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Boobs, Booths, & Booze: An opinionated 6-step guide to ComFest

Olivia Balcerzak

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Welcome to Columbus. The wonderful, mostly liberal, city where half the population is drunk and watching football and the other half is eating at a local venue they gave “hole-in-the-wall” status to despite its popularity.

And every year we ditch our conservative neighbors to hot box Goodale Park to celebrate Columbus in an event called the Community Festival otherwise known as ComFest.

ComFest is the one time a year where the old and new hippies can come together to share a glass of beer over taboo topics like human rights and making our city a better place.

And if you can bear to walk the treacherous hills of Neil Avenue from your one-mile-away parking meter, you can partake in this lovely event.

But, before you delve head-first into your introduction to your entire city family, there are some things you should know.

1. If you think you are underdressed, take off 3 more articles of clothing.

You may not get to see all of Columbus at ComFest but you’ll get to see all of those who come from Columbus at Comfest. Even better. This comes with the caveat that you are not at a European beach, so don’t come full naked (but pretty damn close to it).

2. Come early, leave early.

If you show up early enough, you’ll get the cool merch before it runs out, actually have time to learn about the petitions you are signing and, most importantly, be able to enjoy your first $10 beer on an empty stomach setting your tolerance up for absolute ruin in the coming hours.

There are also a lot of after-parties taking place at local venues after ComFest so you can continue to support local businesses by getting drunk.

3. Don’t go with your parents.

ComFest is about meeting new people and community—not impatiently waiting at your parents’ side as they yab on and on with their college roommate they coincidently ran into after 23 years.

Also your parents haven’t seen bare boobs with you since the first season of Game of Thrones. Don’t do this to them.

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4. Hit all the local shops and booths.

There are a plethora of local venues for you to visit on your way around the park that you didn’t even know existed outside of ComFest. Additionally, there are probably several of local issues that are impacting your life that you may not have known about.

5. If you’ve got plans after, bring a change of clothing.

Just because it has the word “community” in the title does not mean it is your parent’s backyard BBQ type of party. You’re going to smell good…uhh I mean like marijuana. 

6. Take advantage of the opportunity to get to know your neighborhood.

There are very few places quite like ComFest that invite an entire city into an open space for three days urging you to be social. So, you know, don’t smoke too much weed and actually be social.

Who knows what you’ll stumble on—maybe a new favorite food truck, or a new favorite head shop that exclusively sells tobacco products.

__________________

After Hours

Take our advice here: come early and leave early. Why? So you can hit up all these dope after parties.

6.22 The Throwdown: ComFest After-Party

Location: Skully’s Music-Diner

Admission: $10/$12

The doors open at 8 p.m. and music from The Floorwalkers, Doc Robinson, and Parker Louis kick off at 9 p.m. Get your tickets early so you don’t have to shell out an extra $2 the day of the show.

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6.22 ComFest After Party

Location: Ace of Cups

Admission: $5

Day one of ComFest will wind down at Ace of Cups around 8 p.m. when The Turbos host an after party to debut their newest release “The Coast” while they share the main stage with Go Go Buffalo, Tourist Trap, and Mister Moon.

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6.23 CD102.5 Presents ComFest After Party

Location: Spacebar

Admission: $5/$8

Digisarus, Captain Kidd, and the Raquels takeover Spacebar starting at 9 p.m., but if you are drinking at ComFest, take an Uber here because it’s a ways away from Goodale Park.

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6.23 MBFP Presents: LeBOOM! ComFest After Party Edition

Location: Skully’s Music-Diner

Admission: $10/$15/$20

The Columbus, Ohio native duo, roeVy, as well as Black Asteroid will be keeping energy levels high with some EDM music as you hammer some PBR’s on the cheap. Get here early, though! First 100 tickets start at $10 then continue to rise by $5 throughout the night.

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Arts & Culture

(614) Movie Club: New Jon Stewart feature, Episode V Beer Tasting, and timely documentaries

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(614) Movie Club. It’s OK to talk about it. 

Every Monday at (614) we’ll be here to update you on virtual and physical screenings that are being offered by the businesses and organizations that make Columbus such a special cinema city. Read below for this week’s streams and showtimes.

NOW SHOWING AT GRANDVIEW THEATER

Jaws

The original Jaws will continue to show at Grandview theater after a July 4 weekend beer tasting. Fitting, right? Watching this might be what it takes to keep you away from the beach for the rest of the summer.

  • Showing: July 6-9 (4 p.m.)
  • Cost: $9
  • Release: 1975
  • Runtime: 124 min.

Jurassic Park

More Steven Spielberg horror on the big screen. Again, if you missed the beer tasting, you’ll have a few more shots this week at catching some dino-roaring action on the big screen.

  • Showing: July 6-9 (7 p.m.)
  • Cost: $9
  • Release: 1993
  • Runtime: 127 min.

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back Beer Tasting

One of the most popular picks for best Star Wars film of all time, the beer tasting comes during a year when the fifth episode is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Enjoy a 10-round beer tasting, free pint glass, raffle prizes, and a very entertaining presentation.

  • Showing: July 11 (3 and 9 p.m.) and 12 (5 p.m.)
  • Cost: $40
  • Release: 1993
  • Runtime: 127 min.

NOW SHOWING AT STUDIO 35

Irresistible 

A local town battling big-party politics, written and directed by Jon Stewart and starring Steve Carrell? Looks great on paper, plays out even better on screen. Rose Byrne is outright ridiculous in this one. Enjoy a 2020 release in an actual movie theater with grade-A recliners.

  • Showing: July 6-9 (4:30, 7, and 9:30 p.m.)
  • Cost: $9
  • Release: 2020
  • Runtime: 104 min.

Jurassic Park

See above.

  • Showing: July 6-9 (4 and 7 p.m.)
  • Cost: $9
  • Release: 1993
  • Runtime: 127 min.

Jaws

See above.

  • Showing: July 6-9 (9:45 p.m.)
  • Cost: $9
  • Release: 1975
  • Runtime: 124 min.

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back Beer Tasting

See above.

  • Showing: July 11 (noon and 5:30 p.m.) and 12 (2 p.m.)
  • Cost: $40
  • Release: 1993
  • Runtime: 127 min.

NOW STREAMING VIRTUALLY AT THE WEX

Cincinnati Goddam

A timely documentary that followed the Black Lives Matter movement around 2013, this film focuses on the corruption within the Cincinnati Police Department, whose force was responsible for killing a total of 15 black men between 1995 and 2001. 

  • Closes: July 9
  • Cost: Free
  • Release: 2015
  • Runtime: 103 min.

Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things

Ella Fitzgerald is one of the most prolific singers of all time. Although a lot of her life has been studied, this documentary goes deeper with some never-before-seen footage and interviews from greats such as Tony Bennett and Smokey Robinson.

  • Closes: July 23
  • Cost: $12
  • Release: 2019
  • Runtime: 90 min.

The Last Tree

A coming-of-age journey that follows a Black teenager trying to find his identity in the UK and beyond. The movie was the winner of the World Dramatic Competition at Sundance and Best Supporting Actress and Most Promising Newcomer awards at the British Independent Film Awards.

  • Closes: July 23
  • Cost: $10
  • Release: 2019
  • Runtime: 98 min.

Denise Ho - Becoming the Song

Another unfortunately timely documentary, Denise Ho follows the personal journey of the openly gay singer from pop icon to human rights activist. What emerged out of the Umbrella Movement of 2014 saw Ho take to the streets in the midst of the Hong Kong revolution in 2019.

  • Closes: July 30
  • Cost: $12
  • Release: 2020
  • Runtime: 83 min.

NOW STREAMING VIRTUALLY AT GFC

Ai Weiwei: Yours Truly

Ai Weiwei, China's most famous artist, transforms Alcatraz Island prison into an astonishing expression of socially-engaged art focused on the unjustly incarcerated. Known-whistleblower Chelsea Manning makes an appearance. 

  • Opens: July 8
  • Cost: $10
  • Release: 2019
  • Runtime: 78 min.

We Are Little Zombies

If eccentric Japanese cinema is your forte, you’ll want to check out We Are Little Zombies. A messy triumph of tragedy, comedy, music, social criticism, and teenage angst, watch what four teenagers do when they find out their parents are being turned into dust.

  • Opens: July 8
  • Cost: N/A
  • Release: 2019
  • Runtime: 120 min.
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Things To Do

Where to get your Red, White & BOOM on this July 4th

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It was a bummer to hear that Red, White & BOOM would be canceled and changed to a virtual format for 2020. However, that shouldn’t stop you from celebrating in a somewhat traditional sense. Even with one of the biggest fireworks celebrations put on hold, there’s still plenty to do around Columbus, fireworks or no fireworks.

We here at (614) know that given the modern-day circumstances, people have the choice to celebrate in whatever way they feel most comfortable. Below you can find three ways to celebrate–Local 4th of July events; Red, White & BOOM alternatives; and places where you can legally celebrate yourself.

THINGS TO DO ON JULY 4TH

Fourth of July Fireworks

West Jefferson July 4th Streetfest

When: July 4 at 10 p.m.

Where: Watch from home

Obetz Fireworks

When: July 4

Where: Watch from home

Fourth of July Activities

Neighborhood Bike Brigade

When: Various start times

Where: Dublin neighborhoods

Sherm Sheldon Fishing Derby

When: June 26 through July 4

Where: Any Dublin pond

Fourth of July Parades

Front Yard Parade in the Round

When: July 4 at 6 until 9 p.m.

Where: Your front yard

2020 Cruisin’ On The 4th of July

When: July 4 at noon

Where: Northbridge Ln., Columbus, OH 43235

New Albany 4th of July Parade & Festival

When: July 4 at 10 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

Where: Church of the Resurrection, 6300 E Dublin Granville Rd., New Albany, OH 43054

Other Fourth of July Events

Zoombezi Bay Family Movie Night featuring The Goonies

When: July 3 from 6 until 11 p.m.

Where: Zoombezi Bay, 10101 Riverside Dr., Powell, OH 43065

HOW TO CELEBRATE WITH RED, WHITE & BOOM

Red, White & BOOM was gearing up for its 40th anniversary before COVID-19 shut the mass gathering down. However, the beloved Columbus fireworks show will be hosting a virtual event over the first four days of July. The virtual campaign will air on NBC4.

Here are some of the events that will take place:

  • Highlighting the best Red, White & BOOM stories
  • Stories from local veterans inducted into the Ford Oval of Honor
  • Broadcasting the best Red, White & BOOM fireworks over the show’s 39-year history
  • Looking back on the tradition of parades honoring veterans

HOW TO TAKE CELEBRATING INTO YOUR OWN HANDS

We here at (614) also know that setting off fireworks yourself is illegal. We also know that buying them within the state is legal (OK?).

So here is a list of places around Columbus you can buy fireworks from. What you do from there is up to you, but we advise you to stay within the law:

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Community

Zoo Babies! We’ve got the photo cuteness

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Start the ooo-ing and ahhh-ing, Columbus, because we’ve got Zoo baby pics!

A Masai giraffe calf, a sea lion pup, two red panda cubs, and a siamang (gibbon) baby—all recent births at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium for these endangered species. It’s a show of commitment from the organization how they were able to nurture these species populations at-risk for extinction and bring new generations of them into the world. 

“We are extremely proud to welcome these babies as they all represent hope for the future of species that are increasingly facing challenges in their native ranges,” said Columbus Zoo and Aquarium President/CEO, Tom Stalf. In the press release, Stalf detailed how special these births are as the threatened species received around-the-clock, top-quality care by the Animal Care staff over the three-month-closure of the Zoo, due to COVID-19. 

OK, no more waiting—get your fill of cuteness below with these Zoo baby pics!

Masai Giraffe Calf

“A Masai giraffe calf was born on June 28, 2020, at 2:29 p.m. to mother, Zuri, in a behind-the-scenes barn of the Zoo’s Heart of Africa region.”

Sea lion Pup

“During the early morning hours of June 25, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium welcomed the first sea lion pup ever to be born at the facility!”

Two Red Panda Cubs

“Two healthy red panda cubs were born at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, a welcomed addition to this endangered species.”

Siamang (Gibbon) baby

“On the morning of May 29, 2020, the Australia and Islands region welcomed a baby siamang. Mom, Olga, is being very attentive to her little one, whose sex and name have not yet been determined.”

Get information about conservation at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium here.

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