local love


Lachandra Baker


The Columbus Arts Festival is by far one of my favorite festivals. As a volunteer, you get a front seat view into all the work that occurs to make the event special for the participants and vendors.


Lachandra Baker, CTA
Manager, Internal Communications
Cardinal Health

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.

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 | Oct. 7-14, Around Columbus
Columbus is a fashion capital and there’s no time it shows more than at Fashion Week Columbus. 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 | Oct. 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. 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!