Fall events aim to boost interest in downtown

Wednesday, August 25, 2004 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 9:17 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 12, 2008

The leaves won’t be the only things dancing in Flat Branch Park this fall.

The Columbia Parks and Recreation Department and the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau announced Tuesday a fall entertainment lineup that will include live music, outdoor cinema and a midnight bike ride.

Bands will perform during the Twilight Festival and on Wednesdays in October during the lunch hour.

Lorah Steiner, director of the Convention and Visitors Bureau, said the events are intended to stimulate interest in downtown in both visitors and Columbians.

“For me it’s a much larger vision,” Steiner said. “We have the opportunity to make the downtown area a great place for tourism.”

Events include a performance by the Big Top Circus Band on Sept. 2 during the Twilight Festival. The band will be accompanied by jugglers, clowns, Anne Gafke’s performing dogs and a ringmaster to complete the circus theme.

Karen Ramey of the Parks and Recreation Department said she worked with Carrie Gartner, executive director of the Downtown Columbia Associations, to make September’s twilight festival bigger and better than last June’s. Ramey said that about 1,500 people attended in June and she offered the aid of the Parks department to help staff the event.

Ragtag Cinemacafé has also offered its services for coming events. On Oct. 9, a screening of “Shrek 2” will be shown on a large inflatable movie screen. Plans to show the recent Jack Black movie “School of Rock” are also under way for later in the month.

“This will be great for the community,” Steiner said. “It will be a wonderful thing for all visitors.”

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