COLUMBIA ⎯ This weekend's annual Art in the Park is scheduled to include a mix of artists, musicians, magicians and circus performers for the 15,000 to 18,000 people expected to turn out at Stephens Lake Park.
More than 100 artists will display their works Saturday and Sunday, in fiber, ceramics, jewelry, sculpture, glass, wood, photography and painting.
WHAT: Art in the Park
WHEN: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.
WHERE: Stephens Lake Park
About 40 percent of the artists are new to the show as part of an effort to keep things fresh from year to year, said Diana Moxon, executive director of the Columbia Art League and the event's organizer.
A consolidated stage has been set up behind the artists' village for performances scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday.
Magician and illusionist Dan Sperry, who does mind readings, on-stage illusions and comedic audience interaction, is scheduled to be the event's featured entertainer. He performs at 3:15 p.m. Sunday.
Other scheduled performers include Mike Niehaus, a magician and ventriloquist; Eric Vaughan Magic Revue; the StoneLion Puppet Theatre; Hilary Scott Band; Lisa Rose Jazz Band; Ironweed Bluegrass Band; Megan Boyer Band; Everyday Circus; and Joe Stickley, a roots, rock and folk singer.
There will also be activities for younger children, including watercolor projects, hacky sack making and sand sculpture.
The weather is expected to be warm and dry, with a high of 83 degrees on both days.
"I like to say, 'Come experience the magic of art in the park,'" Moxon said.
She said art can be purchased directly from the artists.
“It really is about buying art,” she said. “(Art in the Park’s) longevity really relies on us as a community being supportive of the artists, and it’s important that they know we support them.”
Among the returning artists are Kris and Al Clement, ceramics artists from Springfield, who have been involved in the event for 12 years.
“It’s a time to reconnect with all of the friends we’ve made in past years,” Kris Clement said.
The event runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The event will be stroller- and wheelchair-accessible. The Art League requests that visitors not bring pets.
Sponsors include the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau and Boone County National Bank.
The rest of the park will be open for visitors as usual.