The Columbus Arts Festival returns to the downtown riverfront June 10-12, bringing three days of art, live music, theater and dance, local food and drink, and hands-on activities for everyone young and old. Here are eight reasons to visit the Festival this year!
1. More Than 200 Local and National Artists
Browse through hundreds of presenting artists, lined up along the riverfront and over the Main and Rich Street bridges, featuring painting to photography, sculpture to jewelry, ceramics to woodworking, and much more.
2. Free Concerts & Performances
The Festival features three stages of live music, dance, theatre, and poetry throughout the weekend. See Columbus-based bands at the Big Local Music Stage. Catch local poets, storytellers, and novelists reading their work at the Cultural Arts Center Stage. Watch local dance and theater companies perform on the ABC6 Bicentennial Park Stage. On Friday, June 10, Shadowbox Live performs Flower Power: The Music and The Movement, and on Saturday, June 11 Weakened Friends and Mistar Anderson open for We Were Promised Jetpacks.
3. Hands-On Activities for the Kids
A popular all-ages feature of the Festival is the Hands-On Activity Village. Volunteers from a dozen local cultural organizations help Festival-goers experience painting, silk screening, printmaking, drawing their own fantastical creature or designing a tote to carry artwork. Plus, with the Children’s Gallery nearby, little ones can purchase their own art at the kid-sized — and priced — gallery.
4. A Mini Film Festival
New this year is a mini film festival on the Genoa Park stage just east of COSI. Film Columbus and Gateway Film Center have assembled a family-friendly schedule that includes features like Labyrinth and the original 101 Dalmatians, plus animation from CCAD students, locally produced documentaries about the fashion industry and the Linden neighborhood, episodes of WOSU’s arts-focused series Broad & High.
5. The Big Local Arts Village
The Festival-favorite Big Local Arts Village sits at the Franklinton entrance, where over 60 Columbus-based artists and creatives showcase and sell their work. Watch live metalworking, Japanese calligraphy, woodturning and chain maille demonstrations, too!
6. More Than 30 Food Trucks & Stalls
You won’t leave hungry from the Arts Festival! From fried chicken, burgers, and barbecue to a wide range of international fare, plus vegetarian and vegan eats, the Festival features something for everyone. Be sure to cool off with a lemon shake-up or scoop of ice cream!
7. The Rhinegeist Beer Garden
Thanks to Rhinegeist, Festival guests can relax in the shade of the beer garden, close to the Big Local Arts Village, with a mug with the brewery’s refreshing IPAs, lagers, wheat beers and sours.
8. Plenty of Photo Ops
With the rows of artist booths, exciting performances, the location over bridges and along the river, the entire Columbus Arts Festival is one big photo op! For the best photo at the Fest, head to the giant selfie frame on the west side of the Scioto near the Rich Street Bridge to snap a photo with the city’s skyline as a backdrop.