COLUMBUS (COLUMBUS BUSINESS FIRST) — There is no Jazz & Rib Fest this year, but the city still wants folks to get their fill of barbecue.
In lieu of that annual gathering along Columbus’ riverfront, Columbus Recreation and Parks Department instead is promoting Jazz & Rib Fest BBQ Week July 19 to 25.
This isn’t intended to be a one-year thing. The city said the week will now be the warm-up to the annual festival going forward. Jazz & Rib Fest is expected to resume next year after a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19.
The city, in the release, said it hopes to encourage people to visit new restaurants and establishments that week.
Customers will have to provide their own soundtrack this year.
The BBQ Week participants to date:
- 3 Flame BBQ
- B&K Smoke House
- Beyond the Brix
- Big Daddy BBQ
- Bristol Republic
- Can’t Believe It’s Vegan
- G’s Flavor House
- Good & Tasty LLC
- Greenhouse Canteen and Bar
- Hoggy’s BBQ and Catering
- Jack Ruby’s Barbecue Company
- JD’S Kitchen
- Off the Bone BBQ
- Pecan Penny’s
- The Pit BBQ Grille
- Ray Ray’s Hog Pit
- Red Door BBQ
- Seitan’s Realm
- Sweet Carrot
- Tennessee Pit BBQ
- Texas Steele BBQ
If one peruses that list, barbecue is not restricted to carnivores. There are vegan and vegetarians options in there as well.
Restaurants, food trucks and taprooms not yet signed up can still do so through the festival’s website. There is no fee to take part. Participants will be highlighted on the site as well.
What is now the Jazz & Rib Fest started back in 1979 as the Jazz in July program. That became the Riverfront Jazz Festival and in 1990 merged with the UpDowntowners RibFest to form the event known today.
Though Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted this summer, the planning and permit process for large events such as the Jazz & Rib Fest takes months. Those restrictions were in place still back in the spring when planning for the event needed to occur.
Similar issues stopped Red White & Boom for a second year as well downtown. Other events, such as the Columbus Food Truck Festival opted to move from downtown Columbus to a new location for 2021 with plans to return in 2022.
Restaurants, large tourist-drawing events and the arts are among the sectors most impacted by Covid-19. Dozens of restaurants have closed in the past year as restrictions on business limited sales. Recovery only now is being seen. Ohio’s arts community estimates it lost more than $136 million since March 2020.
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