Both Capital Crossroads and Discovery Special Improvement Districts sponsor downtown events that help make an urban summer full of fun. Here is a quick rundown.
A long-time downtown summer staple, Pearl Market returned to the alleys between Broad, High, Gay and Third streets each Tuesday and Friday this summer and fall. While farmers’ markets can be found in the suburbs, Pearl Market is a unique urban market mixing a wide array of locally grown produce with an eclectic mix of merchant products from hand-crafted merchandise to delicious food and more. It draws more than 4,000 people each market day.
Capital Crossroads staff manages the market, secures vendors, runs the daily operations, secures sponsorships and grants, and plans special events like cooking demonstrations. Again this year, a grant from the Puffin Foundation West allowed Pearl Market to double the spending power of shoppers using the Ohio Direction Card through a 1:1 matching program (as of the end of August, the program has matched nearly $3,300 in EBT transactions). This program was a model for the Veggie SNAPS program, which was implemented community-wide. New this year, Pearl Market hosted the Mid-Ohio Foodbank Donation Station, where shoppers could donate produce or money to benefit Faith Mission.
When you think of summer, you think of a trip to the beach. Discovery SID helped make a sandy visit a reality through sponsorship of Discovery Beach, the sand volleyball court installed at 100 N. Grant Ave. The court is open for free play all summer long and can be reserved for a private event. Discovery SID also partnered with the downtown YMCA for a co-ed beach volleyball league on Tuesday nights. Hills Market helped support both efforts, holding on to the ball and gate key for free play and offering happy hour specials during league play.
Topiary Park Fun
The Topiary Park is a gem not just in the Discovery District but in all of Central Ohio, its unique topiary landscape making it the perfect backdrop for summer fun. Discovery SID, along with Gateway Film Center, Friends of Topiary Park and Columbus Metropolitan Library partnered this summer to host the From Book to Film movie series. A series of three fantastic films based on popular books were scheduled in July, August and September. Guests could enjoy food-truck grub and the fun of a movie under the stars—and free popcorn. (Don’t miss the final film, The Secret Garden, on September 25).
Again this year, the Jazz Arts Group held its popular PBJ & Jazz concert series at the Topiary Park, with support from Columbus Metropolitan Library, the Columbus Museum of Art and Discovery SID. These interactive concerts are designed to introduce jazz and American music to young children and their families. Each concert features different artists, as well as story time with the Library and an art project with Museum staff.
Capital Crossroads and Discovery SID support of these events helps build the downtown community and offers a range of options for fun for residents, workers and visitors to downtown.