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Columbus Festival Guide: Summer 2017

With too many events to choose from, Columbus offers something for everyone. However,  summer festivals aren’t just about food, music and arts. Bringing the community together is one of the main focuses throughout the city. Celebrating neighborhoods, locally-owned businesses and the city’s distinct culture has become a huge part of the Columbus festival scene.

Here’s a list of Columbus festivals to look for throughout the summer:

Sommerfest

June 16, July 21 and August 18

Germania Biergarten, 543 S. Front St.

Explore a small piece of Germany right inside Columbus’ brewery district. Doors open at 5 p.m. to an evening of live music, dancing and a variety of German food favorites. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://germaniacolumbus.org/.

Creekside Blues and Jazz Festival

June 16 to June 18

Gahanna’s Creekside District, 117 Mill St.

The annual three-day festival offers five stages and more than 90 hours of live blues and jazz music. The event will also feature food, regional artisans, amusement rides and other activities. Admission starts at $7 for one-day Friday and Sunday passes, and $10 for Saturday. For more information and ticket prices, visit https://www.creeksidebluesandjazz.com.

Grove City Wine and Arts Festival

June 16 to June 17

Grove City Town Center, 3378 Park St. C

The seventh annual festival draws wine and art enthusiasts from across the state, as it features pairings of up-and-coming wineries and art. Guests can experience a variety of wines and plates, with more than 20 wineries presenting their latest creations. Tickets are available the day of the event and start at $20 for a bundle of eight tastings and an event glass. For more information, visit https://www.grovecitytowncenter.org/wine-and-arts-festival/.

Stonewall Columbus Pride 2017

June 16 to June 18

Bicentennial and Genoa Park, 233 S. Civic Center Dr.

The second-largest pride festival in the Midwest returns for its 36th year. What started as a group of three men marching down High Street has now grown into a three-day celebration with more than 500,000 attendees. The festival starts at 4 p.m. on Friday and goes on throughout the weekend, along with a parade on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit https://stonewallcolumbus.org/pride2017/.

Participants march in the Stonewall Columbus Pride Festival June 22 on High Street. Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editor

Participants march in the 2014 Stonewall Columbus Pride Festival June 22 on High Street. | Credit: Shelby Lu | for The Lantern

Comfest

June 23 to June 25

Goodale Park, 120 W. Goodale St.

The nation’s largest independent, volunteer-run festival rings in its 45th year with the theme “The People, Yes!” as it works to celebrate the Columbus community. Comfest features a variety of performances, artists, foods and more, and works to celebrate Ohio’s community organizations. Admission is free. For more information or to get involved, visit https://www.comfest.com/.

Local vendors at the 2014 Comfest. | Credit: The Lantern

Red White and BOOM!

July 3

Bicentennial and Genoa Park, 233 S. Civic Center Dr.

Over 400,000 people will gather for the 37th annual Red, White & BOOM Event. Now the largest single-day event in Columbus, the Independence Day celebration features the most recognized fireworks display in the Midwest and a variety of events and activities across the city. Admission is free. For more information, visit https://redwhiteandboom.org/.

Westerville Music and Arts Festival

July 8 to July 9

Heritage Park, 60 N. Cleveland Ave.

The two-day festival features art from local and national artists across the grounds of the rustic Heritage Park. There will also be live music from over 20 local musicians and entertainers. In its 44th year, the festival features its largest selection of musicians, along with a variety of food trucks and concessions. Admission is $1. For more information, visit http://www.westervillechamber.com/pages/MusicArtsFestival.

Healthy Bites Festival

July 13

Strongwater Event Space, 401 W. Town St.

The one-day festival brings tasty local fare with a healthy twist for an event that focuses on well-being. There will be food tastings throughout the day along with mini yoga sessions and massage sessions, as well as live music and a variety of other activities. Tickets are $25 for general admission. For more information, visit http://www.columbusunderground.com.  

Columbus Jazz and Rib Fest

July 21 to July 23

Both sides of the Scioto River –– Bicentennial, West Bank and Genoa parks

The summertime tradition offers jazz and rib enthusiasts the finest selection of music and barbecue. The newly revitalized festival offers three days of jazz music by local and internationally acclaimed musicians, while barbecue pit masters serve ribs, chicken and much more. Admission is free. For more information, visit http://www.hotribscooljazz.org/.

2X2 Hip Hop Festival

July 22

Rice Paddy Motorcycles, 1454 N. Grant Ave.

Ohio’s only all-day hip hop festival is back for its third year. The annual event will showcase some of the country’s best independent and underground hip hop talent, along with live music, live graffiti art and more. Doors open at noon. Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. For more information, visit http://www.2x2fest.com/.

Ohio State Fair

July 26 to August 6

Ohio Expo Center, 717 E. 17th Ave.

The annual fair has brought live music, rides, competitions, hundreds of exhibits and a variety of food options to Columbus since 1846, offering fun for all ages every year. Single-day tickets start at $6 on Ticketmaster and are also available at the gate. For more information, visit http://ohiostatefair.com/.

Dublin Irish Festival

August 4 to August 6

Coffman Park, 5600 Post Rd.

With over 100,000 guests every year, the internationally recognized festival promotes Irish music, dance, culture and tradition. Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, the event will host 65 acts of more than 535 performers across seven stages throughout the weekend. One-day tickets are $10 until August 3 and $15 after. For more information, visit http://dublinirishfestival.org/.

Festival Latino

August 12 to August 13

Genoa Park, 303 W. Broad St.

The annual festival gives visitors the opportunity to experience traditional and contemporary Latin American culture through performing and visual arts, educational workshops and authentic cuisine. Admission is free. For more information, visit http://www.festivallatino.net/.

Fashion Meets Music Festival

August 18 to August 19

Fortress Obetz, 1841 Williams Rd

The two-day music festival will include three stages of live music and one runway stage. This year’s lineup features names like T-Pain, Fetty Wap, Third Eye Blind and DNCE. Designs by both local and international designers will be showcased as well. For more information and ticket prices, visit http://www.fmmf.us/.  

Columbus Food Truck Festival

August 18 to August 19

Bicentennial Park and Scioto Mile

The seventh-annual event features the Midwest’s largest food truck festival, and more than 50 of the best food trucks from Ohio and surrounding areas. The festival will also feature live music on two stages and other special events. Admission is free. For more information, visit http://columbusfoodtruckfest.com/.

WAG! Fest

August 19

Prairie Oaks Metro Park, 3225 NE Plain City-Georgesville Rd

With loads of trails to wander and lakes to splash in, WAG! fest takes over the metro park to celebrate dogs and their people. The festival is also the biggest dog event in Ohio and works to help dogs in need, bringing dog-serving rescue groups together with donors and potential adopters. The festival starts at 11 a.m. with a variety of events throughout the day. Admission is free. For more information, visit http://wagfest.com/.

Columbus Summer Beerfest

August 25 to August 26

Express Live, 405 Neil Ave.

Celebrate craft beer from Columbus and around the country at the eighth annual summer beerfest. The festival features hundreds of craft beer options, more than 130 breweries and live music. For more information and ticket prices, visit http://www.columbusbeerfest.com/summer/.

Breakaway Music Festival

September 1 to September 2

Mapfre Stadium, 1 Black & Gold Blvd

The weekend-long music festival features more than 35 EDM and hip-hop artists across three stages. This year’s lineup includes internationally renowned performers like Travis Scott, Lil Yachty, Diplo and Cashmere Cat, along with a lineup of local acts. For more information and ticket prices, visit http://breakawayohio.com/.

Giant beach balls were tossed around the crowd during Breakaway Fest on Aug. 26, 2016. | Credit: Mason Swires | former assistant photo editor

Ohio Bacon Festival

September 8

Columbus Commons, 160 S. High St.

Bacon Fest Ohio is back for its third year to celebrate America’s favorite delicacy. Participating vendors, including local restaurants and food trucks, will serve signature bacon creations. There will also be competitions with local celebrity judges, live entertainment and beer. The event starts at 5 p.m. and general admission tickets are $5 on Eventbrite. For more information, visit http://ohiolovesbacon.com/.  

Mark Reese & Polena Zinoviev, patrons of the festival enjoying their bacon boat at Bacon Fest in Columbus Commons on Sept 25, 2015. Credit: Mason Swires | former assistant photo editor

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