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May 31, 2012 | 12:00 a.m. CST
Some of my most treasured childhood memories are of summertime in Columbia.
My parents used to take us to the dollar movies at Biscayne Mall, where they’d give us 50 cents each to buy a sweating can of soda from the vending machines. We went blueberry picking every year, too, although my brother and I ate a lot more than we picked. In June, we’d go to the Twilight Festivals, and I’d get butterflies or flowers painted on my cheeks.
Much has changed. There are no dollar movies here – even Redbox rentals cost more than that now – and Biscayne Mall is long gone. The Twilight Festival eventually saw its sun set, as well. But now I look forward to other events. I’ve already added the Homebrewed independent film series and the Jazz Under the Stars concerts to my calendar. Your summer schedule should soon be filling up, as well, thanks to this issue’s Summer Preview.
Speaking of full, Columbia and its neighboring towns have more concerts, fairs and fireworks than we could squeeze onto this issue’s pages, so we've put them here.
If you have an iPad, you can also download our special Summer Preview edition of the Vox 5 app. It highlights five intriguing events for each of the next three months.
In the downtime that remains between all these events, dining al fresco is a simple, lazy-day pleasure. Our comprehensive online guide to restaurant patios makes picking a place easy with details about shade coverage, atmosphere and food.
Cheers to squeezing every last drop out of the season.