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
Sr. Manager, Internal Communications
CoverMyMeds

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.

See Virtual Events

How to Participate in 2020 Festival Season

Many events through June and July are canceled due to the order from the Ohio Department of Health that gatherings with more than 50 attendees are canceled. As Ohio begins to reopen, make sure to check event website before making any plans to attend any events in Columbus this summer.

 

SUMMER

Arnold Sports Festival | View it virtually here through June
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.

COSI Science Festival | Virtual for 2020 - will return May 5-8, 2021 at COSI
Experience all things science with over 65 family and adult-friendly events, including the Citywide Star Party and the Big Science Celebration, which features a variety of STEM-focused organizations from around the community.

Sonic Temple Art + Music Festival | CANCELED FOR 2020
Experience rock n' roll like never before with three days of music from acts like Metallica, Slipknot, Bring Me the Horizon, Evanescence and more!

Columbus Asian Festival | CANCELED FOR 2020
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.

Ohio Black Expo | GOING VIRTUAL FOR 2020 - View it here
Come relax, enjoy and be inspired at this annual festival celebrating the past, present and future. The festival features food trucks, vendors, entertainment, a concert, exhibits, speakers and more! Join thousands from around Ohio and surrounding states.

Columbus Arts Festival | Arts Festival in Place for 2020 - will return June 11-13, 2021 on the 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 | CANCELLED FOR 2020, Scioto Mile
As we work to navigate through the COVID-19 outbreak, our number one priority is the wellbeing and safety of our community. Therefore, we have made the decision to cancel this year’s Pride Parade and Festival. A virtual component may be added at a later time.

Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival | CANCELED FOR 2020 - will return June 18-21, 2021, 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! | CANCELED FOR 2020, July 3, 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!

The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide | NEW DATES July 13-19, 2020, 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. The tournament will take place in 2020 without fans.

Jazz & Rib Fest | CANCELED FOR 2020, 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 | CANCELED FOR 2020, 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 | CANCELED FOR 2020, View it virtually here | Aug. 6-8, 2021 Dublin
Bring the spirit of the Dublin Irish Festival home for 2020.  Dublin will be hosting an online experience July 31-Aug 2. Visit the website or Facebook page for a weekend full of Irish fun.

Festival Latino | CANCELED FOR 2020, View it virtually here | Aug. 6-8, 2021, Downtown Riverfront
Introducing Viva Festival Latino! In lieu of Festival Latino 2020, CAPA will be hosting a week-long, Latin-American online experience called Viva Festival Latino. Each day August 3-9, check out the Festival Latino web site or Facebook page for a series of online cultural events and activities. 

Columbus Food Truck Festival, Aug. 14-15, 2020, Downtown Riverfront
Head down to the Columbus riverfront and sample delicious food from more than 70 Ohio food trucks. In addition to the food, there is plenty of live music and arts and crafts for all ages.

Columbus Greek Festival | Sept. 4-7, 2020, 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.

Upper Arlington Labor Day Arts Festival | Sept. 7, 2020, Northam Park
This annual festival showcases the works of local, regional and national artists working in a variety of media as well as an entertainment stage, an art activities area and a variety of refreshment booths.

FALL

Columbus Oktoberfest | Sept. 11-13, 2020, 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.

Country Living Fair | Sept. 2020, 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.

Fashion Week Columbus | Sept. 27-Oct. 3, 2020, 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.

Columbus International Festival | Sept. 2020, Franklin Park Adventure Center
This event celebrates Columbus' diverse cultural community with family-friendly attractions including a fashion show, music and entertainment, authentic food and cooking demos, a shopping bazaar and more. Special to this event is also an annual US Naturalization Oath Ceremony conducted by a federal judge.

All-American Quarter Horse Congress | Sept. 29-Oct. 25, 2020, 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.

AIMExpo presented by Nationwide | Oct. 1-4, 2020, Greater Columbus Convention Center
The largest showcase of the motorcycle and powersports industry in North America will highlight the exciting and diverse lifestyles represented by the modern industry and desired by today’s riders. It will be more experiential than ever, with lifestyle vignettes in the exhibition hall allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the different segments that powersports has to offer.

HighBall Halloween | Oct 23-24 2020, 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. 2020, 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.

 

WINTER

Wildlights | Nov. 2020-Jan. 2021, 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. 14, 2020-Jan. 6, 2021, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
View elegant displays of poinsettias, seasonal foliage, gingerbread competitions and twinkling lights.

Short North Holiday Hop | Dec. 5, 2020, Short North Arts District
The holiday version of Gallery Hop includes a cosmopolitan display of sights, sounds, food and drink.

Village Lights | December 6, 2020, 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, 2020, Downtown Columbus
A spectacular New Year’s Eve celebration in downtown Columbus with fireworks, live entertainment, activities and fun for all ages!


SPRING

Blooms & Butterflies | CANCELED FOR 2020
Wander through tropical plant collections featuring hundreds of colorful, exotic butterflies.

Equine Affaire | CANCELED FOR 2020
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.