The Columbia City Fair opens Friday evening at the Kittamaqundi Lakefront with a variety of events, including a children's corner, live entertainment, children's rides and commercial exhibits.

Organizersexpect more than 60,000 visitors at the three-day fair. Part of a week-long city birthday celebration that began Friday, the fair will celebrate 24 years of Columbia history.

Expected to cost $82,000, the fair's operating budget is about $2,000 more than last year's, said director Connie Matheson.

This year's theme is "Put On A Happy Face."

"We wanted to tie it in with our new children's area," said Linda Elengold, fair promotions manager. "It started with clowns and then we went right into happy faces."

It also ties in, she said, with recent lakefront renovations that include new brick paving and improved lighting.

About 50 businesses, 35 artists and 75 community organizations are participating in thefair, displaying or demonstrating their products or services. Fair-goers can learn about martial arts, cable television and scuba gear, or relax with a free massage, facial or make-over.

People Tree logoitems also will be sold.

Live entertainment featuring local and regional performers will run the gamut from modern dance and classicalguitar to gospel and folk singing (See schedule box).

But the fair's newest attraction is the Children's Corner. Sponsored by the Courtyard by Marriott hotel, it will feature hands-on arts and crafts activities for 3- to 10-year-olds that include designing "Happy Face Puppets" and wearable art.

At Sunday's "Columbia Birthday Fun Run," participants may run, walk or stroll the two-mile course around downtown Columbia. Trophies will be presented to the top male and female finishers, and race premiums sponsored by Maryland National Bank will be awarded to all Fun Runners and walkers.

A cake-cutting ceremony will highlight tomorrow's birthday celebration. Free birthday cake will be followed by a "tribute to all of Columbia's talented youngsters," said Matheson.

The five county high school winners of the 1991 City Fair Guide Cover Contest will be honored; tots and teens will perform selections from the Drama Learning Center's production of "Oliver"; and children from the Arabesque Dance Studio and Heartlight Aerobics will entertain.

Chinese, Thai, Cuban, Mexican, Greek, Italianand Polish specialties will be sold, as will alcoholic and non-alcoholic daiquiris and margaritas.

Admission and parking are free.


Wednesday, June 19

7:30 p.m. Cornucopia Folk Group Columbia Mall

Thursday, June 20

7:00 p.m. Cake-Cutting Ceremony Kittamaqundi Lakefront

Friday, June 21

Fair Times: 6:00 p.m.-11 p.m.

South Stage Entertainment

6:15 p.m. Fran Scuderi Acoustic rock

7:30 Dance Dimension Modern dance

9:00 Saffire: The Uppity Blues Women Blues

Saturday, June 22

Fair Times:11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Children's Corner: Noon-5 p.m.

South Stage Entertainment

Noon Guilford Baptist Male Choir Gospel

1:00 p.m. Columbia Concert Band Concert

2:00 Disorderly Conduct Slapstick

3:00 Cornucopia Folk

4:00 Lewis Hamlin Orchestra Big-band jazz

5:00 Bob Paisley & The Southern Grass Bluegrass

7:00 Grandsons of the Pioneers Rockabilly

9:00 Carl Filipiak Jazz

North Stage Entertainment

12:30 p.m. Baltimore Vaudeville Theater Company Show

1:30 Turner: Dean of Magic Magic

2:30 United Martial Arts Demonstration

3:30 Disorderly Conduct Slapstick

4:30 Cornucopia Folk

5:30 Roger Hernandez Acoustic rock

6:30 Columbia International Folk Dancers Dance

7:30 Back Seat Drivers Blues

Sunday, June 23

9:00 a.m. Fun Run/Walk Sterrett Place

Fair Times: Noon-5 p.m.

Children's Corner: Noon-5 p.m.

South Stage Entertainment

Noon Tracy McDonnell Singer/guitarist

1:00 p.m. Bob Devlin One-man band

2:00 Swing Central Swing

4:00 Side by Side Folk

5:00 ComedySportz Comedy/audience participation

6:15 Mama Jama Caribbean, reggae

7:30 The Rhumba Club Caribbean salsa

North Stage Entertainment

12:30 p.m. Partners in Song Children sing-a-long

1:30 Ballet with Cindee Velle Dance

2:30 The Kinder Man Show Creative Movement, song

3:30 Chinese Kung Fu Demonstration

4:30 Bruce CasteelClassical guitar

5:30 Cardullo, Ortiz, Scull Folk 6:30 Karen Goldberg Original acoustic rock

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