In a town full of creative and artistic people, Columbia flourishes with a continuous stream of fun events and festivals. Here’s something to enjoy every month of the year.

January: Columbia Farmers Market

Winter in Missouri can be brutal, but that doesn’t stop local vendors. Enjoy fresh, locally produced foods from 9 a.m. to noon every Saturday in the new Columbia Agriculture Park on Ash Street.

February: African American Film Fest

Celebrate Black History Month with free viewings of films that highlight prominent figures in the black community. One shown this year was “Barry,” about former President Barack Obama’s life at Columbia University in 1981.

March: True/False Film Fest

Watch Columbia transform into an artistic wonderland during this four-day documentary film festival. The festival showcases the creative minds of filmmakers, artists and musicians with films, music and visuals that are not only enticing, but also make you think.

April: National Jazz Appreciation

April is National Jazz Appreciation , so reserve your tickets for the “We Always Swing” Jazz Series. Join the celebration by hearing the stylings of bassist Christian McBride and pianist Benny Green on April 23 at the First Baptist Church Columbia.

May: Movies in the Park

Kick off the summer with Movies in the Park on the second Friday of the month of May through September. Watch movies on the big screen and savor the concessions and food trucks at Cosmopolitan Park, 1615 Business Loop 70 W.

June: Art in the Park

Put on by the Columbia Art League, Art in the Park is a way to get out and have fun while discovering new, intriguing pieces of art. Art in the Park is set up on June 6 and 7 in Stephens Lake Park, and admission is free. Last year, more than 100 artists showcased their work

July: Hot Summer Nights

Check out all the concerts put on by the Missouri Symphony Orchestra throughout the summer. Last year’s included a pops performance with the best of Rodgers and Hammerstein, music from “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter” and the opera “Carmen.”

August: First Fridays in the North Village Arts District

Grab a few friends and head over to the North Village Arts District in downtown Columbia on the first Friday of each month. Everyone is welcome to take pleasure in the kinds of art available from local and out-of-state artists in galleries around the arts district. Art crawl stops include: Artlandish Gallery Sager Braudis Gallery, Dogwood Artist Workspace and many more.

September: Annual Heritage Festival and Craft Show

Get a glimpse into the past at the Columbia Heritage Festival and Craft Show in Nifong Park, 3700 Ponderosa St. Learn the history of 19th century Missouri through music, dancing and storytelling. This free event also showcases the practices of 19th century-style artisans.

October: Roots N BluesRevel in the celebration of Americana music at this three day festival. Roots N Blues Festival features live performances by musicians who specialize in blues, bluegrass, rhythm and blues, country and folk music. Also explore the food and shopping available.

November: Fall Into Art

Fall Into Art in the Parkade Center highlights new pieces of art while also benefiting the community. Local and out-of-state artists donate their work to a silent auction that benefits the Central and Northeast Missouri Food Bank.

December: Living Windows Festival

A stroll downtown before the holidays is a chance to look at spruced-up window displays, as well as the lights on Broadway, the Magic Tree and other seasonal decorations. Many shops in downtown Columbia take festive to the next level by dressing their windows with live displays.

  • Community reporter, spring 2020 Studying magazine writing Reach me at, or in the newsroom at 882-5700

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