With hours of free live music and over a dozen vendors of amazing smoked foods at your disposal, the Jazz & Rib fest is one of the signature events of summer in Columbus.
A festival of this scale offers so much to enjoy, which means it’s also easy to get overwhelmed. Unpredictable weather. Crowds. The ever-present threat of itis. What’s a Jazz & Rib-lover to do?
Never fear, 614NOW is here with another summer festival survival guide. Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to jazzy, pork-nap bliss.
Weather the storm (or heat)
July weather in Columbus can be unpredictable, so you’ll want to be prepared for whatever mother nature throws at you. With near-record heat in the forecast this weekend, be sure to pack an extra bottle or two of water or your favorite sports drink. High temps bring the potential for popup thunderstorms, so a cheap rain poncho in the back pocket is a clutch move.
The official Jazz and Rib fest website has all the info you’ll need to get where you’re going, and even offers some tips on where to park. While parking at meters, in downtown garages, and at COSI will be in play, it’s good to remember that public transit might be the cheapest way to get in and out. For those with the means, an Uber or Lyft could be preferable to navigating crowded and expensive event parking—plus you’ll probably leave the fest too full of rib meat to drive anyway.
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Line ’em up
You’ve made it to the fest, and now you’re faced with the hardest choice you’ll make this weekend: which ribs should you get? Two main factors to keep in mind: long lines may indicate a top-notch vendor, but obviously you’ll be waiting longer. Tents with short lines offer a quick fix, but could be a dice-roll when it comes to flavor.
Our advice: let your hunger guide you. If you see a favorite BBQ joint or a place offering your go-to regional style, a wait in line could be well worth it. If you’ve spent an hour circling the block for an open meter and arrive to the fest with ravenous hunger for smoked meats, hop in the shortest line you see. General consensus is that all participating vendors are pretty good, so wherever you end up you’ll probably be satisfied.
Yeah, cat! Dig those smooth grooves
If you only come for the ribs, you’re missing half the fun. The 2019 Jazz & Rib fest has secured a stellar lineup of artists ranging from smooth jazz favorites Norman Brown and Brian Culbertson, to local standouts Kinfolk and The Huntertones.
But The can’t-miss musical event of the weekend comes care of the Soul Rebels, who will be accompanied by founding member and spiritual leader of the legendary Wu-Tang clan, the one and only GZA.
Check out the fest’s full lineup of artists and schedule, and plan your time in rib lines accordingly.
The 2019 Jazz & Rib Fest takes place Friday, July 19, 2019 through Sunday, July 21 at Bicentennial Park. The event is free to attend.
It isn't deja vu. For the second time in a little more than one month, The Wilds is celebrating the arrival of a female white rhinoceros calf. The calf was born in the conservation center's large, heated rhino barn during the early morning hours of Friday, December 6, 2019.
This calf, who has been named “Bing” as recognition of donors Drs. Hetty and Arthur Bing, is the 22nd white rhino to be born at The Wilds.
“Each birth of a rhino here at The Wilds is an incredible achievement as all rhino species continue to face significant threats in their native range," said Dr. Jan Ramer, vice president of The Wilds, in a statement. "Over the years, we have learned more about rhinos, contributed to scientific knowledge about them, and helped raise awareness to inspire people to take action to help protect them. Our work is not done! However, the birth of this rhino calf is certainly exciting as the calf represents hope for the future.”
Bing and her 10-year-old mother, Anan, who was also born at The Wilds, are doing well and continue to bond. Animal Management staff note that Anan, who has previously given birth to two other calves and is an experienced mother, is being very attentive to her newborn. This is the second offspring for Bing’s father, 21-year-old Kengele, who was born at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. His first calf, Scout, was born at The Wilds on October 23, 2019 to mother, Agnes.
Guests may have the opportunity to view Bing and Anan, along with the other rhinos, in the rhino barn during a Winter at The Wilds tour within the coming weeks. Tours are available at 11 AM and 2 PM through April. Reservations must be made at least 72 hours in advance. For more information, visit TheWilds.org.
Distracted by the raucous sounds of the festival beyond the garden walls, you almost don’t notice the shrouded figure emerging from behind the old statue. You and your companions turn to leave, but hesitate when the mysterious man calls out to each of you by name. When pressed, the stranger warns of a malevolent force known as “Hunger,” which is gathering its power somewhere deep in the nearby forest. He knows you and your stalwart party of adventurers will do what must be done...
If you’ve spent any time with Dungeons & Dragons or
its various progeny, you can probably guess where this is
going. A journey into the enchanted forest, traps, treasures,
attribute checks and plenty of scribbled notes on pieces of
scratch paper. But even if you’re an old hand at the tabletop
stuff, odds are your campaign never included golden chicken
nuggets and sentient cheeseburgers.
Dublin-based fast food chain Wendy’s has never shied
away from the improbable. When nearly all of burgerdom
had settled on circular patties, Wendy’s went square.
Competitors hocking frozen meat? Wendy’s tackled
logistical challenges to serve “fresh, never frozen” burgers.
Even in the new frontier of social media, the brand was
an early standout in the trend of corporate-tied accounts
adopting sassy, comical voices.
The trick with innovation is that it’s hard to stay ahead
of the curve. With a Twitter war raging between two
Southern-style chicken sandwiches, or Colonel Sanders
launching a finger lickin’ good dating app, a witty online
presence can only take you so far. In the increasingly
polarizing and absurd meta-conversation surrounding fast
food online, how’s a brand to stay above the fray? If you’re
Wendy’s, you swing for a critical hit by launching a comically
overwrought, burger-themed D&D-style table-top game.
At first blush, the rulebook for “Feast of Legends: Rise
From the Deep Freeze” seems like nothing more than a
marketing campaign disguised as an absurd extended joke.
Upon cracking into the 91-page tome, (made available by
Wendy’s as a free downloadable PDF) would-be adventurers
will discover that this game actually packs some beef.
If that last pun caused you to cringe, this is probably not
the game for you. The adventure depicted here takes place
in “the realm of Beef’s Keep,” located in the kingdom of
Freshtovia. Ruled over by the good queen Wendy, Freshtovia
is locked in an eternal struggle against the wickedness of the
United Clown Nations and its Jester king (a thinly-veiled
allusion to Ronald McDonald).
In spite of never letting the user forget the Wendy’s angle,
the Feast of Legends rulebook is every bit as thoughtful
and detailed as many traditional, non-burger-based RPGs.
Before tackling the main adventure, the reader can peruse
around 25 pages explaining everything from gameplay
mechanics to character creation and the various “orders”—
think classes in D&D—that a player can elect to join. OK,
so maybe the weapons sheet includes sporks and spatulas
for your warrior from the esteemed “Order of the Chicken
Sandwich” to wield—the fact remains that this RPG seems
like it might have some real potential for fun (in addition to
the fun of mocking its very existence, that is).
Eager to put this theory to the test, an enterprising group of (614) staff set out on a quest to explore the realm of Freshtovia. Our goal? To put the playability of this bizarre game to the test, and to perhaps uncover why,
if for any reason, Wendy’s made the damn thing in the
From the beginning, some members of the party were less
than enthused at the prospect of playing a tabletop RPG, let
alone one with references to Frostys and spicy nugs jammed
in at every turn. By the time the group was confronted with its
first puzzle—a riddle scrawled on a statue of the late Wendy’s
founder Dave Thomas—all trepidation had subsided.
Marketing ploy or not, the players were consumed by the
Playing through an early level of mazes, the absurdity of the French Fry Forest or stumbling upon a golden baked potato was all but moot. By the time the party encountered the game’s first boss—a dreaded monster called “Hunger,” the supplied character sheets had all been personalized with care, complete with detailed portraiture of each player’s imagined warrior. The buy-in was complete. We were actually invested in an imaginary land populated by Wendy’s foodstuffs.
Without question, the minds at Wendy’s marketing
department had crafted a game that could hook players
and keep them hungry for more. The only nagging question
that remained was, why? The intricate rulebook and
campaign, complete with countless maps and professional
illustrations, was surely the work of hundreds of hours of
effort. Would anyone really go to such lengths for a joke with
no punchline? Is Wendy’s really that desperate to target the
tabletop gaming crowd?
One possible answer comes via the rulebook’s
explanation of “buffs” and “debuffs,” or powerups and
hindrances that will affect characters during gameplay.
According to the rules, eating Wendy’s products in real life
will yield various advantages to your in-game character
(+1 strength for any cheeseburger item) while consuming
competitor’s food produces an undesirable effect.
Whether produced to sell burgers-as-powerups to a select group of fast food and RPG-obsessed basement dwellers, or simply existing as one of the biggest viral marketing flexes of all time, Feast of Legends provides a surprisingly immersive and enjoyable play experience. Will it bring gamers to Wendy’s in droves? Probably not. But if our office’s experience with the game is any indication, it might be enough to hook unlikely RPG players on the tabletop experience—one enchanted burger at a time.
To embark on your own adventure, download the Feast
of Legends rulebook at FeastOfLegends.com.
Picture this: You’ve got your fuzzy socks on, a cup of hot coco in one hand, and a good book in the other. The sound of a crackling fireplace lingers in the background as you glance out to the snow-coated country side and realize…you are in your own little snow globe paradise!
Sounds lovely doesn’t it?
Oh, and let us not forget the best part…hot tubs! There is something so satisfactory about soaking in steaming hot water as the chill of winter wonderland beauty surrounds you, am I right?
No need for winter blues when you can create your own winter oasis at one of the many cozy cabins located right here in Ohio!
Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls
A perfect place for a relaxing cabin getaway. The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls is tucked away on 75 acres of woodland forest, conveniently surrounded on three sides by Hocking Hills State Park. Enjoy a secluded and relaxing weekend soaking in the whirlpool hot tub, snuggling up by the gas log fire, and enjoying the peaceful serenity provided by the wintery nature around you.
Freshly-baked cookies always await your arrival here and all accommodations include a hearty breakfast, too.
Also located in the winter wonderland of Hocking Hills are the cozy log cabins of Oakwood. Each charming yet modern cabin is set in a secluded location, giving you the privacy required for a rejuvenating getaway. Feel the cold breeze on your face as you sink into the screened-in outdoor hot tub and relax away each day by watching old DVD’s. If adventure is calling your name, strap on some winter hiking boots to explore the nearby Ash or Old Man’s Cave!
Escape to the Amish country of southern Ohio this winter by visiting the quaint cabins at Murphin Inn. Marvel at the snow-coated views of the Appalachian foothills, spanning across 140 acres of rolling woodland and farm. Spend the day exploring the Amish-owned boutiques, antique shops, and bakeries in the neighborhoods nearby. Upon return, cozy up by the indoor or outdoor fire pits with a good book and great company. Come morning time, enjoy a bountiful country breakfast with freshly squeezed orange juice.
Peacefully located on quiet country roads far from traffic or noise you will find the luxury cabins of Mohican Pines near Mohican State Park. The cabins are far from any town, allowing the stars to shine brighter than ever. Admire the snow covered pine forest and valley from the patio or steamy hot tub and enjoy your winter bliss.