Festivals & Annual Events in Columbus
Live to Celebrate
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. For special offers on your hotel room, book with us.
Lithopolis Honeyfest | September 8–9, 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!
Columbus Oktoberfest | September 8–10, 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.
Columbus Serbian Festival | September 15–16, 2023, St. 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.
Columbus Coffee Festival | September 23–24, 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.
Harvest Blooms | September 23 – October 29, 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.
All-American Quarter Horse Congress | September 26 – October 22, 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 | September 27 – October 1, 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.
The Columbus Italian Festival | October 6–8, 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.
Fashion Week Columbus | September 24–30, 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 | October 11–29, 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.
Circleville Pumpkin Show | October 18–21, 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.
HighBall Halloween | October 28, 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!
Wildlights | November 17 – January 7, 2023, 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 | Winter 2023, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
View elegant displays of twinkling lights, seasonal foliage and a larger-than-life gingerbread house.
Holiday Blooms | Winter 2023, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Stroll through the Conservatory halls as they're decked with poinsettias and holiday spirit.
Short North Holiday Hop | December 2, 2023, Short North Arts District
The holiday version of Gallery Hop includes a cosmopolitan display of sights, sounds, food and drink.
African American Heritage Festival | Spring 2024, The Ohio State University
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!
Arnold Sports Festival | Spring 2024, Greater Columbus Convention Center and Ohio Expo Center
The nation’s largest multi-sport festival brings 10,000+ athletes from 80+ nations to Columbus to compete in 50+ sports ranging from bodybuilding to equestrian.
Columbus Brew Festival | Spring 2024, 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.
Equine Affaire | Spring 2024, 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.
Blooms & Butterflies | Spring 2024, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Wander through tropical plant collections featuring hundreds of colorful, exotic butterflies.
Columbus International Film & Animation Festival | Spring 2024
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.
Ohioana Book Festival | Spring 2024, Columbus Metropolitan Library - Main Library
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.
COSI Science Festival | Summer 2024, 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.
Columbus Taco Fest | Summer 2024, Genoa Park
The 6th annual Columbus Taco Fest returns in May 2024 with the best tacos, tequila, and Mexican beer you can find in the city.
Ohio Black Expo | Summer 2024, 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.
Sonic Temple Arts & Music Festival | Summer 2024, Historic Crew Stadium
The pinnacle of rock festivals in America is back! In 2023, Sonic Temple Art & Music Festival returned to its home at the heartbeat of rock, the Historic Crew Stadium in Columbus. The spectacular lineup of rock heavyweights make Sonic Temple one of the most anticipated events of festival season!
Buckeye Country Superfest | Summer 2024, Ohio Stadium
Make your way to the Shoe to hear music from today's top country musicians. Lineup to be announced.
Asian Festival | Summer 2024, Franklin Park (1755 E. Broad St.)
With more than 100,000 visitors, this annual celebration promotes the importance of cultural diversity in building a vibrant, prosperous and healthy community.
The Memorial Tournament, presented by Workday | Summer 2024, 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.
Columbus Arts Festival | Summer 2024, 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.
Stonewall Columbus Pride | Summer 2024, Goodale Park
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.
Columbus Air Show | Summer 2024, Rickenbacker International Airport
The Columbus Air Show, presented by Scotts, takes place at Rickenbacker International Airport in Columbus. Perfect for family and friends alike, don't miss the exciting experience that's headlined by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels! The event is full of amazing feats of talent and skill both in the air and on the ground, and you'll get to see demonstrations from both modern military and civilian aircrafts. Mark your calendars!
Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival | Summer 2024, Creekside, Gahanna
Celebrating its 25th year in 2024, 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.
Juneteenth Ohio Celebration | Summer 2024, 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”.
Origins Game Fair | Summer 2024, Throughout Columbus
Table top gaming convention and expo highlighting new games, special guests, seminars, workshops, shows, fun, and so much more.
ComFest | Summer 2024, Goodale Park
Community Festival (ComFest) features performances by Columbus’ best bands and artists, workshops, community activism and other events you look forward to every year.
Red, White & BOOM! | Summer 2024, 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!
Doo Dah Parade | Summer 2024, Short North Arts District
This classic Columbus event celebrates liberty and lunacy with traditional weird costumes and funny opinions in the Short North Arts District. Come for the parade and the outfits, or hang out at Goodale Park for the live music afterparty.
Westerville Music & Arts Festival | Summer 2024, 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.
Columbus Summer Wine Festival | Summer 2024, The Kelley Green in Whitehall
The Columbus Wine Festival is the perfect event for wine lovers! Experience wine sampling, arts and crafts, live music and more.
Columbus Book Festival | Summer 2024, Downtown’s Historic Main Library
This new inaugural literary festival 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.
Jazz & Rib Fest | Summer 2024, 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.
Ohio State Fair | Summer 2024, Ohio State Fairgrounds
Full of exciting attractions, food and entertainment, this multi-day fair brings in upwards of 800,000 visitors each year.
Dublin Irish Festival | Summer 2024, Coffman Park
The world’s largest three-day Irish festival is held in Dublin annually. Irish and the Irish-at-heart are invited to share and celebrate the best in Irish dance, music, art and culture.
Pelotonia | Summer 2024
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.
Tomato Festival | Summer 2024, Huber Park in 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.
Uptown Untapped | Summer 2024, 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.
Festival Latino | Summer 2024, 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.
CBUS Soul™ Fest | Summer 2024, Genoa Park
In a collaboration between Experience Columbus (and its CBUS Soul™ initiative) and the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, the CBUS Soul™ fest will return for its third year at Genoa Park. Come out to experience Columbus' vibrant Black culture, music, history, and soul!
Columbus Food Truck Festival | Summer 2024, 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.
WonderBus | Summer 2024, Lawn of CAS
Come on out to enjoy music from top musicians right here in Columbus. Check back in 2024 to view the full lineup or book your hotel to receive a Lyft credit.
The Great Bourbon Affair | Summer 2024, East Market
Come out for the Affair between Rock & Country Music and Join the Biggest bourbon toast in Ohio!
Fiery Foods Festival | Summer 2024, Genoa Park
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.
Columbus Greek Festival | Summer 2024, 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.
Obetz Zucchinifest | Summer 2024, Fortress Obetz
The Obetz Zucchinifest is a four day, family-friendly event celebrating everything zucchini. The festival and concerts are free!
Upper Arlington Labor Day Arts Festival | Summer 2024, 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.