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FESTIVALS & ANNUAL EVENTS

From festivals every weekend in the summer months to light displays throughout the city in the winter, there's always something happening in Columbus! Check out these highlights, or search our interactive events calendar for more.

Please check individual event websites for the most updated information and event details.

WINTER

Wildlights | Nov. 18 – Jan. 1, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Central Ohio's favorite family holiday tradition features millions of LED lights, animated musical light shows, Santa, reindeer and other holiday festivities.

Conservatory Aglow | Nov. 19 – Jan. 8, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
View elegant displays of twinkling lights, seasonal foliage and a larger-than-life gingerbread house.

Holiday Blooms | Nov. 19 – Jan. 8, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Stroll through the Conservatory halls as they're decked with poinsettias and holiday spirit.

Short North Holiday Hop | Dec. 3, Short North Arts District
The holiday version of Gallery Hop includes a cosmopolitan display of sights, sounds, food and drink.

 

SPRING

African American Heritage Festival | Feb. 24 – March 5, 2023
Over the years, the African American Heritage Festival has been a regular event for The Ohio State University and the larger Columbus community. This week-long festival is presented by the Student Life Multicultural Center. All of The Ohio State University community and Columbus community members are invited to this annual celebration! Learn more

Arnold Sports Festival | March 2–5, 2023, Throughout Columbus
The nation’s largest multi-sport festival brings 20,000 athletes from 80 nations to Columbus to compete in 70 sports ranging from bodybuilding to equestrian. Learn more.

Columbus Brew Festival | March 11, 2023, COSI
The Columbus Brew Festival takes place at COSI after hours. Attendees can enjoy over 50 breweries and 150 beers - admission provides samples from participating breweries and access to all exhibits. For more information, click here

Equine Affaire | April 13–16, 2023, Ohio Expo Center
Experience the nation's premiere equine exposition, featuring an impressive educational program, the largest horse-related trade show in North America, top equine entertainment and competition and endless opportunities to experience, buy and sell horses of all types. View the schedule here

Blooms & Butterflies | Spring 2023, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Wander through tropical plant collections featuring hundreds of colorful, exotic butterflies. Admission tickets can be purchased here.

Columbus International Film & Animation Festival | Spring 2023
Created via the Film Council of Greater Columbus, the Columbus International Film & Animation Festival (CIF+AF) was the first film festival in the U.S. and the longest continuously-running film festival in North America. From 1952 to 2022, the festival boasts a rich, diverse history and experience. Learn more

Ohioana Book Festival: Celebrating Ohio's Authors | Spring 2023
From panel discussions to readings, the Ohioana Book Festival highlights amazing Ohio authors and provides an opportunity for readers to explore and hear from those writers. Learn more

 

SUMMER

COSI Science Festival |  May 3–6, 2023, COSI
Ohio’s largest science festival will include events in Columbus and the surrounding communities, and will end with the Big Science Celebration at COSI. The events showcase dozens of unique online programs that highlight the incredible science being done in Ohio. Join the fun here.

Ohio Black Expo | May 25–28, 2023, Downtown Columbus
Showcasing #blackexpollence with food, music, art, networking and more. All roads lead to CBUS on Memorial Day Weekend! 100+ vendors, food trucks, concerts, celebrity appearances and more will be featured at the Riverfront Culture Fest. Learn more and purchase tickets here

Buckeye Country Superfest | May 27, 2023, Ohio Stadium
The Buckeye Country Superfest is back! Make your way to the Shoe to hear music from Luke Combs, Cody Jinks, Zach Bryan, Kameron Marlowe, and Morgan Wade. Tickets and more information can be found here

The Memorial Tournament, presented by Nationwide | May 29 – June 4, 2023, Muirfield Village
The Tournament, founded and hosted by Jack Nicklaus, benefits many Greater Columbus charities in alliance with the Nicklaus Children's Healthcare Foundation, Nationwide Children's Hospital and numerous other local organizations. Learn more.

Columbus Arts Festival | June 9–11, 2023, Downtown Columbus
The Columbus Arts Festival has grown into one of the most highly acclaimed arts festivals in the nation. The event will feature over 200 visual artists, three stages of performances and dozens of food vendors. The Columbus Arts Festival attracts the nation’s top artists, as well as art enthusiasts from all over the country. The event remains free to attend. Learn more here.

Stonewall Columbus Pride | June 16–17, 2023, Columbus
An annual celebration, Pride events across the globe aim to bring community together in camaraderie and recognition of the strength, resilience, and fight of the LGBTQIA+ community past and present; a fight for equity and equality that is far from over. Find the full calendar of events, such as Pride March details and the festival & resource fair, here.

Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival | June 16–18, 2023, Creekside, Gahanna
Now in its 24th year, The Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival gathers world famous groups and performers at a single place for you to enjoy the best blues and jazz in Ohio. Learn more here.

Juneteenth Ohio Celebration | June 17–18, 2023, Genoa Park
Throughout 25 years of celebration, Juneteenth Ohio has emerged as the enjoyable family weekend of cultural discovery, filled with a variety of events promoting cultural unity, enrichment, and ethnic diversity, “key elements that improves the relationships and quality of life among all residents throughout Ohio”. View the free event schedule here

Origins Game Fair | June 21–25, 2023, Throughout Columbus
Table top gaming convention and expo highlighting new games, special guests, seminars, workshops, shows, fun, and so much more. Learn more here.

Red, White & BOOM! | July 3, 2023, Downtown Columbus
There are few more patriotic ways to kick off your Independence Day weekend than at the largest fireworks display in Ohio. Red, White & BOOM! is an experience and a tradition for over 400,000 visitors who come together each Independence Day to celebrate the country and the community and to honor our military and veterans. Festivities, like the street festival, start at 11 a.m. and the big show starts at 10 p.m. Plan to be downtown very early, because the best spots go fast! 

Westerville Music & Arts Festival | July 8–9, 2023, Heritage Park/Everal Barn
The Westerville Music & Arts Festival features 130+ artists, 30+ performances, food vendors, a silent auction, youth art show, and youth entertainment. View the music lineup and more here

Columbus Book Festival | July 15–16, 2023, Downtown’s Historic Main Library
This new inaugural literary festival celebrates the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s 150th anniversary in 2023 and features panel discussions, author talks and book signings from nationally acclaimed authors with new releases at the historic Main Library downtown, named one of the country’s 11 most beautiful libraries by Fodor’s. Explore the festival here

Jazz & Rib Fest | July 21–23, 2023, Scioto Mile
Jazz & Rib Fest, presented by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, is a highly anticipated summertime tradition offering both jazz and rib connoisseurs the finest in music and barbecue. View the lineup here

Ohio State Fair | July 26 – August 6, 2023, Ohio State Fairgrounds
Full of exciting attractions, food and entertainment, this multi-day fair brings in upwards of 800,000 visitors each year. Learn more here.

Dublin Irish Festival | August 4–6, 2023, Coffman Park
The world’s largest three-day Irish festival is held in Dublin annually, and in 2022, the festival celebrates 35 years! Irish and the Irish-at-heart are invited to share and celebrate the best in Irish dance, music, art and culture. Find the latest updates here.

Pelotonia | August 4–6, 2023
Bike ride and fundraiser in which 100% of all participant-raised dollars go toward innovative cancer research. Learn more about breakthroughs funded through this incredible program and find out how to get involved here.

WonderBus | Aug. 25–27, 2023, Lawn of CAS
Come on out to enjoy music from The Lumineers, Lorde, Duran Duran, Young the Giant, James Bay, COIN + many others right here in Columbus. View the full lineup here

Obetz Zucchini Festival | September 1–4, 2023, Fortress Obetz
The Obetz Zucchinifest is a four day, family-friendly event celebrating everything zucchini. The festival and concerts are free!

Asian Festival | Summer 2023, Virtual
This annual celebration that promotes the importance of cultural diversity in building a vibrant, prosperous and healthy community is going virtual! Follow along with the latest updates here.

CBUS Soul Fest | Summer 2023, Bicentennial Park
In a first-ever collaboration between Experience Columbus (and its CBUS Soul initiative) and the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, the CBUS Soul fest will take place in 2022 at Bicentennial Park. Come out to experience Columbus' vibrant Black culture, music, history, and soul!

Columbus Food Truck Festival | Summer 2023, Franklin County Fairgrounds
Enjoy three days of food, music and fun, and celebrate the festival's return to the historical Franklin County Fairgrounds in Hilliard. Experience the best food trucks from across Ohio and around the country accompanied by live music, and explore tons of vendors of locally-made craft and retail items. Stay tuned here.

Columbus Greek Festival | Summer 2023, Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral
This annual celebration of Greek culture and heritage takes place over Labor Day Weekend. Become immersed in Greek culture through live performances, Cathedral tours, authentic food, and more. Learn how to Live Greek for a weekend here.

Columbus Taco Fest | Summer 2023, Genoa Park
The 5th annual Columbus Taco Fest returns next May with the best tacos, tequila, and Mexican beer you can find in the city. Explore the excitement here

ComFest | Summer 2023, Goodale Park
Community Festival (ComFest) will feature performances by Columbus’ best bands and artists, workshops, community activism and other events you look forward to every year. Check it out here

Festival Latino | Summer 2023, Genoa Park
This free, family-focused event is bringing national and international music acts, Ohio-based Latino dance and music, children’s activities, and more for the community to enjoy. Learn more.

Fiery Foods Festival | Summer 2023, Scioto Mile and Main Street Bridge
This year, the Fiery Foods Festival returns, and the event will again be donating a portion of its proceeds to the children's charity CD102.5 For the Kids. Festival-goers sample everything from BBQ to salsa to sweet treats with a kick. The festival also features artisans, crafters, food trucks, and entertainment, as well as a number of contests that attendees can take part in. Learn more

Tomato Festival | Summer 2023, Reynoldsburg
The Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival has been celebrating Reynoldsburg as the birthplace of the tomato for over 50 years! Join in the festivities and fun that have become a time-honored and beloved tradition in this city just outside Columbus. Learn more

Upper Arlington Labor Day Arts Festival | Summer 2023, Northam Park
Each year, more than 20,000 visitors flock to Northam Park on Labor Day to immerse themselves in hands-on art activities, live music, and the opportunity to explore and purchase fine art and fine craft work from some 150 artists working in a variety of media including paintings, photography, jewelry, pottery, sculptures and mixed media.

Uptown Untapped | Summer 2023, Westerville
Uptown Untapped is Westerville’s beer craft festival, recognizing both the city’s rich history as a hub for the temperance movement and celebrating its bright future in the heart of the city’s unique Uptown district. No longer classified as “The Dry Capital of the World,” Uptown Untapped touts local breweries, restaurants and musicians on the same streets that once connected the Anti-Saloon League with the rest of the country. Learn more

 

FALL

Lithopolis Honeyfest | Fall 2023, Lithopolis
Taking place in Lithopolis (just outside Columbus), celebrate all things honey and bee-related during National Honey Month. From honey bake-offs to perusing the arts and crafts booths, you’re sure to have a sweet time – and you might even see this year’s Honey Princess! Learn more

Columbus Oktoberfest | Fall 2023, Ohio Expo Center/Ohio State Fairgrounds
Put on your dirndls and lederhosen, pump up the polka and raise your beer stein. Columbus’ German heritage is on display at this fun annual celebration. Hosted in part by the Schmidt family (who bring +130 years of Columbus tradition to the festival) of Schmidt’s in German Village, enjoy plenty of German tradition and culture at this event. Learn more.

Columbus Serbian FestivalFall 2023, Saint Stevan of Decani Serbian Church
Eat, drink, sing and dance at this year's Serbian Festival. The church’s grounds are transformed into a Serbian village with homemade Serbian dishes and pastries, drinks, live Serbian music and children's activities. Learn more.

Columbus Coffee Festival | Fall 2023, Ohio Village
Whether you’re a coffee aficionado or just enjoy the occasional sip, the Columbus Coffee Festival has something for you. The price of admission grants endless coffee tasting privileges during the festival — which you’ll enjoy from your free, themed mug — from vendors located in Columbus and across the state. Paired with live music and food trucks (as well as Ohio-based treat vendors), it doesn’t get much better than that for the coffee-lover. Plus, the festival’s location at Ohio Village means the event is family-friendly; little ones have playgrounds and interesting historic structures to frolic around while parents explore the countless caffeine varieties available. Learn more

Harvest Blooms | Fall 2023, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens 
Nothing says fall like Harvest Blooms. This annual special exhibit showcases hundreds of pumpkins, colorful mums and autumn foliage that spread throughout the botanical gardens. Plus, you can't miss the beloved pumpkin houses and pumpkin tree. Learn more

All-American Quarter Horse Congress | Fall 2023, Ohio Expo Center
The largest single-breed horse show in America takes place in Columbus each year, stretching for three weeks and welcoming more than 725,000 guests. Find the best riding gear and watch fun competitions like barrel racing.

Cartoon Crossroads Columbus | Fall 2023, Around Columbus
Helmed by the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum, CXC is a city-wide celebration of cartoon art in all its forms, meant for both creators and audiences. The show serves as a showcase for both the city of Columbus and the cartooning art form, and also focuses on encouraging the next generation of cartoon talent. Plans are currently underway for both in-person and virtual option. Stay tuned for the latest updates here.

The Columbus Italian Festival | Fall 2023, St. John the Baptist Church
Columbus’ Italian Village is undergoing its own renaissance right now, booming with new condos, hip bars, fun live music venues and cozy cafes. Experience the roots of this neighborhood at the Italian Festival and join in the music, food and parades. Learn more.

Fashion Week Columbus | Fall 2023, Around Columbus
Columbus is a fashion capital and there’s no time it shows more than at Columbus Fashion Week. See runway couture from our best local designers, meet the fashion cognoscenti and shop for your next look to make heads turn at this full week of events and shows.

Pumpkins Aglow | Fall 2023, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
After dark, take the family to stroll jack-o-lantern illuminated paths as you explore Franklin Park Conservatory's pumpkin patch and Pumpkin Houses. You'll also see enchanting decorations, such as larger-than-life spiders, a foggy creek and a ghostly graveyard. View other included activities here

Scrawl | Fall 2023, Franklinton
Scrawl takes place in Franklinton in the heart of the district. Keep an eye on which arts organizations will be involved here.

Circleville Pumpkin Show | Fall 2023, Circleville
Though Circleville is about an hour south of central Columbus, you’ll find Columbus residents – and folks from all around the world – traveling to the pumpkin show year after year without hesitation. From pumpkins that dwarf small children to every pumpkin-flavored treat under the sun, this free festival remains a central Ohio classic. Learn more

HighBall Halloween | Fall 2023, Short North Arts District
Fashion is at the forefront at HighBall, a costume couture party that inspires outfits that are elaborate, wacky, and incredible. The local fashion scene is on full display with several local designers presenting runway shows; tickets are available in the fall, but there’s a high bar for the public costume contest, so start planning now! Learn more.