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Everything you need to know about art in the park


Art in the Park



What is it? A weekend long art fair featuring 110 juror-curated booths from local and national artists and artisans. Basically, the Columbia Art League builds an outdoor mall full of beautiful things in a beautiful setting and invites everyone to come…for free.

When is it? June 4-5, 2016

Where is it? Stephens Lake Park

How much will it cost you? Entrance to the festival is completely free. The art being sold at each booth is not. However, Festival Director Diana Moxon tells me that one-of-a-kind pieces can be found at every price point. “You can come here with $20 and walk away with a piece of art or a gift that no one else will have. If you want to spend $5,000 on a painting, you can, but you certainly don’t need a huge amount of money to own a unique piece of art.” Most booths accept credit cards. Food is available for purchase from local and national vendors on site.

Why you should go: This festival has been a favorite in Columbia for nearly 58 years. Artists will be showcasing ceramics, jewelry, paintings, photography, garden art, sculpture and more. It is a great place to find unique pieces from all over the country. Even if you are not an art aficionado, there will something for you to appreciate at Art in the Park. Besides, it’s free and a really great way to kick off the summer, enjoy time outdoors with your family and support the arts in a beautiful setting.

What you need to know before you go: Not a whole lot. You can just show up at Stephens Lake Park on either Saturday or Sunday (or both) and meander through the booths. Parking is available across the street at Boone Hospital and along the street if you can find it. Bring the kids; this is definitely a family-friendly event.

Why this is good for CoMo: On a financial level, it creates sales tax for the city as well as an increase in spending in restaurants and hotels. But, as Diana points out, it is beneficial on so many other levels. She says Art in the Park helps broaden art horizons and adds vibrancy and color to our town. “What would Columbia look like without its festivals? They add a diversity of culture to our city. What a dull place Columbia would be if all we had to do was watch football six times a year.” (Good point, Diana!)

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