The Scioto Mile & Bicentennial Park
The Scioto Mile is located along the Scioto River just west of downtown Columbus and it is ready for you to enjoy. While the renovations, swings, and fountains are wonderful, the focal point is Bicentennial Park. This lovely venue features a restaurant, a huge fountain area (great for kids of all age to play in on hot days), a small concert stage, and plenty of benches and shade. This area also has beautiful paths, bridges, and walkways that play host to a variety of outdoor festivals. Nearly every weekend from June to September features Rhythm on the River. This free concert series at the Performing Arts Pavilion makes for great nights out with friends, a loved one, or the whole family.
One of my personal favorite Columbus events is the Jazz & Rib Fest. This year is the 34th annual festival (July 19-21) and will host two main stages and several smaller stages featuring world-renowned jazz soloists and bands.
And who could forget the 23 rib teams all competing for the “best ribs” bragging rights.
I don’t know of any carnivore who wouldn’t want to sample the best of the competition (sorry vegetarians). And for a little added fun, Saturday features The Color Run that is affectionately known as “The Happiest 5K on the Planet.” So grab some friends, register, run, get covered in paint, and enjoy all the ribs and jazz you can take!
Shakespeare in the Park
You may have heard of this longtime summer offering, but have you ever been? Picture it: It’s a beautiful summer evening and you are looking for a high-class way to entertain a date without breaking the bank. German Village has the perfect opportunity for you to experience some traditional humor, tragedy, and drama in a way only Shakespeare can provide. Grab a bottle of wine (or two), pack a picnic basket, grab a blanket, and head on down to Schiller Park in the heart of German Village. And if the date is going well, you are just around the corner from many Southside community bars where you can socialize until the wee hours of the morning.
Columbus Commons Pavilion
As part of last year’s bicentennial celebration, Columbus renovated the old City Center Mall site and turned it into a city park featuring a huge stage equipped with state of the art LED screens and sound equipment under a striking white stretched fabric covering. The stage plays host to a number of free and paid events all spring and summer long that give you the opportunity to get some fresh air and create some great memories! One of my favorite events is the Columbus Symphony Orchestra Simulcast, which gives you the chance to hear the symphony performance for free on the big screen and under the night sky. This event does not allow coolers to be brought it, but there are some restaurants within walking distance so you can grab dinner, maybe a cocktail or two, and walk over to hear a thrilling performance. Or you can grab a meal from one of the many food trucks at the concert. Best of all, Columbus Commons features a large parking garage beneath it and another parking garage one block away.
Culture is all around, but in the warm months, you can easily find it outdoors. Join the thousands of Columbus residents attending these events and support all our community has to offer. I’ll see you at the show!