holiday fesitval

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COLUMBIA- The Columbia Holiday Festival is giving local vendors a platform to support mid-Missouri charities this weekend.

The Holiday Inn is hosting the event at its Executive Center expo venue. All ages are welcome.

Kathy Baker, co-owner of the Holiday Inn, said they couldn't let this festival go after the first host of the event decided to move on.

"For many years we had the King’s daughter holiday festival," Baker said." They moved on to other ventures after 20 years, and we decided the festival was too important to let it die. We struck out on our own and have some wonderful vendors here today."

The classic Christmas essentials can be found around the venue along with tasty treats, the latest fashion trends and other decorations.

Food and a bar can be found in the expo center if anyone wants to fill an empty stomach. The festival encourages kids to come and meet Santa Claus and take pictures in a photo booth.

The tickets for Saturday and Sunday cost five dollars at the door. However, the festival isn't just about selling food and goods.

"We are giving half of all the proceeds of the ticket sales for all days to each of our charities and you can designate which charity you would like to receive the funds," Baker said.

The charities partnered with the festival are Missouri Honor Flight, Central Missouri Humane Society, Pascale's Pals and The Boys and Girls Club of Columbia.

It is a great way to kick off the holidays, start you Christmas shopping," Baker said. "I know lots of people shop all year long, but the real season of it can begin with this festival. It is a great tradition for Columbia and lots of great Christmas music will be on. It’ll just be a fun time."

The festival is open on Saturday until 5:00 p.m. and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.