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Stephens Lake Park

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.

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.


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


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


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


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


  • 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


Have fun!

Good food and good music

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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:


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
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Budget Host Inn
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Courtyard by Marriott
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Hampton Inn & Suitesopens PDF file
Holiday Inn Executive Center
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The Tiger Hotel
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Other Hotels on Clark Lane and Keene Street
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There will be an additional bus added to the popular #10 Red / Downtown Routeopens PDF file  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:

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

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
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

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
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!

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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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Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! Today’s favorites come from Heather Cole, Assistant to the City Manager of Columbia and Columbia Tourism Ambassador.

Wow, I feel a little like that nun in the Sound of Music doing a little number about a few of my favorite things. Lucky for you this is just a blog – because I can’t sing, play guitar or rhyme. Okay, so I’m a 30-something with a BF and no Mini-Me’s, who has lived in CoMo for about 12 years now. I work downtown and I play downtown. If I could wiggle into a swanky loft downtown, I’d do that too. I love outside adventures, music, food and beer. So with that demographic in mind, these are a few of my favorite things. (C’mon…you can’t read that last line and not sing it Julie Andrew’s style!)

When the dog bites…
Best Park: Stephens Lake Park

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I love Columbia parks, but this one has to be my primo pick because of all it has to offer. Not only is this beautiful park great for a run, a swim or stop at the splash-park in the summertime, but it’s also great for sledding when Snowpocalypse hits in the winter too! It’s also host to great music events including the free concerts at the SLP amphitheater on Thursday evenings and of course, serves as the new home to the Roots & Blues BBQ! (The Avett Brothers are coming!! **Squeal!!**)

But what makes SLP even more unique than other parks? A fairy lives there. Before you stop reading and call some kind of hotline for assistance – hear me out. I stumbled upon a tiny little fairy door built into the base of a tree one day in SLP. Ppffft! OF COURSE I OPENED IT! Inside was a tiny tin painted with ivy. The tin contained a handwritten note from a fairy introducing herself as Willow, a tree fairy who just moved to the park and was trying to make new friends. The tin also contained a tiny pencil for people to leave messages back and forth. There were tons of messages on there – some questions and some welcoming messages. This was the CUTEST project I think I have ever stumbled upon. I mean…seriously? Her favorite meal is dandelion soup for crying out loud! That. Is. Awesome. We have some mega cool creative folks in this town. Am I right?

When the bee stings…
Best Event: The Boone Dawdle

I HATE having to pick just one!!!! Maybe I can come up with a pseudonym and do another guest blog with a totally new list of awesome things in town. (If you see a blog in the near future from “Sue Perman”…it’ll be our little joke. Just laugh to yourself.) Back to biz-naz: The Boone Dawdle. This event meshes so many awesome things into one event. Films, music, biking, food and fun! This event takes place in August as a mid-year fundraiser for the True/False Film Festival. You bike from Flat Branch Park to Les Bourgeois Winery. There are plentiful fun stops along the way with bands, ice cream treats, silly activities and games. When you get to the Blufftop Bistro, you get amazing music, food, drinks, prizes and best of all….an outdoor screening of a great film on the blufftop overlooking the Missouri River. It even features special guests, like film Directors for Q&A time.

Boone Dawdle Moonopens IMAGE file

Last year, we stopped for a photo opp on the moon. These were our best “no gravity” faces. Obviously. I also got solid advice from the mysterious “Advice Machine” which told me to sing to my cat in his native tongue to get him to stop meowing at me all the time. That’s solid stuff there. Solid.

When I’m feeling sad…
Favorite brews: Logboat Brewing Company

Logboat Beersopens IMAGE file

This place is pretty new to CoMo and is already wildly popular. Not only do they have great brews on tap (try em all with the sampler flight!), but they also have an AWESOME yard with plenty of outdoor space for games or general outdoor laziness. “But I wish they served food” – said no one, because the food trucks frequent this place on a regular basis! Hit me with an Ozark Mountain Biscuit Company Haughty Hillbilly sandwich and a Logboat Lookout Pale Ale and I AM GOLDEN!!
Disclaimer: Those are not all for me. And if they were…don’t judge. But they weren’t.

I simply remember my favorite things…
Best BBQ Sauce: Sycamore Restaurant

Sycamoreopens IMAGE file

(Photo courtesy of Missouri Division of Tourism)

Yeah…it’s that good that it deserves its own “best of” category. The BBQ sauce they put on their pork sliders and meatloaf is so amazing that I could probably have an I.V. set up to pump this straight into my veins. (Yes, I know – that defeats the purpose of getting to taste it, but I think I need this BBQ sauce to live.) This place has great food, the bartenders make great drinks, it’s charming…AND they participate in Earth Hour by having a nice candlelight dinner hour every year. Who loves the Earth? Sycamore does.

And then I don’t feeeeeeeel…
Best Dessert on the face of the planet: U Knead Sweets

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(Tira Mizzou Cupcake)

You can’t go wrong with pretty much anything in this place but if you’re looking to really knock your sweet socks off – the Tira-Mizzou Cupcake is a must hog…I mean have. You’ll tell yourself that you’ll only eat half and save the other half for your boyfriend, but you won’t. You’ll eat the entire thing because you can’t stop yourself because it’s soooo good and then you’ll have to make up this wild story to tell your boyfriend about how you fell down on the sidewalk by the creek and the other half rolled away into the mouth of a crocodile and even though you wanted to get all “Romancing the Stone” on that croc and fight him for that cupcake, you decided to let that cake go because even crocs need good cupcakes. True story.

Sooo baaaaaad….
Best cat in town: My cat Simon of course.

Simon Catopens IMAGE file

Just kidding (but not really), I mean CAT-TV! Columbia Access Television is an independent community media center that operates the public access tv channel for Columbia.  CAT-TV makes it possible for anyone in the community to get training, use equipment and have your own tv show! They have a fun and helpful staff that can take CAT members from no-experienced newbies, to producing and directing all stars. James Cameron got his start here. (that’s a lie, I’m just name-dropping now.)

But seriously…how cute is my cat?

Thanks for tuning in to hear about some of my CoMo top picks. I hope you get a chance to try them all out.

Cheers and a Happy Friday to all!

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The first weekend in June is home to one of Columbia’s favorite festival traditions… opens in a new windowArt 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!

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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.

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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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