World-renowned luminarium attraction set to light up Columbia during 50th Birthday Celebration

February 22, 2017

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An unusual light experience — an interactive sculpture that people can enter and walk through — will highlight the Columbia landscape as part of the landmark community’s 50th Birthday Celebration.

The famed Katena Luminarium has thrilled audiences in Europe and will be part of the festivities during the Columbia Festival of the Arts from June 16-18 at the Downtown Columbia Lakefront. Luminaria are monumental inflatable structures designed to generate a sense of wonder at the beauty of light and radiant colors, all within a dazzling maze of winding paths and soaring domes. It was designed by the Architects of Air’s founder and creative director, Alan Parkinson.

Large domes rising up 33 feet are connected by tunnels that determine the journey the visitor will take. The luminaria also feature “pods” — alcoves where people can sit and relax luminaria image diagramout of the way of the other visitors. The main dome of Katena is said to resemble a pineapple and has been likened to a Hindu temple from the inside. Its construction was particularly intricate, with a fine mesh of riveted and sewn reinforcement defining the shape, and more than 200 color spots swirling upward to a green finial.

“I am delighted that Architects of Air will be a part of Columbia’s 50th Birthday celebration. The luminarium represents so much of what Columbia stands for – an ever-evolving structure with a dramatic purpose,” said Vic Broccolino, chairman of Columbia’s 50th Birthday Celebration, which is facilitating the 50th Birthday events held throughout 2017. “We felt it was a perfect installation for our community. I hope that many Howard County residents will be able to experience the unique atmosphere of Katena as part of the 50th Birthday.”  

The Columbia Festival of the Arts will also be featuring local artists and activities at the Downtown Columbia during the celebration weekend.

The weatherproof luminarium will be situated in the open space adjacent to Whole Foods Market off Little Patuxent Parkway. The experience will be free of charge to enter. The luminarium is accessible to wheelchairs and people with mobility difficulties. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult (maximum of four children per adult).

Columbia’s 50th birthday celebration will begin on Sunday, March 19 at The Mall in Columbia and continue through Saturday, Sept. 23, featuring a variety of community organizations and institutions who will be showcasing exhibits, events and activities throughout the 27-week celebration. More information is available at ColumbiaMD50 on Facebook and Twitter, as well as at

About Columbia Association

Columbia Association (CA) is a nonprofit community services corporation that manages Columbia, Maryland, a planned community that is home to approximately 100,000 people and several thousand businesses. Additional information about CA is available at


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Columbia Association

6310 Hillside Court, Suite 100, Columbia, Maryland 21046

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