The strongest weekend in Columbus: Arnold Sports Festival
February 17, 2009
One of the strongest weekends in Columbus is right around the corner. It's time again for the Arnold Sports Festival , taking place March 6–8.
Named after Arnold Schwarzenegger (who won the Mr. World competition in Columbus in 1970), the event has evolved over 21 years to encompass more than 35 events including 11 recognized Olympic sports.
While many people think first of the Annual Arnold Classic (the professional bodybuilding competition), this is really only one component of the three-day event. Here are some tips for enjoying the complete ASF experience:
- Arrive early and don't plan on parking at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. The Arnold Sports Festival takes place in four venues (the convention center, Veteran's Memorial, Nationwide Arena and the Lausche Building at the Ohio Expo Center). So why pigeon hole yourself into just one? I recommend parking at the City Center garage and taking the free shuttle to the downtown venues.
- Take a look at the schedule to determine in advance what events you want to check out. Be adventurous here! Think of table tennis as something you do in your basement? Then take a look at the level of competition in the Terrace ballrooms at the convention center on Friday and Saturday. Also not to be missed are the various martial arts sports throughout the weekend. On Sunday morning there is a new event to discover: a racewalking competition .
- Know what ticket you have. Generally, the $10 Expo Ticket provides admission to most daytime events for one day of the festival. Check the schedule for ticketing information, too.
- Leave plenty of time to visit the booths at the Arnold Expo . The show floor gets crowded with thousands of sports enthusiasts discovering the latest in sports nutrition and fashion. There is also a stage in the back of the Expo hall that features various entertainment including bench press competitions, a fashion show and even an Irish dance demonstration. Various Strongman contests also take place on the Expo stage, so if you’ve been itching to see a really large man lift Hummer tires, here’s your chance.
- If you're still pumped up by Saturday night, consider Party with the Pros at the LC Pavilion. It promises to be an entertaining event with several different bands performing and is the only official ASF after party.
Do you have your own ASF tip to share?