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Making the Best of Boom: 3 viewing spots for the fireworks

Mitch Hooper



Each and every year the city of Columbus gathers round for a visual experience where lights and pyrotechnics illuminate the sky. It’s a chance for us to celebrate our independence from Mama England with a giant party and even bigger traffic lines. There’s no way to avoid the madness that is Red, White, and Boom—city streets are shut down, Uber surcharges skyrocket (no pun intended), and even if you decided to stay in, your neighbor and his box of M-80s have other plans for your quiet night.

Alas, there’s only one solution and it’s a cliché saying: if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. And if you’re going to do it, you’d better do it right. Here are three viewing options for enjoying Boom this year. And as always, be safe out there.

 In The Thunderdome

If you and a group of friends are looking to really take in Boom this year, booking a night at The LeVeque Tower is a solid option that can be split to make it more affordable. Not only is The LeVeque right in the heart of RWB, it potentially has one of the best views in the city. The high-rise hotel over looks the Scioto Mile, which is conveniently close to where the fireworks are actually set off. While everyone will be lugging around backpacks and bags, you’ll have the luxury of an upscale hotel room to take pit stops in. And once all the firework dust settles, you can simply walk back to your room, or The Keep (LeVeque’s elegant bar), instead of waiting in traffic for three and a half hours.

In The Splash Zone

When it comes to RWB, getting there early could be the difference between a good spot and a great spot. Alternatively, you can work smarter, not harder, and snag a kayak or stand-up paddleboard, or bring your own, to float down the Scioto Mile. Remember how The LeVeque is close? This is about as close as you can get beyond actually lighting the damn things. That being said, there are a few things to keep in mind. Police patrol the river quite frequently on the night of Boom so you’re going to need lights on your mode of transportation because they’ll be doing inspections for safety concerns and just for straight up visibility. (IMPORTANT: no booze in the boats!) Visit to brush up on the rules and regulations before you head out.

In The Spirit Of Families

While part of Columbus will be focusing on chugging beers, and another part attempting to keep their sanity amongst all the crazies, there’s the final part that is simply just looking to take their little ones to a fireworks show. And this group isn’t looking to deal with drunken Boomers. If you fall in this category, The Scioto Audubon is a great option. Not only are outside fireworks and alcohol prohibited, dogs are permitted! The Audubon also offers more for the little ones to do, like a sand volleyball court, a rock climbing wall, and even a playground. Unfortunately, parking here might be a bit of a tricky situation, but I have a few tips for handling that.

Traffic Tips

So you decided to ignore this treasure trove of a story and went ahead with driving to RWB. I’m not mad. I’m just a little disappointed. Either way, before you dive headfirst into the traffic nightmare, here’s a few pointers.

Park far away and utilize transportation services like Bird and Lime Scooters, or public bicycles, to get to and from RWB.

Uber there, but don’t hail down an Uber to get home. Instead, walk a few blocks away from all the craziness and then call an Uber. Not only will they be able to pick you up faster, they won’t be stuck in the traffic exiting the event.

Stay at a hotel nearby. There are plenty of lodging options Downtown and a good majority of them offer overnight parking. Even if you aren’t able to see the fireworks from your room, a 15-minute walk back beats hours of traffic jams every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

millennial | writer | human

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9 festivals for you to fall in love with this weekend

Mitch Hooper



Summer may be rounding out, but there are still so many ways to fest outside. From vintage good fairs to rock climbing at the Scioto Audubon, here are the festivals taking place this weekend in the city.

Sept. 12-15 | Scioto Fest | Scioto Audubon Metro Park

This four-day festival is for those with an affinity for the outdoors. Here, adrenaline junkies will find rock climbing and bouldering while land lovers can enjoy camping, music, and all the food offerings.

Sept. 12-14 | Creative Control Fest 8 | Lincoln Theatre

In its eighth year, the Creative Control Fest is back to raise up and celebrate creatives of color from around the midwest. Hang out and learn useful information at one of the many workshops, or get your mind right at one of the wellness activities designed for creatives from a variety of different industries.

Sept. 13-14 | 934 Fest 2019 | 934 Gallery

In a celebration of the art scene here in Columbus, 934 Gallery is opening its doors for two-days this weekend featuring art from Lucie Shearer and Andy Meyer. Additionally, the festival will play host to two music stages, a comedy stage, local artist vendors, food trucks, craft beer, and plenty of activities for your young Picasso.

Sept. 13-15 | Country Living Fair | Ohio Historical Village

Calling all flea market fans and garage sale experts, this is your chance to splurge! This three-day fair offers more than 200 vendors from across different states selling vintage and handcrafted goods as well as antiques. Stop by one of the how-to sessions, or simply fill up your Pinterest mood board with loads of ideas.

Sept. 13-14 | Columbus Caribbean Festival | The Scioto Mile

In its third year, the Columbus Caribbean Festival has returned to The Scioto Mile for two days of live music, delicious island-inspired food and drinks including Taste Of Kingston and The Gumbo Dude Food Truck, and a parade. The music lineup includes Pete Funk, BAND AMANIAUZURI, and The Flex Crew.

Sept. 13-15 | 2019 Grandview Oktoberfest | Hofbrauhaus Columbus (Grandview)

Another weekend in September, another chance to celebrate the German Oktoberfest! This time around it's at Hofbrauhaus where live entertainment will clash with German food and bier as well as activities for little ones. Friday will feature WCOL-FM from 6pm- 8pm, while Saturday will host a face painter and balloon artists from 2pm- 6pm. And if you couldn't make it to the face painter on Saturday, they will return on Sunday from 1pm- 4pm in addition to a magician.

Sept. 14 | Crafted Food, Beer & Music Festival | Columbus Commons

From farm-to-table-to-festival, the Crafted Food, Beer & Music Festival brings nine different Columbus restaurants together to showcase their offerings. For $15, you can enjoy live music from George Barrie Band and The Floorwalkers, stuff your face, and know that you're doing some civic good as a portion of proceeds will benefit Freedom a la Cart, an organization providing paid workforce training and supportive services to survivors of human trafficking.

Sept. 14 | Oktoberfest Party | Wolf's Ridge Brewing

Wolf's Ridge is getting in on the Oktoberfest action and on Saturday you can find brats, spaetzle, and of course, WRB's very own Oktoberfest bier. If you really want to feel the Oktoberfest vibes, purchase a $14 stein and hoist it high!

Sept. 14 | Old Hilliardfest | Main St. in Old Hilliard

This street fair takes place in Old Hilliard where visitors can explore car shows and sunflower shows as well as all the fixings of most festivals: live music, food, and activities for kids at the kid's fair. Support local, and have fun while doing so!

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Let’s play FREE ball! Clippers weekend win means more dime-a-dogs

Mike Thomas



Over the weekend, our Columbus Clippers topped the Gwinnett Stripers to clinch the series, earning them a spot in the Governors' Cup Finals!

Games 1 and 2 of the Governors' Cup Finals best-of-5 series against the Durham Bulls will be played at Huntington Park on September 10 and September 11. Both games will start at 6:35pm, gates open at 5:30pm.

As if that weren't enough to entice you, all games in the first round will be dime-a-dog! 

Tickets for Games 1 and 2 are FREE! They will be available beginning Monday at 10am via Ticketmaster (no fees!), by calling 614-462-2757, or by stopping by either our Administrative Offices from 10am-4pm or the CF Box Office on the corner of Neil and Nationwide from 10am-2pm.

Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, with a limit of four per order. For more information including the complete playoff schedule, click here.
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Amazon Treasure Truck returns to Columbus this weekend with exclusive deals

Mike Thomas



Whether you missed out on the Prime Day deals, or simply want to keep the savings rolling, Amazon is offering a unique new way to score deals in Columbus. This weekend, the juggernaut of online retail is once again bringing its Treasure Truck to the 614.

The concept is simple: Customers can sign-up for text message alerts revealing the day’s treasure, which could range from trending tech and the latest gear to seasonally relevant products. Sign up for text message notifications by texting “truck” to 24193.

After customers place their order on Amazon, they then select a convenient pickup location and time slot to get their item. In addition to the iconic trucks, customers can pick up their treasure at newly-launched vans, as well as kiosks located in select Amazon Books, Amazon Go, Whole Foods Market stores, and more.

To learn more and to sign up for alerts, click here, or sign up for text message notifications by texting “truck” to 24193. Don't sleep on these deals—the Treasure Truck will be rolling on to the next locale before you know it!

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