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June 10, 2009 | 12:00 p.m. CST
When Willie Nelson rolled into Columbia on his biodiesel behemoth, 2,000 people filed onto Ninth Street to listen to his country twang. Some paid $32 for a ticket; others listened street side for free and embraced the resurgent American concept of thrift. It doesn’t hurt to save some cash, and Columbia offers plenty of fun at the perfect price: absolutely free.
For the college kids:
Rising artist Eric Hutchinson, an indie folk rocker with guy-next-door charm, will play in Peace Park on June 17 at 7 p.m.
For concrete lovers:
Grab your board for Columbia’s Go Skateboarding Day at Cosmo Park on June 20. This is the fifth year for this event, which offers a best trick contest, music, food and free giveaways. In previous years, around 1,000 people have attended, with skaters ranging in age from three to 40.
Columbia will host the NFL’s Punt, Pass & Kick competition at Cosmo Park fields at 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 15 for boys and girls ages 8 to 15. Winners will advance to sectional competition in the Jefferson City area and could advance to a competition during a St. Louis Rams game.
For those who like explosions:
With the most frightening name for a fireworks show, “Fire in the Sky” is a celebration of the Fourth of July. Don’t bring your lawn chairs. This event, sponsored by ABC, Channel 17, takes place in MU’s Memorial Stadium.
For those who don’t want to bake in Mid-Missouri heat:
Kaldi’s Coffeehouse at Ninth and Cherry offers free cuppings, or coffee tastings, and air conditioning throughout the year for budding coffee connoisseurs. Kaldi’s holds at least one cupping event each month but hasn’t yet finalized dates for upcoming months. Sign up by calling or coming in the store in advance; space fills fast!