Heritage Festival returns to Columbia

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COLUMBIA - Columbia Parks and Recreation celebrates its 41st annual Heritage Festival and Craft show Saturday and Sunday.

The event will give people the opportunity to witness "living history" and learn about different cultures through food, music and art. Karen Chandler with Columbia Parks and Recreation Department said the festival has become a great learning environment for children.

"It's a traditional event for a lot of families. We see the same families come out every year as we watch their kids grow up," Chandler said. "It’s a great event. I really think people enjoy it as something to do to kind of kickoff fall.”

Chandler said a major draw for the festival is the unique experience it provides for learning history. She said their main goal is allowing people to see what it was like to live in Missouri hundreds, even thousands, of years ago.

"You can read a book and talk about history, but here you can actually see it," Chandler said. "You can learn about the past by putting your hands on it."

Chandler said cowboys will ride around on wagons and mountain men will teach kids how to safely build a fire. There will also be tractor rides and live animals. 

"You can't get that kind of experience from a textbook," volunteer Pablo Baum said. "What's great about Columbia is that you get so many college students to come out and see history. It really takes you back in time."

Parking is limited on-site. Chandler said people should go to Gans Creek Recreational Area where a shuttle will pick-up and drop-off throughout the weekend. 

The festival is on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Nifong Park. For more information visit Columbia's Parks and Recreation website



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