10 Summer Festivals Not to Miss in Columbus

This post is written by Casey Brown, sales and development coordinator for Experience Columbus. You can follow her on Twitter @CbusCasey.

If you are at all like me, you have sat down already and scoped out the upcoming summer festival season. I printed a list and have my favorites highlighted, so I won’t forget anything! While there are countless events for you to experience this summer, I have selected my top ten (in no particular order) to share with you. You now have no excuse not to go out and experience our wonderful, creative and vibrant city this summer!


arts festColumbus Arts Festival June 6-8
Featuring more than 280 nationally acclaimed artists, the Columbus Arts Festival takes over the downtown riverfront. Stroll along the Scioto Mile with friends and family and enjoy the art, entertainment and food that make this event so special.

Columbus PRIDE Festival June 20-21
Columbus is host to the largest pride event in the Midwest. The event includes a downtown parade on Saturday, along with more than 180 vendors, two music stages and a family area. This year, George Takei will be the Grand Marshal for the event that had over 300,000 attendees last year.

Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival  June 20-22
The Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival boasts the “Best Blues & Jazz in Ohio.” The festival offers more than 90 hours of Ohio’s best blues and jazz. Not to mention, they have plenty of activities to entertain all generations in your family.

Red, White & BOOM! July 3
There few more patriotic ways to kick off your Independence Day weekend than at the largest fireworks display in Ohio. Festivities start at noon and the big show starts at 10 p.m. Plan to be downtown very early, because the best spots go fast!

fairOhio State Fair July 23-Aug. 3
With agricultural exhibitions, a huge midway full of rides and and a blockbuster lineup of musical performances, you’re never short on fun at the Ohio State Fair. Add a helping of fair food, and you’ve got a recipe for a great trip!


irishDublin Irish Festival Aug. 1-3
Dublin plays host to the world’s second largest Irish celebration. With an event that has more than 65 acts and 535 performers, you’re bound to have a great time.

Columbus Food Truck Festival Aug. 15-16
I’m not the best at tracking all my favorite food trucks, so this event is perfect for me! Head down to The Columbus Commons and sample delicious food from over 40 Ohio food trucks. In addition to the food, there is plenty of live music and arts & crafts for all ages.


Upper Arlington Labor Day arts Festival Sept. 1
Enjoy your Labor Day weekend at the Upper Arlington Arts Festival at Northam Park. Stroll through the rows of artist tents filled with photography, ceramics, jewelry and metal work, just to name a few.


greekGreek Festival Aug. 29-Sept. 1
In it’s 42 year, the Columbus Greek Festival is a staple in the summer festival season. The Greek Festival invites you to experience the culture and ancestry of Greece at the beautiful The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral downtown on High St.

independentsIndependents’ Day Sept. 19-21
The Independents’ Day festival has a mission “to celebrate and develop independent culture, commerce and creativity.” This is showcased perfectly in their three-day event filled with local live music, art, food and business. With a new location this year, Independents’ Day is based at the intersection of Town St. and Lucas St. in East Franklinton.

Ongoing events
I’d be remiss if I did not mention some of the awesome events taking place throughout the summer. The Moonlight Market on Gay Street takes place every second Saturday from April-December from 6-11 p.m.. The Wex Drive-In is a series of open-air film screenings on the Wexner Center Plaza. And who can forget the wonderful farmers markets that take place throughout the city? Columbus Underground has created a fantastic list of farmers markets for you to frequent this summer.

  • Dee Downes

    Commfest and Jazz & Rib Fest didn’t make the top 10???

  • Steven

    JAZZ AND RIB FEST? This list blows

  • Eli

    Yeah Jazz and Ribfest is my favorite holiday. Period.

  • Columbus Newbee

    Where and when is this?

  • Brad Mills

    Missing my favorites: Columbus Asian Festival, Commfest, and Jazz & Rib Fest.

  • njh

    No joke! And according to my calendar, July 22-24 is in the middle of the week. ??

  • njh

    The Jazz & Rib Fest is July 18-20.

  • James Randi

    I’m sorry… Greek Fest is a total snooze fest. The food was terrible, the exhibits are all inside the church… I had more fun at open house in 3rd grade. Asian fest! Juneteenth! Comfest! This list is lacking…

  • James Randi

    Community Fest is in Goodale park Jun 27-29th.

  • Ashley

    Commfest not on the list means you know nothing about columbus..

  • MACC Bluegrass

    Would love for your readers to hear about Musicians Against Childhood Cancer Bluegrass Festival held in Columbus, benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Hoover Y Park. This years festival is July 16 -19. More info can be found at

  • Matt_Barker

    My favorite, the Columbus Italian Festival, didn’t make the list. Boo. It runs from Oct. 10-12 this year. Major omit.

  • Roger

    This list is for SUMMER festivals.

  • courtney

    what about park street festival?!?!

  • Guest

    If Comfest isn’t on the list, I cannot trust the other recommendations

  • CineZeen

    How can Comfest and Jazz & Rib Fest not be on here?

  • Hamsterdam

    OMG someone had the NERVE to not include the almighty COMFEST on an Internet list? BRING OUT THE PITCHFORKS! C’mon people … #coexist!! It’s the Comfest way!

  • tazer

    Italian Festival?

  • nevetS

    This is a yuppie blog therefore none of the appropriate summer fests will be included.

  • reikidave

    Comfest and Doo Dah Parade didn’t make the list. I guess the popularity of the event doesn’t count if the event appears to be too hippie

  • Craig Johnson

    5th Annual Columbus Summer Beerfest @ The LC August 15 & 16! 100 breweries, 250+ Beers, 10,000 beer lovers! – said me.