columbia, the musical acts along the route and, of course, the BBQ and beer at the end! Both the 10k and Half Marathon routes combine roads and trails through scenic Columbia on a fall morning. In addition to the race experience, your registration fee also includes a free ticket to the festival for the day of the race…not a bad way to celebrate finishing!

So, whether you’re a seasoned runner or someone looking to complete their first race, there’s nothing like the festive atmosphere of Roots ‘n Blues to give you a fantastic experience. So get opens in a new windowregistered today and we’ll be cheering for you at the finish line!

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The original blind boone ragtime & early jazz festival.

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 opens in a new windowMissouri 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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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 opens in a new windowColumbia 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

Child participating in activities at art in the park.

opens in a new windowArt 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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