This post is written by Sandi Combs, Marketing Specialist for Experience Columbus. You can follow Sandi on Twitter @Sandi_ExpCols .

200 Columbus: The Bicentennial

Visitors in Columbus will notice that something special is happening in our city this year- we're celebrating Columbus' 200th birthday! Festivities commemorating 200Columbus the Bicentennial (as it's officially known) will take place all year long, with events being planned by a wide array of organizations and neighborhoods throughout the city. Although you might think that these are for locals only, there are many exciting events that will be fun for everyone, whether you're a resident or visitor.

Here’s a look at what’s happening during the next month:

Columbus’ actual birth-date is Valentine’s Day, so there are several special events to experience in the first part of February. Take in the sights and sounds of an amazing collaboration by BalletMet and the Columbus Jazz Orchestra during the performance of Jazz Moves Columbus , Feb. 2-12, 2012. Then, enjoy special discounts on shopping and attractions throughout the city during 200Columbus Days – just download the discount flyer. You may also enjoy seeing the performance of The Ruby Elzy Story on Feb. 11, having fun with your family at COSI’s Columbus Family Weekend Feb. 11-12, or cheering at the Columbus Blue Jackets game when they take on the St. Louis Blues on Feb. 14.

In addition to those special events, there are many long-running exhibits to see. COSI is hosting Race: are we so different?, which is the first nationally traveling exhibition to tell the stories of race from the biological, cultural, and historical points of view. The Columbus Museum of Art is recognizing the Bicentennial with several special exhibits, including Monet to Matisse , Columbus Views and Caravaggio: Behold the Man! Other art exhibits include Ohio Arts Council Riffe Gallery’s 100 Years of Art: Celebrating Columbus' Legacy , the King Arts Complex’s Cityscapes Yesteryear and OSU’s Columbus Cartoonists: A Bicentennial Celebration .

We’ll keep you updated on more Bicentennial events to experience as the year progresses. In the meantime, if you’d like to know more about the celebration, visit 200Columbus.com . Or find the Bicentennial on Facebook or Twitter .

Did we miss something? Share your information about other great Bicentennial events in the comments.