Those who visited the 42nd annual Heritage Festival & Craft Show on Saturday were greeted by the memory of times long past.
Artisans, performers and vendors flocked to Nifong Park to share their crafts, music, food and more. The festival is put on by the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department and transports visitors back in time with performances and activities meant to replicate traditional 19th-century life.
Crafts for sale varied immensely, from needle work to wood craft to herbal remedies. The festival also offered activities such as children’s candle-dipping, face painting and tours of the historic Maplewood House.
Doug Edwards specializes in weaving the seats and backs of older chairs, something he’s been doing for about 15 years. He said many people used to do what he does but not anymore.
“A lot of chairs from a hundred years ago, everybody had woven seats in the bottom of them,” Edwards said. “People still have chairs around that need it.”
Edwards demonstrated how he weaves the seats at his Does Your Seat Need Work? tent at the festival. He will also sometimes repair the structures of the chairs. He said Columbia is a good town for these festivals; he’s been at the heritage festival the past nine years.
History came to life in another manner — music performed on the various stages.
The Show-Me Dulcimer Club performed traditional tunes with their group Saturday morning. Carol Welch, the organizer of the group named after the traditional stringed instrument, said it was its first time showcasing at the festival. Welch said the group got the idea to perform from some of its members who live in Columbia.
Mike Pace, who plays with the group, said places like these get people interested in its style of music.
“Most people have to see someone else, hear someone else play (the dulcimer),” Pace said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
Some artisans presented new crafts, like Allison Larkins. She creates “Gourd-O-Lanterns,” which are hand-and-machine-carved, hard-shell gourds decorated for Halloween.
“I love Halloween,” Larkins said. “I made them for myself for a long time and just decorated my house with them for a long time. It just got to be out of hand.”
This year was Larkin’s first at the festival.
For some Columbia residents, the artisans who visit have made the festival an annual must-go. Jaxyn Moore, 18, attends the festival every year.
“I really love seeing all the craft booths,” she said. “I love seeing what people make.”
Carol Vance and Deann Vance are a mother-daughter team that specializes in rice-filled fabric crafts such as body therapy pouches that can be heated in the microwave. Deann Vance started Textile Treasures after her daycare students enjoyed one of her creations.
The pair has been at the festival since 2013, right around when they started selling their crafts. They said this is one of the best artisan festivals in the area for both vendors and visitors.
“We had never been out here until we came out here as vendors,” Carol Vance said. “Everybody that lives in Columbia should be here at least once.”
The festivities will continue through Sunday at Nifong Park, 3700 Ponderosa St.
Supervising editor is Kaleigh Feldkamp.