The Columbia Festival of the Arts is back this June with free and ticketed events. The goal is to bring the community together to celebrate Columbia’s 50th birthday and the Festival’s 30th anniversary.

Opening Weekend, Columbia Lakefront, June 16, 17 & 18
This weekend-long event on the lakefront in Columbia Town Center includes live music, an invitational arts and crafts show, special activities for the kids and strolling performers. There will be plenty of food and drink, including a food festival sponsored by Whole Foods Market and a Howard County beer garden from Clyde’s of Columbia.

Dominating the LakeFest landscape and soaring 35 feet in the air throughout the weekend will be the United Kingdom’s “Architects of Air: Katena Luminarium,” a lighted inflatable sculpture that has been wowing audiences all over the world. Festival-goers enter the sculpture on foot and are transported into a world of architectural beauty, filled with subtle and saturated hues, creating a unique visual arts sensory experience.

Invitational Fine Arts & Crafts Show

The festival’s juried, invitational show returns with 60 artisans displaying and selling their one-of-a-kind artwork representing a breadth of media including functional and wearable art at a wide range of prices. Booths will be located through the festival grounds.

Show hours are Friday, June 16, 5–9 p.m.; Saturday, June 17, Noon–9 p.m.; Sunday, June 18, Noon–7 p.m.


Kids’ Arts & Crafts Activities

Presented in partnership with KidzArt Howard County
Children are invited to explore the visual arts with unique activities led by KidzArt, Howard County’s advocates of child creativity. Each session will last approximately 45 minutes. Onsite registration is required as space is limited. There will be a special Father’s Day project for dad and child at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. The Olenka School of Music also will be providing musical activities for the kids.


LakeStage Music Lineup

The LakeStage will be rocking all weekend with music from every genre. The highlight of the weekend will be Saturday, June 17, at 7 p.m., with the Happy 50th Birthday Columbia Celebration.

Ticketed Events

Following the LakeFest weekend, the soaring falsetto sounds of the Aaron Neville Duo, the ambassador of New Orleans Rhythm and Blues, kicks off seven days of ticketed events with a one-performance-only concert at the Jim Rouse Theatre on Sunday, June 18, at 7:30 p.m.

Other performances include the following.

Stoop Storytelling Series: 50 Years of Cinema on Friday, June 23, 8 p.m., at Smith Theatre, Horowitz Center at Howard Community College. The Stoop Storytelling Series is a popular event in which seven people get seven minutes each to tell a true, personal tale on a shared theme in front of a live audience.
Sprout Film Festival (Presented in Partnership with the Arc of Howard County and Autism Howard County) on Saturday, June 24, 4 p.m., Monteabaro Hall, Horowitz Center at Howard Community College. Poignant, beautiful, humorous and thought-provoking short films created by, for and about individuals with disabilities.

Manual Cinema: The End of TV on Saturday, June 24, 8 p.m., Smith Theatre, Horowitz Center at Howard Community College. Told as a song cycle with live visuals, and set in post-industrial Detroit, Manual Cinema’s “The End of TV” peers through the neon reflections of late 20th century advertising and television culture and into the American imagination as it existed at the onset of the Internet age.

Sundance Shorts on Tour on June 25, 1 & 4 p.m., Monteabaro Hall, Horowitz Center at Howard Community College.

Tickets are now on sale. For more information and the lineup for the Lake Stage Music, visit or call the Festival offices at 410-715-3044.