At least 100 people showed up to watch the first Karaoke in the Park Thursday night in the amphitheatre at Stephens Lake Park.
Around 18 people preregistered to sing songs, and several others signed up after the event began.
Chosen songs ranged from oldies like Etta James’ “At Last” to Blake Shelton’s “Ol’ Red” and Alicia Keys’ “Ain’t Got You.”
Spectators spilled from the top of the hill to concrete seating in the amphitheatre. Most brought chairs and blankets, food and drink, and a few even came with their dogs.
Brennan Vincent sang “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga while he carried his small dog under his arm.
When Sara Hribik stepped up to sing “Kiss” by Prince, she belted it out with passion and seemed to have no trouble hitting all the notes.
Hribik said she has done karaoke many times, but it was the first time outdoors.
Greg Graybill said he sings karaoke every Saturday night at McGinty’s Pub. He sang “Whipping Post” by the Allman Brothers.
He had also planned to sing a duet with a friend, Elaina O’Neal, but as people filled in by the dozens and the sun began to set, they were pre-empted by other singers who had also signed up.
O’Neal said she was surprised by the size of the crowd and said she had “sung karaoke more times than she probably should.” It was her first time to sing outdoors, and she loved the experience. She sang “Shake the Sugar Tree” by Pam Tillis.
The only challenge in setting up the outdoor event was making sure the songs were family-friendly and getting the acoustics to work for the large open space, said Cassie Brandt, recreation specialist for Columbia Parks and Recreation.
The event was sponsored by the Columbia Missourian, KFRU, Columbia Parks and Recreation and KPLA 101.5.