Lakefest opens Columbia's Festival of the Arts this weekend

The Columbia Festival of the Arts opens June 14 with the free, three-day Lakefest 2019 followed by a variety of ticketed events from stoop storytelling to high-wire stunts, a comedy show and a film festival through the end of June.

“This is our 32nd year and the 16-day festival has something going on every day,” said Dave Simmons, the festival’s programming manager.

Musical groups performing bluegrass, indie rock, R&B, funk, Latin pop and more are scheduled to play throughout the Lakefest weekend as are local bands including School of Rock Columbia, Columbia Jazz Band and the Glenelg Jazz Ensemble.

“We have quite a diverse lineup,” Simmons said of the concerts. “We hope people come out and have a good time.”

Highlights of Lakefest will be the group Bridgman/Packer Dance performing “Truck” — a piece set inside a 17-foot box truck that uses video technology to re-image the space; and Video Playground, an interactive installation that will allow the public to experience the magic of Bridgman/Packer Dance through live video cameras and projections.

“It’s worked quite well at other festivals,” Simmons said. “It’s a fun thing.”

The three-day festival also will feature a fine arts and crafts show, art projects for youths and adults, and a beer garden.

Lakefest is only the beginning of the Festival of the Arts as events continue on June 20 at Howard Community College with Stoop storytelling – where ordinary people share true stories - and a performance of L-Homme Cirque featuring David Dimitri, a world-famous high wire dancer in the Merriweather District.

Events continue on June 21-23, 25, 27-29 and end June 30 with a performance by the Columbia Orchestra at the Chrysalis at Merriweather Symphony Woods.

For a complete listing of events, go to

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