When the white tents start popping up along Columbus downtown riverfront you know it’s time for the Columbus Arts Festival, and that summer has arrived. The 2018 festival produced by Greater Columbus Arts Council will run from June 8-10 and include nearly 270 artists from 34 states displaying and selling their wares. Here’s a snapshot of what to see and do at this year’s festival.

Columbus Arts FestivalThe Art
Whether your favorite medium is fiber, ceramics, photography or more, you’re sure to find an artist booth to linger in, and unique wares to take home. The 270 artists in the festival were selected through a blind jury process. We asked one of the jury members, Tyler Cann, Head of Exhibitions and Contemporary Art Curator at Columbus Museum of Art, if you could own the work of one artist at the festival, who would it be? His answer: the minimalist work of ceramic Columbus Arts Festivalartist David Pluck.

Scout your own favorites ahead of time by checking out the online gallery of festival artists.

New This Year
Greater Columbus Arts Council has opened up their friday evening Patron Party to everyone. Purchase tickets to enjoy food, music, and drinks in the historic Cultural Arts Center building and courtyard. During the Patron Party guests can enjoy a unique art experience. Painting in Progress: An Art Action is an installation by artist Stephanie Lüning that will be in production during the party and on view through the Festival at the Cultural Arts Center.

Download the new festival app in the Google and Apple Stores for maps, artist info, performance schedules and more.

Try out local craft beer in the Beer Garden featuring Columbus breweries Columbus Brewing Company, Four String Brewing Company and Seventh Son Brewing, as well as, BrewDog.

Pick up a unique Columbus souvenir with a retro Arts Fest T-shirt produced by Homage, and it’s worth noting that all Festival souvenir shirts are locally designed and produced. This year the Festival partnered with Homage, Tonic Studios and Columbus College of Art & Design.

What Else to See and Do
Indulge your creative side at the Big Local Art Tent for make-and-take art projects led by Columbus artists. Listen to music on several stages with performers including Friday night headliner Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, and Saturday night headliner G. Love and Special Sauce. And check out the Word is Art Stage for poetry readings, & the Dance and Theater Stage for a taste of the Columbus theater and dance scene.

Arts Fest for Families
Make arts and crafts and explore on a scavenger hunt in the Hands-On Activities Village located in the new Scioto Peninsula Park and playground on the west side of COSI. Take a family selfie with the Art Shark near the Hands-On Activities Village and Bicentennial Park fountain.

Hotel LeVeque EntranceColumbus Arts Festival VIP Experience Hotel Package
The Arts Festival has teamed up with Experience Columbus and Hotel Leveque for an overnight hotel package for out-of-town visitors or in-town staycationers that puts you just steps from the festival.

Package includes:
• Two VIP Passes to the 2018 Columbus Arts Festival, which includes access to a reserved seating area for the both headlining concerts, and a VIP lounge in the Cultural Arts Center courtyard.
• Two drinks in The Keep Liquor Bar
• Breakfast for two guests (up to $40)
• Hotel LeVeque Signature candle

From $399/night. Available June 8-11. Book your Hotel LeVeque package through the Columbus Arts Festival VIP Experience link.

Festival Hours
Friday 11:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m

And maybe the best part of the festival? It’s always been free to attend.