Merriweather Post Pavilion is opening for big concerts this weekend. The Columbia Association is scheduling more than 50 days of programming at Lake Kittamaqundi, as part of Lakefront Live. Books in Bloom, Wine in the Woods and the Lakefront Festival are all back in Columbia.
With so many events and so much pent up demand — as well as supply — of arts and culture activities this year, Howard County officials this week unveiled a one-stop destination for residents and visitors to Downtown Columbia to learn about offerings.
The website DestinationDowntown2022.com is curating all activities taking place in Columbia during the spring, summer and beyond.
“In 2020, we had to hit the ‘pause’ button on exhibits and live performances,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “And now – with hopefully everyone who can be vaccinated and boosted – the time has come to hit ‘play’ – and to turn up the volume.”
Officials made the announcement within the gates of Merriweather Post Pavilion, the iconic venue that has undergone a massive renovation in recent years.
“Summer arts and cultural events in Downtown Columbia have just begun,” said Amanda Hof, Executive Director for Visit Howard County. “From Merriweather Park in Symphony Woods to Merriweather Post Pavilion to the new vibrant Merriweather District, Toby’s Dinner Theatre, the Lakefront plaza, and Columbia’s Village Centers – Downtown Columbia is the place to be for arts and culture and summer fun”.
Among the events planned for the months ahead:
May 15th: Books In Bloom, Color Burst Park
May 21-22: Wine in the Woods, Symphony Woods Park
June 10-12: Lakefest Weekend – Columbia Festival of the Arts, Lake Kittamaqundi
July 4: Columbia Lakefront Fireworks, Lake Kittamaqundi
August 14: Concert and a Movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Merriweather Post Pavilion featuring the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, which serves as the first leg of the orchestra’s Music for Maryland Tour.
“In our return to this beloved summer venue, it will be an honor to perform Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince In Concert, with such an iconic soundtrack, for the music and movie lovers of Howard County.”
Arts leaders and local officials have high hopes for Downtown Columbia, especially with massive growth and development around an area known as the Merriweather District, home to new apartment buildings, restaurants and a park called Colorburst Park, all being built by the Howard Hughes Corp. The company’s local president, Greg Fitchett, announced that the splash park at Colorburst had already been turned on for the summer.
“Festivals and community events that foster conversation and education around topics of social importance have never been more critical. And with the weather getting warmer now, Howard Hughes opened its Splash Pad yesterday and will soon launch its yoga series and Kitizen camp for youngsters. It is going to be an exciting summer.”
“The Downtown Columbia Partnership is excited for summer in DTC. On Sunday, May 15th, we are welcoming investigative journalist Carl Bernstein to the Merriweather District as the headliner of the Books in Bloom Festival, which will showcase literature and the arts as powerful tools to enlighten and inspire audiences,” said Phillip Dodge Executive Director of the Downtown Columbia Partnership. “In addition, the Partnership is hosting the third annual BikeAround Downtown Columbia in collaboration with Columbia Association and the Howard County Office of Transportation who will be on hand to encourage people to make cycling a bigger part of their transportation, fitness and recreation routine.”