- For Immediate Release June 6, 2013 - 

~ Find Your Fun This Summer in Columbia ~ 

  Columbia Convention
& Visitors Bureau

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Maplewood Barn Theatre


Boone County Farmers Market


Columbia Farmers Market


North Village Farmers and Artisans Market


Roots 'n Blues 'n BBQ Fest


Sparky's Homemade Ice Cream


Buck's Ice Cream Place


Discover The District 


Columbia Office of Cultural Affairs 



Many visitors and residents take advantage of the warm weather and beautiful scenery along the MKT and Katy Trail around Columbia.
Make the most of the summer months by planning a visit to Columbia and spend some time in the refreshing outdoors with friends and family while biking or hiking the MKT Trail or Katy Trail, or enjoy an exciting evening of outdoor theater, browse the area's freshest produce at a local farmers market, cool off with homemade ice cream, or enjoy the largest music festival in Columbia. For more information on summertime fun around Columbia, please read on.

Maplewood Barn's Summer Theater Season Now Underway

Enjoy theatrical favorites under the stars as the Maplewood Barn Community Theatre, located in historic Nifong Park (2900 E. Nifong Blvd.), celebrates its 41st season. The 2013 Maplewood Barn summer schedule marks the second season in the newly-built theater following a fire that destroyed the original 133-year old barn in 2010. This summer's schedule includes lively, outdoor performances of Hello, Dolly!, Kitchen Witches, As You Like It, and On Golden Pond. Tickets are $9 for musicals and $7 for plays, and children 10 and under get in for $1. Since these performances are outdoors, attendees are encouraged to bring their own chairs, blankets, snacks, beverages and bug spray. Visit MaplewoodBarn.com for a full schedule of performances, to purchase tickets, and to find more information on this unique community theater.

Columbia Farmers Markets Open for the 2013 Summer Season

Columbia, which is located smack-dab in the center of the state of Missouri, is surrounded by lush and fertile farms that are as unique and inspiring as the city itself. This fortuitous geographic location affords citizens of Columbia access to some of the freshest produce in the area, all of which can easily be found at Columbia's three distinct farmers markets.

  • The Boone County Farmers Market, originally founded in 1980, offers locally-grown garden-fresh produce, plants, frozen meats, eggs, baked goods, handmade soaps and much more. The Boone County Farmers Market is open every Saturday from 8 a.m. until Noon in the parking lot of the Sanford-Kimpton Health Department Building at 1005 W. Worley Street. For more information on the Boone County Farmers Market, visit BooneCountyFarmers.com. 
  • The Columbia Farmers Market, now with three locations, is open five days a week. The market is open every Saturday from 8 a.m. until Noon and Mondays and Wednesdays from 4-6 p.m. in the parking lot of the Activities & Recreation Center (the ARC) at 1701 West Ash Street. The Thursday market runs from 3-6 p.m. at the Forum Christian Church at 3900 Forum Boulevard and the Friday market runs from 3-6 p.m. at Brookside Square at the corner of Smiley Lane and Providence Road. For more information, visit ColumbiaFarmersMarket.org. 
  • The North Village Farmers and Artisans Market is downtown Columbia's newest resource for farm-fresh local produce, hand crafted art, informational workshops and live entertainment. The Farmers and Artisans Market is open every Sunday from April 29 through October 28, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., in the Historic Wabash Station parking area at 126 N. 10th Street. For more information on the North Village Farmers and Artisans Market, visit FarmAndArt.com.

Roots 'n Blues 'n BBQ Festival Announces Headliners, New Location 

The  2013 Roots 'n Blues 'n BBQ Festival  (RnBnBBQ) boasts the return of rhythm and blues legend Mavis Staples and features The Black Crowes, John Hiatt, Steve Earle, Johnny Winter, Bela Fleck, Blues Traveler, Dale Watson and more. This year's fest will be held Sept. 20-22 in the picturesque Stephen's Lake Park, just 1.5 miles east of downtown Columbia. 

Mavis Staples, a former member of the Staple Singers, returns for the 2013 Roots 'n Blues 'n BBQ Festival

This is the seventh installment of this nationally recognized annual three-day event, which features musicians from all over the world performing a variety of blues, country, bluegrass, gospel, folk and soul music on two main stages. This is the first year at Stephen's Lake Park for RnBnBBQ, the largest festival in Columbia, which had been previously held in the heart of downtown in years past. Roots 'n Blues also features a sanctioned half-marathon and 10k, mouth-watering barbeque and the inspiring "Blues in the Schools" program, which is a music education program provided to Columbia's elementary schools to encourage an appreciation for blues music and its history through mentorship with an artist in residence.


Passes for the 2013 fest are going fast, so order yours today at RootsnBluesnBBQ.com/#tickets. For more festival information, including musical lineups and registration forms for the marathon and 10k, please visit RootsnBluesnBBQ.com. 

Beat the Heat This Summer With Locally Made Ice Cream 
  • Sparky's Homemade Ice Cream created a buzz on the national level with a batch of cicada-infused ice cream in the summer of 2011, but that's just a mild sampling of the flavors and combinations that can be found at this locally-owned and operated ice cream parlor. Sparky's, located at 21 South 9th Street, has been a local favorite and downtown hotspot on hot days since 2003 and continues to turn out small batches of handmade creams, sorbets and sweet concoctions. For more ideas on how to keep it cool in Missouri's summer months, check out this article about Sparky's on CNN.com, or visit Sparky's Facebook page. 
  • Buck's Ice Cream Place has the distinct honor of being the official on-campus ice cream parlor of the University of Missouri Tigers. Ice cream research and production have been part of Mizzou's curriculum since the 1920s. Buck's continues that rich and sweet tradition by showcasing the hard work and dedication of students and their professors by offering over 30 premium flavors made in-house, including the local favorite aptly named Tiger Stripes. A part of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resource's Food Science program, Buck's is located on the University's campus on the south side of Eckles Hall at 1306 Rollins Street (look for the black and gold striped awning), and is open Mondays through Fridays, year around, and on Saturdays during the warmer months, from Noon until 5 p.m. For more on Mizzou's rich ice cream history, prices and flavors, please visit bucks.missouri.edu.

Photo courtesy of Mizzou Botanic Garden

Columbia features a mix of small town charm and friendliness with the amenities and cultural offerings of a big city. There is always something exciting to see and do in Columbia, so for more information on these events and other ways to have fun in Columbia, please contact Megan McConachie, Communications Manager, at the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800-652-0987 or at VisitColumbiaMO.com.  


Attention Media: Let us play host and show you around Columbia. To schedule a press trip, please contact Marjorie Beenders, Jo Duncan, or Kyle Stewart. For more information, media assistance or high-resolution photos, please call The Beenders-Walker Group toll-free at 800-544-8474 or email Marjorie, Kyle or Jo.