The start of a new month is always an exciting time to map out all the fun things happening around town and across the county.
It’s especially fun when we’re riding in the summer months, when school is out and festival season kicks into high gear, when holidays like the 4th of July are right around the corner, and it’s it’s about blowing things up and grilling in the garden.
It’s almost a priority when a new month rolls around for me to do my best to keep track of all the activities that citizens can experience and participate in in the county, mostly because people still have this crazy idea to this day that there is nothing to do here.”
If that were the case, I wouldn’t be working every week to list weekend events every Friday, nor would I feel the need to write a column that attempts to compile a month’s worth of stuff to do, mainly because it’s still a lot, and usually a lot more than what happened the year before.
June in Columbia kicked off the weekend with First Fridays, as well as Rory Feek’s first Homestead Festival, a unique take on a typical summer music festival. Not only did we see Kevin Costner and his band Modern West travel to southern Middle Tennessee, but it was an opportunity for attendees to learn skills related to sustainable living, which is nowadays a tool very useful to have in your toolbox given the state of the world, rising gas prices and supply chain shortages.
This weekend also featured West 7th Co.’s new summer show from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, with the downtown gallery partnering with York & Friends to feature seven of the gallery’s star artists from Nashville, as well as a brand new photo exhibit from West The 7th’s extensive Orman Collection.
If you love the outdoors, Woodland Park’s disc golf course is always a fun way to spend an afternoon, and Columbia Park’s and Recreation plans to expand it over the next two months. Riverwalk Park will also receive upgrades to its basketball courts, as well as new lighting.
The Columbia Factory, 101 N. James M. Campbell Blvd., will also feature a new music festival on June 11, titled Hopefest. The event will include a free gospel concert, as well as a silent auction, food vendors and the opportunity to shop at The Factory’s expanding businesses.
Speaking of live music, Mt. Pleasant will continue to host its popular Music on The Porch series, with Spring Hill also continuing its annual monthly Pickin’ in The Park series throughout the summer.
On Saturday, June 25, Foster Party of 8 will bring back their free Summerstock concert to Riverwalk Park, featuring Buck Sixx and other special guests.
Not to mention, The Mulehouse will continue their weekly run of shows throughout the month, which began this weekend with World Turning: A Fleetwood Mac Tribute on Friday and The Steel Woods on Saturday.
June Mulehouse’s other upcoming shows will include Read Southall Band on June 10, Girl Named Tom on June 16 and The Eaglemaniacs on June 17.
Community theater is also an industry that deserves a lot of support from citizens, and this year is a special one. The Maury County Arts Guild kicks off its 50th season this summer, which begins with the nonprofit production of “Chicago,” which will debut in July.
MCAG will also host its KAP Summer Theater Camp next week, which will dive into multiple skills and topics, such as how to audition well, theater etiquette, lighting and sound.
The Building Block School for the Arts, 1309 S. Main St., will also be hosting another of its murder mystery dinners June 10-11.
With so much to see, experience and enjoy, the hardest part is finding the time to do it all, which honestly isn’t such a bad thing. The city’s tourism website, www.VisitColumbiaTN.com, is a good resource for keeping track of it all, where the bands are playing and learning more about the organizations working to put it all together.
For the start of summer, I’d say there’s more than a lot to look forward to, and it’s only going to get bigger and better.
Jay Powell is a reporter for the Daily Herald. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @JayPowellCDH.