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What the fest? A 614 summer festival primer




So you think you know everything there is to know about Columbus’ slate of summer festivals? Many people do. But this year, dig a little deeper and look for these new (or returning) features to up your summer festival fun level.

Virtual Reality Tent – Columbus Arts Festival

Contemporary art has afforded us the chance to see new work in any number of crazy formats, from a shark suspended in formaldehyde to a totally empty canvas. One way you’ve probably never taken in art, though, is via virtual reality. This year at the Columbus Arts Festival, held Friday, June 7, through Sunday June 9 at English Plaza at COSI, visitors will be able to enter the festival’s virtual reality tent and take in a wide array of new Columbus art, an innovation equal parts beautiful and fascinating.

Columbus artist Bryan Moss has created a fascinating range of VR environments that festival-goers can explore virtually, including a fun and interesting look back into the past of the Columbus-based burger chain White Castle, complete with renderings of old menus and even full restaurants.

Associate Professor of Animation at Columbus College of Art and Design Charlotte Bellins has crafted a stunning catalog of animals in augmented reality. Different from virtual reality, AR introduces virtual objects into the real world, but doesn’t transport users to an entirely new virtual location. This lets visitors freely interact with what amounts to a virtual safari,  including everything from elephants, to wolves, and even whales.

Did we mention video games? The tent, which like the festival itself is entirely free, wouldn’t be complete without a full slate of VR games for all ages. Teaming up with local gaming pioneers Multivarious, a Columbus based developer was brought in to feature their virtual reality game Beyond the Stars, an engrossing title where players are challenged to navigate their way through an alien spaceship after an unexpected abduction. Multivarious will also be showcasing a cross section of non-virtual reality games from the coolest local indie developers out there today, including an innovative puzzle game Collapsus, the action-packed battle royal style MageQuit, and more.

The Return of the Marching Fidels Doo Dah Parade

The explosively fun, communal, free-to-march parade of lunatics donning every kind of costume imaginable is held every July 4th, and it feels a bit like an Independence Day celebration if aliens had won the Revolutionary War.

Now in its 36th year, the event has seen any and all groups present in its eclectic parade, from participants donning wigs, to facepaint, to nothing at all. One of the perennial fan favorite groups, and a collective that has been involved in the festival since its inception in 1984, is the Marching Fidels.

Yes, they are named after Fidel Castro, and yes, every year they march through the streets of Columbus donning fake beards and the signature olive green garb. “Think of them as revolutionaries for America, but with a Cuban Flair,” says the parade’s ChairChick and Queen, Deb Roberts.


And if their vaguely political antics, complete with humorous signs, blow up pool sharks, and other props isn’t enough, each year the group choses one unknowing audience member to kidnap, and the (hopefully) good sport marches with them through the end of the parade route. Roberts said one year they wrangled former Columbus news anchor, Andrea Cambern.

While the group actually missed last year’s parade for the first time, (614) has it on good information that the group will be back in 2019. “They’ve taken some youth pills; they’ve been to the fountain of youth, and a new barrage of Fidels is supposed to march this year,” Roberts says.

Everybody Paddles the City – Pridefest

You’ve probably experienced Columbus Pride from its famous parade route or standing next to its pair of live music stages at Bicentennial Park and Genoa Park, where between Friday, June 14 and Sunday, June 16, nearly 20 musical guests are slated to perform.

What’s less likely, though, is that you’ve seen the Midwest’s second-largest Pride Festival, celebrating its 38th year in 2019, from a kayak while floating down the Scioto River.

For the second year in what looks to become a new Columbus Pride tradition, Everybody Paddles the City will allow ticketholders to paddle their way down the Scioto Mile on Friday, June 14 between 4:00 pm and 10:00 pm. Imagine cruising past Bicentennial Park in your favorite Pride gear as music from the Pride Stage jumps across the water before you.

Created by the American Kayaking Association, Everybody Paddles the City aims to support Columbus Pride while encouraging residents of Ohio’s largest city to get out in the natural world and learn a thing or two about America’s waterways.

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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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