Annual Heritage Festival to be at Nifong Park this weekend

Friday, September 16, 2011 | 3:41 p.m. CDT; updated 4:35 p.m. CDT, Friday, September 16, 2011

COLUMBIA — Frank G. Nifong Memorial Park will look like a historical American scene this weekend.

The 34thAnnual Heritage Festival honors Missouri tradition and heritage through entertainment, dance, storytelling and a recreation of a 19th century settlement.

If you go

What: 34th Annual Heritage Festival

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday

Where: Frank G. Memorial Nifong Park, 2900 E. Nifong Blvd., Columbia.

Admission: Free

More information: On-site parking is free. Shuttle service is available from Galactic Fun Zone parking lot off of Nifong Boulevard.

An estimated 10,000 people attended last year’s festival, Karen Ramey of Columbia Parks and Recreation said.

Tents of shopkeepers, artisans and tradespeople practicing traditional crafts, as well as townspeople donned in full 19th century garb, will help recreate the settlement.

Two entertainment stages will include jazz, bluegrass, folk and Cajun music. Visitors can also gather in tepees to hear stories from "Two Crows" Mountain Man or performances by "Professor Farquar". Ramey said the event will be family and child friendly.

Dancers affiliated with Haskell Indian Nations University will also perform at the festival. These collegiate Native American performers, clothed in traditional tribal attire, were popular when they performed last year, Ramey said.

“The school is a combination of many different tribes, which makes for such an interesting mix of tribal dances,” she said.

A crafts area of vendors is open throughout the festival and has handmade gifts for purchase. There are also activities for children in the "Fun for Young’uns" area. Hayrides and a Lewis and Clark replica outpost are also part of the event.

Tours of the historic Maplewood Home are available for a fee, but the festival itself is free.

According to the National Weather Service, there'll be 50 percent to 60 percent chance of rain on Saturday and Sunday. For updates and weather-related cancellations, call the hotline number at 847-7663 or go to

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