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Big Fest Energy: 12 festivals happening in July

Mitch Hooper



In June, you survived ComFest and you marched proudly in the Pride Parade. Good for you! You definitely earned your June festival badge (*badges sold separately). But now it’s July, and it’s time for another go around in the city. With arts and music festivals in anywhere from Yellow Springs to the Hilltop, here’s what you can’t miss this month.

JULY 6-7: The 5th Annual Gnarbeque Music And Arts Festival | Woodland’s Backyard

In its fifth installment, the Gnarbeque Music and Arts Festival is bringing a wide collection of musicians, artists, and DJs, to Woodland’s Backyard. With CD102.5, Snarls, and many other local music favorites, this year promises to be the biggest yet.

JULY 6: Springfest 2019 | Yellow Springs

Just to the south of the city is Yellow Spring’s popular Springfest featuring national and regional music, an arts market, and local craft beer by the cupful. The family-friendly event is a great getaway for a day in the sun.

JULY 11 – AUGUST 15 21st: Annual Heritage Music Festival | Mayme Moore Park

The month of July kicks off The King Arts Complex’s Heritage Music Festival where Thursdays offer live music. The lineup will feature blends of different musical acts as well as feature acts like The Quan Howell Project.

JULY 12-14: GoodGuys PPG Nationals | The Ohio State Fairgrounds

The smell of race fuel and gasoline will fill the air at the Fairgrounds as the classic hot rods and vehicles roll in for the weekend. Check out some of the most eye-grabbing cars from across the country, meet their owners, and sit in on some of the events like time trial races.

JULY 12-13: North Market Ohio Wine Festival | The North Market

Featuring wines straight from Ohio, the North Market Ohio Wine Festival is your chance to sample your way through a variety of options. Your admission ticket gets your 10 wine tastings to start, but the real challenge will be figuring out if you should get 10 or 20 more sample tickets. And to balance out all that alcohol intake, the North Market merchants will be open until 9 p.m. during the two-day festival.


JULY 13: Summer Jam West: Peace Train | Westgate Park

This free and family-friendly arts festival in Hilltop is an all-day affair on Friday. Take your little ones to check out the professional chalk artists or let them run wild with chalk creations of their own. With local music and art installations being hung around throughout the community, this is a celebration of Hilltop.

JULY 13-14: Westerville Music & Arts Festival | Heritage Park

Step out of the city and into the suburbs as Westerville hosts its annual music and arts festival. The two-day festival features The Reaganomics on Friday as well as food and booze vendors and family-friendly activities.

JULY 19-22: Jazz and Rib Festival 2019 | The Scioto Mile

Back for another three days in the city is the Jazz And Rib Festival on The Scioto Mile where you can bask in the sounds of jazz, and the stains of barbeque sauce. Bring a lawn chair, extra napkins and towelettes, and maybe even a backup shirt. You can never be too safe!

JULY 20: Sommerfest (II) | Germania

Fröhlicher Sommer! That (should) say happy summer in German… don’t quote us on that, though. What you can quote us on is an abundance of German-themed treats at Sommerfest like big mugs of hefeweizen or the iconic cream puffs. And if you’re feeling competitive, try your luck in one of the Stein hoist competitions.

JULY 25-AUGUST 6: The Ohio State Fair | The Ohio State Fairgrounds

Deep fried everything, cows made of butter, and a star-studded lineup of entertainment: welcome to the State Fair! This year brings in comedian Gabriel Iglesias as well as country superstars Toby Keith and Hank William Jr., plus who doesn’t want to go check out all the cute barnyard animals?

JULY 27: What? Fest | Location: 400 West Rich

Of the summer festivals in July, What? Fest is perhaps the youngest with its humble beginnings just last year. The arts and music forward festival features an intimate setting at 400 West Rich along with several musical acts ranging from a variety of genres.

JULY 27: 2X2 Hip-Hop Festival | 3440 W Broad St.

This festival is for the hip-hop and rap heads living in Columbus. The 2X2 Hip- Hop Festival will feature rappers, graffiti artists, and plenty of food trucks. Whether you’re into breakdancing or MC battles, 2X2 will supply the heat.

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Cedar Point, Kings Island are suing to get you back




It just doesn’t seem fair, does it? Columbus Zoo & Aquarium are allowed to re-open but Cedar Point and Kings Island have been snubbed in Gov. Mike DeWine’s most recent announcement that Ohio’s entertainment venues were allowed to re-open.

After being left out of the party, Cedar Point, Kalahari Resort and Kings Island sued the director of the Ohio Department of Health Thursday, arguing that Dr. Amy Acton doesn’t have the authority to keep the state’s amusement parks and waterparks shut down and in doing so is violating the park’s rights.

The lawsuit was brought by attorney Maurice Thompson, executive director of the 1851 Center for Constitutional Law. The county health departments for both parks were also named in the lawsuit.

No word yet from the Ohio Department of Health as to when, or if, either amusement park will be allowed to open in June.

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Updated hours for North Market as first Farmers’ Market of the season opens Saturday




Get excited Columbus foodies - this Saturday marks the beginning of North Market’s Farmers’ Market season! The Farmers’ Market will tantalize your taste buds every Saturday this summer through October, from 8 a.m. until noon at the North Market outdoor plaza at 59 Spruce Street.

During the coronavirus pandemic, North Market provided customers with fresh pick-up bundles. Now they’ve updated their operating hours to give consumers who want to shop again a chance to pick their own culinary delights.

"The hope is that a gradual reopening will strike a balance between the desire to serve the public and still respect the very real health concerns still shared by merchants, public, and staff," said Rick Harrison Wolfe, North Market's executive director, in a press release Thursday.

The updated hours, which will go into effect this Sat., June 6, are as follows:

  • Monday - Tuesday: closed
  • Wednesday - Friday, Sunday: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

All of those in attendance will have to observe the following guidelines as outlined in a press release by North Market:

  • North Market's mask requirement that applies to indoor merchants and guests will also apply to all outdoor vendors and guests.
  • Access to each farmers' market booth will be limited. Markings on ground will indicate this requirement and will show the distance required between people. Only one person/group traveling together may be in each box at a time.
  • Several farms and vendors will offer contact-free shopping and pre-orders. North Market asks that guests pre-order and plan out shopping trips when possible. This helps keep crowds to a minimum and lines moving smoothly.
  • Farms and vendors will provide hand sanitizer for guest use.
  • North Market farms and vendors are committed to helping prevent the spread of illness by washing hands frequently, covering coughs/sneezes, staying home when sick, and avoiding exposure to others who are sick. We ask that all guests follow the same protocols and do not visit North Market or the Farmers' Market if feeling ill.
  • North Market farms and vendors will continue to strictly follow all local public health guidelines, safety protocols, and best practices.

If you’re interested in which merchants will be open on what days, North Market has been dedicated to providing you with that information during the pandemic. You can find the list, which is updated daily, here.

Although there are still limitations on indoor seating, outdoor seating on the porch and the farmers’ market plaza are currently available.

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Weekend Getaway: Ohio State Park lodges reopen




Cooped up inside of our homes for the past few months, everyone could use a change of scenery. Luckily for those that love the great outdoors of Ohio, the perfect getaway is now possible once again.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources announced on May 28 that all nine Ohio State Park lodges would be reopened by June 5.

The places where you can escape to are listed below in order of closest proximity to Columbus to furthest:

  • Deer Creek
  • Burr Oak
  • Mohican Lodge
  • Salt Fork Lodge
  • Shawnee 
  • Hueston Woods
  • Maumee Bay
  • Punderson Manor

Director of State Park Lodges Tom Arvan had this to say in the May 28 press release:

“Our staff has been working diligently to ensure that guests return to a safe and sanitized environment following the CDC safety guidelines. Our goal is for our guests to feel comfortable as they enjoy the fun activities and relax in the natural beauty of the lodges and all the state parks have to offer this summer.”

Visit to secure your much-needed wilderness adventure today.

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