Columbia has various festivals and cultural events – here’s a guide

Film and music festivals are just some of the annual cultural traditions in Columbia.


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Mid-Missouri Pride Fest

Columbia’s annual pride celebration takes place in August, just as MU students return to school. The all-day event has something for everyone - with drag shows, concerts and a street fair being just some of the available activities.

Roots N Blue N BBQ

Columbia’s preliminary music festival also serves as a culinary event. This year’s Roots N Blue N BBQ Fest will take place from Sept. 27 to 29 in Stephens Lake Park. The three-day festival features country and roots music, as well as BBQ vendors from all across Missouri and a 5K, 10K and half-marathon run.

True/False Film Fest

The largest of Columbia’s festivals, True/False is an annual tradition with homegrown roots. The festival, which started in 2004, has occurred every year since at the beginning of March. True/False specializes in documentaries and other forms of non-fiction filmmaking from around the world. This year’s festival featured guests like television personality Nathan Fielder and “Us” star Tim Heidecker.

Unbound Book Festival

Since 2016, the Unbound Book Festival has been hosted by Stephens College, featuring a variety of literary events for readers of all ages. In the years since its inception, Unbound has grown to host acclaimed authors like Zadie Smith and Man Booker Prize-winner George Saunders. The festival features conversations between authors, panels, poetry slams and other readings. In addition, the festival is free to attend, making it accessible to all Columbia readers.

Edited by Zainie Qureshi |

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