Heritage festival sees high turnout despite MU home game
COLUMBIA - With an MU home football game and the university's family weekend, some were worried the Heritage Festival and Craft Show would attract fewer visitors this year. However event organizers and vendors said more people attended than ever before.
"We've actually had more people here this morning than I think we've ever had," Karen Chandler, superintendent of the Columbia Parks and Recreation's services division, said. "Our parking filled up quick. Our shuttles have been running pretty heavy. It's definitely more [people]."
Cheryl Haynes, Prairie Grove Peddler Pattern Company owner, said she thought mid-Missourians might go to both major attractions of the day.
"I'm sure that they're all going to go to the game later and maybe they're all going to do tailgating later," Haynes said. "But as far as the crowd today, I think there's a pretty good turnout."
This is the festival's 37th year in Columbia. Chandler said the theme of the fesitval is to "listen, learn, and see history as it comes alive." The festival featured handmade crafts, traditional artisans, two stages of entertainment, reenactors, cowboy camp, Lewis and Clark camp, mountain man camp, and a prospector activity where kids could pan for gold.
"A lot of people just really like the overall history, the overall aspect of the festival being the history," Chandler said. "People really enjoy talking to the reenactors, learning about history, and just enjoying all the music and entertainment."
Haynes said she makes it a point to attend the festival every year.
"I come to the heritage festival every year because I love being around people in Columbia," Haynes said. "There's just kind of a camaraderie with everybody at craft fairs. It gets in your blood and it's hard to stop."
The festival continues through the weekend at Nifong Park. Click here for a complete schedule of events.