The much-anticipated annual event in Howard County is the Columbia Festival of the Arts. The performances and events go into high gear for more than two weeks commencing on June 14th. It will begin with the Lakefest Weekend starting at 5 PM on Friday the 14th through 7 PM Sunday the 16th. The Lakefront will be where the fun starts.
For those not familiar with Columbia that area is Lake Kittamaqundi located in Downtown Columbia opposite the Mall. It always includes plenty of arts and educational activities for both kids and adults. There are dependably an enormous amount of visual arts and crafts booths, and some local food vendors selling their specialties. Performing on the stage this year will be Dogo du Togo (African), Bobby Thompson Trio (blues), Speakers of the House (eclectic), School of Rock Columbia (young local rockers), Mr. Gabe & the Circle Time All-Stars (music for children and adult), Nelly’s Echo (eclectic) , De Sanguashington (Latin), Six-String Soldiers (Bluegrass, country and folk), Alana Royale (R&B and soul), Aztec Sun (funk and soul), Marielle Kraft (songstress), Ocho De Bastos (Latin), The Sidleys (indie rock), Columbia Jazz band and Glenelg Jazz Ensemble. The last two are local perennial favorites. To find out more about times, direction, shuttle service, parking, and more go online.
Following the Free Lakefest Weekend, extraordinary ticketed productions are scheduled. Starting Thursday, June 20th the ever-popular Stoop Storytelling Series will return at 7 PM to the Smith Theatre. Also, on June 20th, and for four days (6/20-23), “L’Homme Cirque” – a one-man “Cirque de Soleil” – will be performing at the Merriweather District-Intersection of Broken Land Parkway and Hickory Ridge Road. Morning, afternoon and evening performances are listed. This should be a truly unique performance.
Friday the 21st at 6:30 there will be a special screening of “End Game,” as a short film about medical providers of palliative care at Monteabaro Hall. This will be followed at the Smith Theatre by a performance by René Marie a songwriter and jazz vocalist from the Washington D.C. area who is known for her relevant compositions and performances.
Saturday the 22nd at 11:30 there will be “Mimosas and Music: Jazz Brunch Fundraiser” with scrumptious food, live jazz and a silent auction at Cured Table and Tap. In the evening be ready for a real treat. The famed “The Second City” improvisational troupe will be at the Smith Theatre at 8 PM. If you have never seen them, circle this on your calendar.
Sunday the 23rd at 6 PM at the Smith Theatre will be the National Public Radio hit series, “Selected Shorts” where spellbinding Short Stories will be performed by stars of the stage and screen. Sam Underwood from such hit shows as “Dexter” and “Homeland” will be the host.
Tuesday, June 25 marks the start of the wonderful film programs with “Sundance Shorts on Tour,” at 7 PM Monteabaro Hall. Friday, June 28 and Saturday, June 29 at noon The Columbia Film Festival will commence at various locations, Then on the 29th at 1 PM at Monteabaro Hall “Sprout Films” will be shown at Monteabaro Hall. On Sunday, June 30, at 2:30 PM don’t miss “Hocopolitso & Columbia Film Society Celebration” culminating with the showing of the film “Girl Rising” at the Smith Theatre.
On Saturday the 29th at Merriweather Post Pavilion will move the gala outdoor with “Soulful Symphony with Darin Atwater, #Soulfulsetlis.” “Soulful Symphony captures the magic and wonder of one of the most iconic stages in the country with a mash-up of American anthems covering every conceivable style and genre – original orchestral arrangements, magnificent vocal performances and spectacular dancing. It’s the ultimate Remix.”
The Festival ends at The Chrysalis at Merriweather Symphony Woods on Sunday, June 30th at 5 PM with “The Columbia Orchestra at the Chrysalis” for a free summer pops concert.
The Smith Theatre and Monteabaro Hall are located at the Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center at Howard Community College.
For more information and tickets go online.