Downtown Concierge

Columbus Arts Festival for Summer Fun


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Columbus Arts FestivalSummer in the city means it’s time to get festive. And, festivals on the riverfront make Cbus summer something special. First, this week launches festival fun with the Columbus Arts Festival. Yes, celebrate art, but also enjoy entertainment, performances and food. Lots of yummy food. So, here’s a quick rundown of what you can expect at this year’s Columbus Arts Festival, which runs June 7-9 at the downtown riverfront.

Festival Footprint

While you’ll still find the festival fun on the riverfront, the footprint has changed a bit. With a more circular layout that expands further into the Franklinton Arts District, follow the crowd through it all. And, be sure to check out the new National Veterans Memorial & Museum, which opened this year. The building is artwork in and of itself.

Patron Party

Want to feel like a VIP? Again this year, the Patron Party on Friday night is open to the public. For just $50 per person, enjoy entertainment, food and drinks. And, feel good knowing that ticket sales support awards for exhibiting artists.

Artist Line-Up

Get ready to enjoy the work of more than 270 artists from around the nation. All 12 of the artists who won awards in 2018 will return. Plus, check out work from more than 50 Ohioans and emerging artists chosen by a jury panel. Those exhibiting were selected from more than 850 applicants. So, obviously, you’ll be seeing the good stuff, including painting, photography, glasswork, printmaking, sculpture, fiber art and more.

Get Big Get Local

If you love local, don’t miss the Big Local Art Tent. First, find view artwork from more than 60 Columbus artists. Then, listen to local music on the Big Local Music Stage. And, wash it all down with craft delights from the Big Local Beer Garden. The village is located on Rich Street between Washington and Starling.

Lotsa Entertainment

The ABC6 Bicentennial Park Stage features a variety of performances all weekend long. Plus, these headlining events are free and fabulous. From BalletMet performing a mixed repertoire on Friday to Anderson East’s signature blues and R&B on Saturday, there’s something for everyone. Also, don’t miss Pride at the Fest on Sunday featuring Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus, the Capital Pride Band of Columbus, singer-songwriter Kelly Vaughn, and the Flaggots Ohio flag corps. Oh, and if you are looking for dance and theater, check out the Dance and Theater Stage in the riverfront amphitheater in Genoa Park.

To Tech

For the tech-y among us, explore VR at the Fest or have fun with the App Scavenger Hunt. The Virtual Reality Tent allows you to engage in virtual reality experiences and high-tech games from 2-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 12-5 p.m. Sunday. Or, use the mobile app to participate in a scavenger hunt, using clues from the app or the Festival guidebook. Then, scan the codes once you find each location to reveal part of a hidden phrase. Once complete, you’re entered to win a prize package.

Arts Festival Details

  • Friday, June 7 11 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 8, 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 9, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Parking is available on surface lots east and west of the river, metered spaces, and garages downtown and in Franklinton
  • OR consider biking downtown using bike lanes or the Central Ohio Greenways paths; you’ll find plenty of bike parking along the riverfront or in the secure parking corral on Civic Center Drive at Town Street.
  • OR take COTA or the Cbus (free) circulator