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

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.

Columbus Blue Jackets Winter Park | Feb. 2-25, 2018, McFerson Commons
This outdoor community skate rink is open throughout the month of February for public and private skating sessions along with a tall tubing hill towards the front of the park.

Arnold Sports Festival | March 1-4, 2018, around 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.

Blooms & Butterflies | Mar. 10-Sept. 16, 2018, Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
Wander through tropical plant collections featuring hundreds of colorful, exotic butterflies.

Rock on the Range  | May 18-20, 2018, MAPFRE Stadium
This rock music fest takes of over Columbus Crew SC's 20,000-seat MAPFRE Stadium for three days of high volume, high energy entertainment.

Columbus Asian Festival | May 26-27, 2018, Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
Columbus’ significant Asian heritage is on display at the beautifully manicured Franklin Park every Memorial Day weekend. With food, dance, sports and music from across Asia, this festival is a great way to kick off summer.

the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide | May 28-June 3, 2018, Muirfield Village Golf Club
This golf tournament brings the PGA's best golfers to Columbus for a week of play at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Muirfield Village Golf Club.

Columbus Arts Festival | June 8-10, 2018, Scioto Mile
Featuring more than 280 nationally acclaimed artists, the Columbus Arts Festival takes over the downtown riverfront. Stroll along the Scioto Mile with friends and family and enjoy the art, entertainment and food that make this event so special.

Columbus PRIDE Festival | June 15-17, 2018, Scioto Mile
With 300,000 visitors, Columbus is host to the largest pride event in the Midwest. The event includes a downtown parade on Saturday, along with more than 180 vendors, two music stages and a family area.

Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival | June 15-17, 2018, Gahanna
The Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival boasts the “Best Blues & Jazz in Ohio.” The festival offers more than 90 hours of Ohio’s best blues and jazz. Not to mention, they have plenty of activities to entertain all generations in your family.

Red, White & BOOM! | July 3, 2018, 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!

Jazz and Rib Festival | July 20-22, 2018, Scioto Mile
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.

Ohio State Fair | July 25-Aug. 5, 2018, 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. 3-5, 2018, 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, Columbus Commons
Head down to the Columbus Commons 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 | Aug. 31-Sept 3, 2018, 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 FairOhio 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.

Columbus Oktoberfest | Sept. 7-9, 2018, 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.

The New Albany Classic Invitational Grand Prix & Family Day | September, 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 | 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 ColumbusAround 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 FestivalSt. 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 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 | November - December 2018, 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.

WinterFest | Dec. 2018 Bicentennial Park
A celebration of giving featuring local and national musical acts, seasonal ales from hometown breweries and favorite dishes from Columbus food trucks to kick off the illumination of lights along the Scioto Mile.

Short North Holiday Hop | Dec. 1, 2018, Short North Arts District
The holiday version of Gallery Hop includes a cosmopolitan display of sights, sounds, food and drink.

Village Lights | December 1, 2018, German Village
Twinkling luminaries greet visitors who are ready to kick off the holiday on the historic, brick streets of German Village. Enjoy the magic of the holidays and visit shops, businesses and restaurants open late with holiday treats, discounts and special offers.

First Night Columbus | Dec. 31, 2018, Downtown Columbus
A spectacular New Year’s Eve celebration in downtown Columbus with fireworks, live entertainment, activities and fun for all ages!