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WELCOME BACK: Heritage Festival draws attendees back in time

Thursday, August 18, 2011 | 12:07 a.m. CDT; updated 12:28 a.m. CDT, Thursday, August 18, 2011

When Lewis and Clark ventured westward on their excursion, they settled much of the land in the Midwest. Over time, more settlers flocked to the area and communities began to spring up.

Although this was hundreds of years ago, Columbia still honors and represents its heritage in an old-fashioned manner but in a modern-day setting with new people. 

The 34th Annual Heritage Festival and Craft Show is like a living, breathing history book. Visitors at the festival can relive traditional Missouri settlement in a similar way as pioneers once did.

Missouri history is presented through a simulated town of shopkeeps, craftsmen and local folks set in 1859 — with traditional tradesmen, artisans and re-enactors to take visitors back in time to the 19th century.

Last year, a Lewis and Clark replica outpost camp and Haskell Indian Nations Dancers were main features of the show.

Visitors gathered around for ghost stories as the sun sank and the moon grew tall.

Local craft artists and performers dressed in traditional attire from the 1800s while sharing their trade with others, and Native American dancers donned traditional tribal attire.

This year, attendees can expect the same historical-styled events. Live music (jazz, swing, cajun, folk and country), dancing and storytelling will fill the lineup. Shoppers can purchase handmade crafts and gifts from local artists.

Visitors to the Heritage Festival can also take a tour of the Historic Maplewood Home and the Walters-Boone County Historical Museum — two local sites rich in mid-Missouri history.

On Saturday evening of the festival, ghost stories will be told from 8 to 9:30 p.m. by the Mid-Missouri Organization of Storytellers.

The Heritage Festival is all about exploration and knowledge. Parents and children alike can delve into interesting historical facts and stories about Missouri while listening to live music and traditional food fare — and all for free.

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