Festivals & Annual Events
During the summer and fall, there’s a huge festival happening in Columbus almost every weekend! Check these highlights, or search our interactive events calendar for even more.
Blooms & Butterflies | Thru Sept. 17, Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
Wander through tropical plant collections featuring hundreds of colorful, exotic butterflies.
Red, White & BOOM! | July 3, 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!
DooDah Parade, July 4, Short North Arts District
The Doo Dah Parade in Columbus, Ohio, is a celebration of life, liberty and the pursuit of literary lunacy. The one-day satirical party features a one-of-a-kind parade filled with characters in costume, humorous political debates, satirists' readings, a singing of the National Anthem, live music and a post parade block party.
Jazz and Rib Fest | July 21-22, Downtown Columbus
Hot ribs and cool jazz fill downtown Columbus during this popular summer festival on Columbus' sparkling riverfront. Three stages of music pair with the best ribs around!
Ohio State Fair | July 27-Aug. 6, Ohio Expo Center
With agricultural exhibitions, a huge midway full of rides and a blockbuster lineup of musical performances, you’re never short on fun at the Ohio State Fair. Add a helping of fair food, and you’ve got a recipe for a great trip!
Dublin Irish Festival | Aug. 4-6, Dublin
Dublin plays host to the world’s second largest Irish celebration. With an event that has more than 65 acts and 535 performers, you’re bound to have a great time.
Columbus Food Truck Festival | Aug. 18-19, Scioto Mile
The Columbus Food Truck Festival has a new location along the Scioto Mile. Come and sample delicious food from more than 70 Ohio food trucks. In addition to the food, there is plenty of live music and arts & crafts for all ages.
Columbus Greek Festival | Sept. 1-4, Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral
From souvlaki and baklava to traditional singing and dancing, this festival brings the best of Greek culture to Columbus. Don’t miss the free cathedral tours.
Country Living Fair, Ohio History Center’s Ohio Village
Buyers and sellers come from three states away for this marketplace of modern handcrafted treasures and stylish vintage pieces. Get tips on home decor and gardening from HGTV stars.
Independents’ Day | Sept. 16-17 Franklinton
The Independents’ Day festival has a mission “to celebrate and develop independent culture, commerce and creativity.” This is showcased perfectly in their two-day event filled with local live music, art, food and business.
Columbus Oktoberfest | Sept. 22-24, Ohio Expo Center
Put on your dirndls and leiderhosen, 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.
American International Motorcycle Expo | Sept. 23-24, Greater Columbus Convention Center
North America's largest powersports expo offers enthusiasts the unique opportunity to see the newest 2018 models and products from more than 500 exhibitors, many of them making global, North American and public debuts.
The New Albany Classic Invitational Grand Prix & Family Day | Sept. 24, New Albany
A unique day-long event featuring a myriad of family-focused activities including a USEF/FEI-sanctioned equestrian event with Olympic-caliber athletes, a concert featuring top pop touring acts from around the world and a large-scale carnival atmosphere.
All-American Quarter Horse Congress | Oct.6-30, 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.
Fashion Week Columbus, 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.
Italian Festival, 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.
HighBall Halloween | Oct. 20-21, 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.
Wildlights | Nov. 16-Dec. 31, 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.
Short North Holiday Hop | Dec. 2, Short North Arts District
The holiday version of Gallery Hop includes a cosmopolitan display of sights, sounds, food and drink.
First Night Columbus | Dec. 31, Downtown Columbus
A spectacular New Year’s Eve celebration in downtown Columbus with fireworks, live entertainment, activities and fun for all ages!