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 these highlights, or search our interactive events calendar for even more.
Make sure to check event website before making any plans to attend any events in Columbus this year.
COSI Science Festival (Virtual) | May 5-8, 2021
Back for its third year, Ohio’s largest science festival will include dozens of unique online events showcasing incredible science being done in Ohio and proving again that science truly is everywhere and for everyone. Join the fun here.
Ohio Black Expo | May 27-30
This cultural festival focuses on celebrating the past, present and future of Ohio’s people, places, businesses and organizations.
Asian Festival (Virtual) | May 29-30
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.
The Memorial Tournament, presented by Nationwide | May 31 – June 6, Muirfield Village
Patron attendance has not yet been set for this year’s Memorial Tournament. Join the badge waitlist and follow along with the latest updates here.
Stonewall Columbus Pride (Hybrid) | June (virtual parade June 19)
2021 marks 40 years of Pride celebrations in Columbus. While the parade, which normally welcomes around 800,000 spectators, will be virtual, there will be in-person events taking place at the Stonewall Community Center and across the city as part of the festival. Find the full calendar of events here.
ComFest (Virtual) | June 25-27
Virtual ComFest will feature performances by Columbus’ best bands and artists, workshops, community activism and other events you look forward to every year. In addition, ComFest will host “virtual” Street Fair as well as the 2021 Merch Booth, all online! Get involved here.
Color of Summer | July 2, 2021, Columbus Museum of Art
This interactive experience spans the entire museum and garden. Patrons are treated to the museum’s collections along with a cross-section of bands throughout the museum. Columbus’ own Aminah Robinson’s –“Raggin On: The Art of Aminah Robinson’s House and Journals” will be this year’s featured exhibit.
Red, White & BOOM! | Canceled for 2021, Downtown Columbus
There are few more patriotic ways to kick off your Independence Day weekend than at the largest fireworks display in Ohio. Festivities start at noon and the big show starts at 10 p.m. Plan to be downtown very early, because the best spots go fast!
Ohio State Fair (Closed to Public) | July 28 – Aug. 8
The Ohio State Fair will be closed to the public this year. While there will be no rides or concerts, livestock and educational competitions will still take place for participants. Follow along here.
Dublin Irish Festival (Hybrid) | Aug. 5-8
The world’s largest three-day Irish festival held in Dublin each year will be modified in 2021 and celebrated as Dublin Irish Days. Incorporating both ticketed and free experiences, Dublin Irish Days will be a hybrid event that offers both in person and virtual experiences, including a 5K, performing arts, a marketplace and more. Find the latest updates here.
Pelotonia | Aug. 6-8
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.
Columbus Food Truck Festival | Aug. 20-21, Downtown Columbus
Celebrating 10 years, the Columbus Food Truck Festival offers delicious eats, great music and unique vendors. Stay tuned on offerings that are fun for the whole family here.
Urban Scrawl | Aug 28-29, Franklinton
Urban Scrawl will safely return to Franklinton this summer in the heart of the district at 400 Square. Keep an eye on which arts organizations will be involved here.
Columbus Arts Festival | July 10-12, 2022, Arena District
Featuring more than 280 nationally acclaimed artists, the Columbus Arts Festival moves to a new location in the Arena District. Stroll along with friends and family and enjoy the art, entertainment and food that make this event so special.
Jazz & Rib Fest | July 22-24, 2022, Scioto Mile
Columbus Recreation and Parks Department is offering an alternative way for us to get our BBQ fix at the first Jazz & Rib Fest BBQ Week July 19-25.
This annual festival offers three days of continuous jazz by renowned international and local musicians while barbeque pit masters serve up sizzling ribs, chicken and more. Savor the best ribs from around the country as 23 award-winning barbeque teams compete for Best Ribs bragging rights.
Columbus Greek Festival | May 14-16
Traditionally, this three-day celebration of Greek culture and heritage takes place over Labor Day Weekend. This year, in place of the festival, the Annunciation Cathedral will offer a Taste of Greece, a selection of authentic Greek dinners and delicious pastries exquisitely prepared by volunteer chefs and available for carry out. Place your order here.
Columbus Oktoberfest | Sept. 10-12, 2021, Ohio Expo Center
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, which fills two giant beer gardens and a lot more. The city’s best German food purveyors also bring their A-game.
Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival | Sept. 17-19
Gahanna is planning for the return of its annual Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival after a hiatus in 2020. Moving the date to later in the year will allow the steering committee to implement several changes to the event, including a modified footprint to best manage crowd capacity, two live music stages and pre-event online admission sales. Learn more here.
Festival Latino | Sept. 18
Held in 2021 at the Columbus Commons, this free event put on by CAPA offers lively music, dancing in the streets, cultural and arts workshops for children and adults, Latin-American cuisine, national and international music acts, Ohio-based Latino dance and more. Get updates on this year’s festival here.
Fashion Week Columbus | Sept. 26-Oct. 2, 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.
All-American Quarter Horse Congress | Sept. 28-Oct. 24, 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 | Sept. 30 – Oct. 3
Helmed by the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum , CXC is a city-wide celebration of cartoon art in all its forms. The show serves as a showcase for both the city of Columbus and the cartooning art form. Plans are currently underway for both in-person and virtual option. Stay tuned for the latest updates here.
Origins Game Fair | Sept. 30 – Oct. 3
Annual tabletop gaming convention in Columbus offering 6,000+ gaming events and a wide variety of other activities, such as True Dungeon experiences, cosplay, a robust film festival, a full schedule of Anime programming, and even comedy and music shows! Learn more here.
HighBall Halloween | Oct. 23, Short North Arts District
Fashion is at the forefront at HighBall, a costume couture party that closes down High Street for two nights. The local fashion scene is on full display with eight local designers presenting runway shows. There’s a high bar for the public costume contest, so bring your best.
Italian Festival | Oct. 8-10, 2021, 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. See the roots of this neighborhood at the Italian Festival and join in the music, food and parades.
Wildlights | Nov. 19, 2021 – Jan. 2, 2022, 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. 20 2021-Jan. 9 2022, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
View elegant displays of poinsettias, seasonal foliage, gingerbread competitions and twinkling lights.
Short North Holiday Hop | Dec. 4, Short North Arts District
The holiday version of Gallery Hop includes a cosmopolitan display of sights, sounds, food and drink.
Blooms & Butterflies | Open date TBD, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Wander through tropical plant collections featuring hundreds of colorful, exotic butterflies.
Arnold Sports Festival, March 4-6, 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.
Equine Affaire, April 7-10, Throughout Columbus
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.