COLUMBIA — Welcome Back.

It's been a hot summer in mid-Missouri, filled with cicada invasions, flooding along the Missouri River and the usual fairs and festivals we've come to enjoy. If you've been away, we have gathered a collection of the top stories so you'll be able to catch up on the news.

And to help you get ready for all the excitement that fall brings to the city, we've gathered a list of cool events that can fill your weekend calendars well into the next year. We've tried to find events that you and your family will find appealing —  lectures, campus activities, festivals and concerts.

Of course there's always MU football to keep you busy. We've included the sports schedule as well as some information about the annual Homecoming celebration. This year marks the centennial homecoming, so expect an abundance of celebrations and activities come October.

And for those weekends when the Tigers play on the road, there should be ample opportunity for you to find events closer to home. There's the Roots 'N' Blues 'N' BBQ festival in early September featuring some great bands and food in downtown Columbia. And, you'll always find something kitschy and covered in pumpkins or gourds at Hartsburg's annual pumpkin festival. This free event draws thousands to the small Boone County town and is worth the short drive.

If you're looking for something to do that isn't outdoors, there are plenty of concerts to take in at The Blue Note, Mojo's and Jesse Auditorium. Our calendar gives you the major show listings and web addresses so you can find more as future shows are added.

As you can see, there's a lot happening in Columbia this fall. We hope you'll find something that interest you among these listings. And, if your event isn't listed, feel free to contact us at news@ColumbiaMissourian.com, and we'll get it added.

Laura Johnston is a news editor on the interactive copy desk at the Columbia Missourian who loves to attend small-town fairs, festivals and church dinners.

  • News editor at the interactive copy desk and an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism.

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