Columbus is a city known for its festivals. From Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend every year, there’s at least one festival taking place each weekend, and often many more. Unfortunately, this year, due to public health concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19, we won’t have much opportunity to celebrate in person. However, many of the city’s exciting celebrations are finding new ways to engage the community through virtual and modified celebrations.
We’ve gathered a list of how you can still take part in this year’s festival season and will continue to update as more information comes available.
Arts Fest in Place
The Columbus Arts Festival has gone virtual with its Columbus Arts Festival in Place! Kick off the weekend as you traditionally would with a Patron Party in Place by tuning into the Arts Festival Facebook page at 5 p.m. on June 12 for a special video to start the festivities. Follow the announcement with a virtual or socially distant gathering using recipes from Patron Parties past, cocktail recipes from Middle West Spirits, Cultural Arts Center Zoom backgrounds and more. Then, throughout the weekend, continue the fun by shopping 2020 exhibiting artists, exploring the best of the big local arts tent, listening to musical performances and participating in the Chalk Art Challenge.
Stonewall Columbus Pride Celebration
Pride looks different in 2020, and though the Stonewall Columbus Pride Parade has been moved to Oct. 3 (see below), the weekend the festival was originally scheduled to take place will be used to ensure the voices of the black members of the LGBTQ+ community are uplifted, heard and at the center of all discussions. On Saturday, June 20, Stonewall Columbus will host a pop-up market for black-owned businesses and entrepreneurs in Columbus, as well as holding space for community organizations to share resources along with space for #BlackVoices programming to include discussions led by our black LGBTQ+ community. On Sunday, June 21, the Columbus Pride Committee will be working to support the LGBTQ+ Unity March on Columbus for Black Lives, which will begin at noon at the Ohio Statehouse and end at Stonewall Columbus, where there will be a safe space for people to come together as a community and learn more about resources available from various community organizations along with free mental health and stress reduction services on-site.
Find out more ways to celebrate Pride here.
Attendees of the annual Community Festival, affectionately referred to as ComFest, will still have the opportunity to enjoy the sights and sounds typically associated with the event in a virtual capacity. Virtual ComFest will feature performers, workshops, street fair vendors and community organizations so those who make the festival possible will still be supported in 2020. Follow updates at the ComFest Facebook page or at comfest.com.
Red, White & BOOM!
This summer, instead of an in-person gathering of 450,000 spectators, Red, White & BOOM! will become a multi-day television and digital event looking back over the years of the tradition of parades honoring veterans and the largest fireworks show in the Midwest! The four-night television campaign will air from Wednesday, July 1 – Saturday, July 4 on NBC4 and each show will have a different theme highlighting the best stories of Central Ohio’s annual celebration. The first of these will feature the stories of local veterans inducted into the Ford Oval of Honor. Plus, throughout the event, Red, White & BOOM! will show the best fireworks shows over the course of its storied history.
Check out smaller community celebrations here.
Westerville Music & Arts Festival
Beginning July 11
The 47th annual Westerville Music & Arts Festival will take place online this year. Kicking off on July 11, the date the in-person festival was scheduled to take place, attendees will be able to view artwork and enjoy live music from scheduled performers online throughout July.
The Memorial Tournament, Presented by Nationwide
The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide, a PGA TOUR event, has moved to July 15-19 and will be one of the first events in the state to welcome back the public amidst the COVID-19 pandemic with the permission of the Ohio Department of Health. Capacity will be limited to about 20% and attendees will be required to wear masks, unless someone qualifies for an exemption, as well as have their temperature taken upon entry as well as fill out a questionnare on potential exposure. Additional changes will include one-way paths, no bleachers, ample hand sanitizer, no cash concessions and elimination of public shuttle transportation.
Learn what other Columbus sports are coming back in July here.
Viva Festival Latino!
In lieu of Festival Latino 2020, CAPA will be hosting a week-long, Latin-American online experience called Viva Festival Latino. Each day, Aug. 3-9, check out the Festival Latino website or Facebook page for a series of online cultural events and activities. More details coming soon!
Stonewall Columbus Pride Parade
The Stonewall Columbus Pride Parade has been postponed to Saturday, Oct. 3 and we will share more details as they are announced.
Arnold Sports Festival Virtual Expo
Certainly, Ohio shocked the world in early March with the cancellation of the 3-day Arnold Fitness EXPO, which annually features 1,000 booths and 200,000 attendees. Now, in an effort to support the sponsors and exhibitors, the Arnold Virtual EXPO was created so the community can still connect and have access to the amazing products, services and offers typically found at the Arnold Sports Festival!
Check out other virtual events taking place throughout the summer here.