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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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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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