38th Annual Heritage Festival kicks off

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COLUMBIA - Sunny weather and cooler temperatures made for a pleasant start to the 38th Annual Heritage Festival Saturday.

The festival features traditional reenactments, live music, games, crafts, face painting, food and artisans and tradesmen dressed in 19th century clothes showing off their skills.

Some of the booths included oil paintings, handmade rugs and basket weaving, among others.

Scott Stager has been at the Heritage Festival for three years. He makes bread from simple ingredients using traditional materials. He was at the festival Saturday showing how he made bread.

"We're all about demonstrating here, not about selling bread," Stager said.

He made the dough in front of people, had glass jars to show the dough rising and an old oven that sits over a fire to bake the bread.

"Oh it's just fun to hang out and show stuff to people," Stager said. "The kids, some of the kids who couldn't care less but others are just like, 'Wow.' So it's just a fun thing to do."

He said he likes being a part of the festival because the different booths and reenactments help keep history alive.

"Just to demonstrate what our forefathers did and the kind of way their life was in some ways," Stager said. "They had a lot of problems, but they still did this kind of stuff and got by it."

With the number of people at the event, parking was tight. Columbia Parks and Recreation encourages people to park at the Gans Creek Recreation Area and take a free shuttle to the site.

Heritage Festival is a free event. It's located at Nifong Park and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.