Columbia Festival of The Arts. Your Summer Starts Here. Columbia Festival of The Arts. Your Summer Starts Here.




The three-day event includes live music, kids’ entertainment and crafts, a fine arts and craft sale, festival food fare, a Clyde’s HowardOnTap Beer Fest, and a variety of activities for all ages.

Join us around the People Tree at the Downtown Columbia Lakefront to celebrate 30 years of Festival and 50 years of Columbia. The FREE LakeFest Weekend features the return of the Invitational Fine Arts and Crafts Show, the amazing Architects of Air: Katena luminarium (interactive art installation), live music on the LakeStage all weekend long, kids’ entertainment, a HowardOnTap Beer Fest with Clyde’s of Columbia as well as an assortment of festive foods, including Jim Rouse’s favorite crab cake recipe and picnic lunches prepared by Whole Foods.

Invitational Fine Arts & Crafts Show

Friday, June 16, 5 pm – 8 pm, Saturday, June 17, Noon – 8 pm, Sunday, June 18, Noon – 7 pm

Our juried, invitational show returns with 45+ extraordinary 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 located throughout the Festival grounds.

Kids’ Arts & Crafts Activities

Saturday, June 17, 12:30 pm-5:30 pm | Sunday, June 18, 12:30 pm-4:30 pm

Children are invited to explore the visual arts with “artrageously” fun projects led by KidzArt, Howard County’s celebrated advocates of child creativity. Each session will last approximately 45 minutes, and parents must remain with children. Permanent, non-washable materials may be used. Crayons and paper will be available for younger children.

Presented in Partnership with KidzArt Howard County. Children are invited to explore the visual arts with unique activities led by KidzArt, Howard County’s celebrated advocates of child creativity. On-site registration is required as space is limited. Don’t miss our special Father’s Day project for dad and child at 12:30 and 3:30 pm on Sunday!

Discover Your Rhythm with OSM: Interactive Music for the WHOLE Family

Saturday, June 17, 12:00 pm – 2:15 pm | Sunday, June 18, 12:00 pm – 2:15 pm

Everyone has the potential to be musical! Come join Olenka School of Music and discover the joy of making Music Together® with your family and friends. We can help your child grow into a confident music-maker while tapping into all the developmental benefits of music. You’ll have so much fun singing, dancing, shaking, drumming, wiggling and giggling, you won’t even realize how much learning is taking place! Each session will last approximately 30 minutes. On-site registration is required as space is limited.

Presented in Partnership with Olenka School of Music: The Home of Music Immersion for Infants to Adults (Columbia & Ellicott City). 

LakeStage Music Lineup

Friday, June 16

5:00-6:00 p.m. – Cynthia Marie Trio
Cynthia Marie’s distinctive songs dance with ease and emotion.  A seasoned pianist with a love for improv, Marie is passionate to create. From jazz & blues to folk, pop, and original works, her live show is an eclectic mix of piano-based songs and explorations. Her newest 2016 studio album “Harbor” has been featured on WERA.FM, Voices from the DMV, FEMchord, DC Music Rocks, Hometown Sounds, and WAMU Bandwidth.  The songs explore a theme of love in its many forms – at times vulnerable, playful and nostalgic. With diverse arrangements including flute, sax, guitars, strings, a great rhythm section, and synths, each song holds a unique space in the journey.  Cynthia Marie, piano/voice; Jeff Reed, bass; Larry Ferguson, drums.

6:15-7:15 p.m. – Columbia Concert Band
The Columbia Concert Band provides local musicians the opportunity to perform challenging band literature while entertaining the public. The band is affiliated with Howard Community College, which gives credit to students for band participation. The group has approximately 90 musicians who rehearse weekly and perform about five concerts per year. The band’s repertoire consists of many different musical styles, including traditional band arrangements, classical, contemporary, pop/rock, marches, jazz, Broadway, Americana, and baroque. Michael Blackman has been the Band’s Director since the 2000 and has worked with the membership to heighten performance standards and increase support from within the community.  Michael is a product of Howard County Public Schools and has been teaching music students at River Hill High School since 1991.

7:30-8:45 p.m. – Seth Kibel Quartet
Seth is one of the Mid-Atlantic’s premier woodwind specialists. Working with some of the best bands in klezmer, jazz, swing, and more, and wowing audiences on saxophone, clarinet, and flute, Seth has made a name for himself in the Washington/Baltimore region, and beyond. Seth has won a total of 22 Washington Area Music Awards, or Wammies, including being named Best World Music Instrumentalist for every year from 2003 through 2012. In 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012 he was also named Best Jazz Instrumentalist. Seth has appeared with such notables as Sam Moore (Sam & Dave), Percy Sledge, The Coasters, and Johnnie Johnson. He has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Carter Barron Amphitheatre, the Lowell Folk Festival in Lowell, Massachusetts, as well as on several European tours.

9:00-10:30 p.m. – Donegal X-Press
The Donegal X-Press has emerged as one of the premiere Irish-American roots rock groups in the country. This high-energy, six-piece outfit has gained praise and fans from New York to Ireland, Baltimore to Nashville and all points in between. The Donegal X-Press (DXP) blends unique combinations of traditional Irish music with American country and blues, folk and rock, and rhythm and funk, with what John O’Regan of Roots Magazine has called “creative ferocity not seen since The Clash’s London Calling period.“

Saturday, June 17

12:00-12:45 p.m. – Chaquis Maliq – 1 Woman Band
Chaquis Maliq delivers a unique soulful sound that gets the attention of audiences and critics alike. Hailed by ArtsQuest as “beauty, brains, and power of soul,” Chaquis made her first album in 2013 and has been touring since 2012. Her Latest release, Resilience Eludes Death, released November 23, 2016, displays her production growth and evolution with guitar and bass. Now based in from South Carolina, Chaquis has been most recently featured on ABC4’s Low Country Live in Charleston, SC and CBS7’s Your Carolina in Greenville, SC.  Chaquis’ 1 Woman Band is sure to provide a full band experience that audiences will never forget.

 1:00-2:15 p.m. – Columbia Jazz Band
The 26 member Columbia Jazz Band consists of musicians from all over Howard County. In their non-musical lives, they work in varied professional fields such as medicine, social work, engineering, computer science, education, law, and more. This accomplished group has performed at the Blues Alley in Georgetown and international jazz festivals in Switzerland, Turkey, Italy, and France.

2:30-3:45 p.m. – The Shrapnels
The Shrapnels are a Baltimore-based quartet playing a mixture of jazz, funk, Latin and rock. They perform music adapted to reflect the rich heritage of improvisational jazz. They use originals, classic rock, funk, pop, hip-hop, traditional music and jazz standards from the Real Book as launching points for individual and group improvisation.

4:00-5:15 p.m. – Elikeh
Although based in indigenous traditions, Elikeh’s music has no borders. Exploring global themes and personal odysseys, Elikeh uses elements of Togolese rhythms as a foundation for exploration into American-influenced blues, funk, and rock to produce captivating Afro-pop tunes. The band recently won a WAMMIE for “Best World Music Recording” and has been nominated for “Best World Beat Album” by the Independent Music Awards.

5:30-7:00 p.m. – United States Navy Band Cruisers
As the U.S. Navy’s premier contemporary entertainment ensemble, the Cruisers feature eight of the Navy’s most dynamic performers. Formed in 1999 as a specialty unit of the United States Navy Band, the Cruisers are under the leadership of drummer Senior Chief Musician Leon Alexander. The group takes its name from the Navy’s versatile, flexible, multi-missioned ship – the Cruiser – and the band lives up to its versatile namesake by playing genres of music ranging from jazz & standards, rhythm & blues, classic rock, adult contemporary and pop as well as original material. This elite group has engaged and excited audiences of all ages throughout the U.S. and abroad with world-class musicianship and high energy, fun-filled performances.

7:00-7:20 p.m. – Happy 50th Birthday Columbia Celebration!
Join us for cake as we celebrate Columbia’s 50th Birthday.

7:20-8:35 p.m. – Laney Jones and the Spirits
The rise of Laney Jones from hobbyist to full-time professional musician has been something of a marvel. In the astonishing span of only a handful of years – the time most aspirants take to form a solid band – the 24-year-old went from coffeehouse dabbling to Berklee to paid music licensing. Along the way, she’s amassed honors in esteemed competitions like the John Lennon Songwriting Contest and the NewSong Contest, performed on PBS alongside Alison Krauss, received positive press from publications like No Depression and Rolling Stone “10 New Artists You Need to Know,” and licensed music to clients like Pixar, Dreamworks, and ABC.

She may be young but she questions philosophy with both her lyrics and her music with a sophistication usually reserved for veterans of the industry. Tackling relevant subjects like youth and growing up by mixing Millennial viewpoints with a retro sound, Jones manages to craft an album designed for the past, present, and future.”

8:50-10:20 p.m. – Nelly’s Echo
At age 15, Nelson Emokpae, a.k.a. Nelly’s Echo, moved from his home country of Nigeria to the United States with his entire family, ultimately settling in Baltimore. After self-releasing two successful albums, Nelson appeared on Season 3 of The Voice, winning over fans and judges with his live performance of “Amazing Grace.” His Music and live shows have been compared to the likes of Jason Mraz and John Mayer, sharing positive messages of life, hope, and love.
Sunday, June 18

12:00-12:45 p.m.—Wilde Lake High School Steel Drum Band
The Wilde Lake High School Steel Drum Band is one of many performing ensembles that make up the Wilde Lake Band Program. Since its inception seven years ago, this ensemble’s students have presented concerts that have been well received by audiences in our school and local community. The Wilde Lake High School Steel Drum Band is well known for its performances of a variety of music, from Calypso to Soca, as well as jazz. The students gain a great deal from this musical experience and are always eager to perform.

The Wilde Lake Steel Drum Band has been the host for the very popular annual HoCo Steel Drum “Panorama” each February featuring the steel drum bands from Centennial, Howard, and Wilde Lake High Schools.

Sunday, June 18

1:00-2:00 p.m. – Sarah Ragsdale
Sarah Ragsdale, also formerly known as Zahra Universe, is a singer, pianist, songwriter, actress, and media personality.  Ever evolving, she has worked in a variety of genres from classical, folk, pop, R&B, and electronic.  She has toured and performed live in America, Europe, Asia, and Africa making appearances on major international television networks including BBC World, Univision, France24, and Radio France Internationale.  Sarah was the composer and performer of “Sela Sela (Dance Together)” the Official Song of the Africa Cup of Nations, for which she received international recognition for this collaboration song of peace and breaking down borders through music.  Sarah combines the keyboard skills of a “Piano Woman” with quick and creative songwriting skills of a true artist.

2:15-3:30 pm. – Anthony “Swamp Dog” Clark
Anthony Clark started out playing the drums at the age of five, and later added harmonica to his arsenal.

Over the last 30 years, Clark has brought his hard-edged funky blues to venues such as Bangkok Blues, Chick Hall’s Surf Club, the Congressional Blues Festival, and the Silver Spring Blues Festival. He has opened for artists such as Chuck Brown, Deanna Bogart and Betty Lavette.

3:45-5:15 p.m. – Junkyard Saints
Junkyard Saints is a DC/Baltimore-based seven-piece band with full horn section performing its own brand of New Orleans-style party music, blending funk, swing, Latin, and R&B, with a splash of zydeco to round out the mix. With regular college and independent radio airplay across the country including National Public Radio, Junkyard Saints have played at some of the most notable venues and festivals in the country including the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and Pier Six, and at private events for corporate and entertainment clients such as HBO, John Waters, Crayola, and Northrop-Grumman. The Saints are recipients of the Washington Area Music Association’s 2006 WAMMIE Awards for Artist of the Year 2006 and Best Roots Rock Group 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009, and bandleader Brian Simms was voted Musician of the Year 2009.

5:30- 7:00 p.m. – Glenelg Jazz Ensemble
The Glenelg Jazz Ensemble has received more than 60 awards over the last 15 years, including the highest rating at the Maryland state Jazz Festival. Consistently known for their high energy and professionalism, the group has been selected seven times to perform at such prestigious international festivals such as the Montreux International Jazz Festival in Switzerland, the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland, the Jazz a Vienne in Lyon, France and the World Jazz Festival in Freiburg, Germany.  Over the years, many national and regional jazz artists have shared the stage with the Ensemble, including Maynard Ferguson, The Count Basie Orchestra, Frank Foster, Carl Fischer, Chris Vadala, and Deanna Bogart.

Chris Winters, from the Glenelg Class of 1994, has been the Band’s Director since the fall of 2015. He remains dedicated to music education and maintaining the high energy and professionalism of the Glenelg Jazz Ensemble for years to come.

Architects of Air: Katena
Presented in Partnership with Columbia 50th Birthday Celebration

Friday, June 16, 5:00 pm– 10:10 pm
Saturday, June 17, Noon –10:10 pm
Sunday, June 18, Noon –6:40 pm

How to Enter
Katena is free of charge to enter and is accessible to wheelchair users and individuals with mobility difficulties. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult (maximum 4 children per adult). There may be a short wait time before entrance is possible. There is no time restriction on how long you stay inside Katena, though we suggest 20 minutes as the maximum time, allowing other visitors to enter the luminarium. For the safety of the structure, guests are required to remove their shoes to enter Katena (with rare exceptions for medical reasons). For more information on the luminarium, visit

A highlight of this year’s LakeFest Weekend will be the Architects of Air: Katena luminarium, presented in partnership with Columbia’s 50th Birthday Celebration. Katena is an inflatable multi-room sculpture that people enter for an encounter with the phenomenon of light. Those who enter the structure experience a spectacular and surreal world, touring visually stunning and spacious interiors. The installation awakens all the senses, creating a sense of wonder and enchantment for all ages. Visitors are transported and immersed in a world of architectural beauty with subtle and saturated hues, creating a unique visual arts sensory experience.

Parking and Shuttle Service
Free parking (including Handicap Parking) is available nearby at the Wincopin Circle and Sheraton parking garages. Visitors can also park at the Sterrett Place lot located at 5575 Sterrett Place.

Take the Shuttle to the Festival! 
On Saturday, June 17, and Sunday, June 18, departing every 15 minutes, FREE shuttle service is being provided by Howard Transit between parking lots B and C at Howard Community College (located at 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway Columbia, Maryland 21044) and the Downtown Columbia Lakefront. For details visit

LakeFest Shuttle Schedule:
Saturday, June 17
Departures from Howard Community College: starting at 11:45 am; last departure at 11:00 pm.
Departures from Columbia LakeFront, Wincopin Circle: starting at 12:15 pm; last departure at 11:30 pm.

Sunday, June 18 
Departures from Howard Community College: starting at 11:45 am; last departure at 7:00 pm.
Departures from Columbia LakeFront, Wincopin Circle: starting at 12:15 pm; last departure at 7:30 pm.

Get a Special Columbia’s 50th Birthday Souvenir Postmark!
Saturday, June 17, 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm

A commemorative envelope and pictorial postmark has been created to mark Columbia’s 50th Birthday.  This unique philatelic item is a special souvenir of this important milestone in Columbia history. Buy 2 for $5 — one for you and one to share.

Explore the Wonder of ManneqART
Throughout the weekend, meet unique characters wearing ManneqART costumes and learn more about ManneqART workshops and its day-long theatrical hair and special effects makeup competition that will take place at Historic Savage Mill on Sunday, June 25th.

Create Your Own Reusable Napkin
Saturday, June 17, 1:00 pm – 5:30 pm | Sunday, June 18, 1:00pm – 3:30 pm

Do you want to add some color to your lunchbox? Give cloth napkins a try! Come create useful art that the whole family can enjoy! Come tie dye a cloth napkin for free. Local tie-dye company, Roll Up N Dye, wants to encourage you to cut down on your family’s use of paper products.

Onsite registration is required. Napkins are provided but limited in number. Each session will last approximately 25 minutes. Sign-up begins at 12:30 pm each day. First group tie dyes at 1pm.

Community Art Collaboration: Plastic Lid Mosaic
Erin Cassell, teaching artist, owner of Roll Up N Dye and Mastermind behind Colorful Abandon, has a passion for up-cycling! She is facilitating this project in hopes that you will up-cycle your definition of “trash.”  We will work as a community to create a funky up-cycled piece of art. Festival goers are encouraged to contribute! Participants are welcomed to place plastic lids onto our pre-painted design. It will create a beautiful, colorful, up-cycled masterpiece! This is a project for people of all ages. Everyone is welcome! Come, dive in, and allow yourself to create with Colorful Abandon!  This project kicks off on Friday at 5:00 pm and will continue throughout the Festival, until it is complete.