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Your 2018 central Ohio summer festival guide

CENTRAL OHIO (WCMH) - Festival season is finally here! 

From annual traditions and rock festivals to off-beat celebrations that you've probably never heard of, central Ohio has a lot going on this summer. Check out the schedule of festivals below and make sure mark your calendars with your favorites. 

This list will be updated as more festivals set dates throughout the season. 

May

Columbus Craft Beer Week

When: May 11 – May 19

Where: Various

Celebrate local breweries with events throughout the Columbus area! More than 40 craft breweries; 150 beer bars, growler shops and bottle stores; and over 300 restaurants serving craft beer make Columbus one of the largest craft beer cities in the United States. Check out the master event list here.

Rock on the Range

When: May 18 – May 20

Where: MAPFRE Stadium

Columbus' annual rock music festival returns to MAPFRE Stadium May 18 for three days of rock 'n' roll. Headliners include Alice In Chains, A Perfect Circle, Avenged Sevenfold, Stone Sour, Tool and Godsmack.Click or tap here for tickets

Columbus Taco Fest

When: May 19

Where: Genoa Park, Columbus

Columbus' most-anticipated new festival is coming to Genoa Park on May 19. Enjoy the best tacos, tequila and music Columbus has to offer at this free event. Make sure you come hungry! (Not sure which taco vendors to try first? Check out a list of our favorite taco places in the Columbus area here.)

Delaware Arts Festival

When: May 19

Where: Downtown Delaware

The 45th annual Delaware Arts Festival takes over downtown Delaware on May 19. This 100% volunteer-run event raises scholarship funds for Delaware County visual arts students and their teachers. Click or tap here for the full schedule.

Columbus Asian Festival

When: May 26 – May 27

Where: 1755 E. Broad St., Columbus

Explore food, dance, sports and music from all across Asia at the annual Columbus Asian Festival. The event draws more than 100,000 visitors every year and features martial arts demonstrations, live music, dance performances, yoga and more.

Utica Sertoma Ice Cream Festival

When: May 26 – May 28

Where: Utica

Nothing says summer like an ice cream cone, and the Utica Sertoma Ice Cream Festival has ice cream aplenty! Every Memorial Day weekend, Utica celebrates everything ice cream with kids’ contests, ice cream eating contests, more than 90 local artisans, pony rides, a classic car show and live entertainment.

Nelsonville Music Festival

When: May 31 – June 3

Where: Robbins Crossing historic village, Nelsonville

This year's Nelsonville Music Festival features more than 60 musical acts in four days on multiple stages. Be sure to check out the camping, local artisans, food vendors, beer garden and more. All kids 12 and under are admitted free. Headliners this year include George Clinton & Parliment Funkadelic, The Decemberists and Ani DiFranco. Click or tap here for tickets. 

June

African-American Cultural Festival

When: June 2

Where: King-Lincoln District, Columbus

Now in its second year, this family-friendly event celebrates freedom and equal rights through the rich history of the African-American culture. Enjoy performances and displays from local talent and honor the history of Columbus' African-American community through live music, spoken word and dance performances. This event is free. 

Columbus Chicken & Beer Fest

When: June 2

Where: West Bank Park, Columbus

Cick back and relax at the second annual Columbus Chicken & Beer Fest! Enjoy local chicken, local beer and local bands in West Bank Park. Proceeds benefit Franklinton Preparatory Academy's Adopt A Student program.

Coshocton Hot Air Balloon Festival

When: June 7 – June 9

Where: Coshocton County Fairgrounds, Coshocton

Make sure to mark your calendars for one of the longest-running hot air balloon festivals in the Buckeye State. The festival features musical entertainment, carnival rides, craft booths, fireworks and of course balloon launches. Admission is free. 

Columbus Arts Festival

When: June 8 – June 10

Where: Scioto Mile

Art, music, performances, food trucks, local beer…what more could you ask for? This year, the festival will feature more than 270 artists from across the country, a beer garden serving craft beers from local breweries, and two stages featuring both national headliners and local bands.

Washboard Music Festival

When: June 14 – June 16

Where: Logan, Ohio

Celebrate the musical legacy of the Columbus Washboard Company, the only remaining washboard manufacturer in the country at Logan, Ohio's annual Washboard Music Festival. Experience the best in live, local and regional artists from bluegrass to jazz and more. All entertainment and chilren's amusement rides are free thanks to contributions from fans. Check out the full schedule here.

Stonewall Columbus PRIDE Festival

When: June 15 – June 17

Where: Downtown Columbus

Now in its 37th year, the Stonewall Columbus PRIDE Festival draws nearly 500,000 visitors and is one of the largest pride events in the Midwest. The festival features a ton of vendors, live music, performances and a parade. Whether you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community or consider yourself an ally, this is one event you won’t want to miss.

Grove City Wine and Arts Festival

When: June 15 – June 16

Where: Grove City Town Center, Grove City

The Grove City Wine and Arts Festival is becoming one of the most popular events for wine and art enthusiasts in central Ohio.  The best vintages from more than 20 wineries will be served and you're sure to find the perfect piece of fine art for your home. Tickets are available the day of the event and come in bundles of eight with a commemorative event glass for just $20. 

Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival

When: June 15 – June 17

Where: Creekside, Gahanna

Enjoy three days of blues and jazz music with more than 55 performers on five stages. This year's lineup includes Angela Perley & The Howlin' Moons, the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, Chief Johnny Lonesom and more. Click or tap here for ticket information. 

Worthington Arts Festival

When: June 16 – June 17

Where, McConnell Arts Center, Worthington

The 26th annual Worthington Arts Festial is returning to the McConnell arts Center June 16 through June 17. The festival has been ranked among the top 200 shows in Sunshine Artist, and there are a ton of activities for the whole family.

ComFest

When: June 22 – June 24

Where: Goodale Park, Columbus

This festival celebrates everything counter-culture, eschewing corporate involvement and supporting the collective good for all people. Whether you’re going to check out the local artisans, see unique performances or just enjoy some top-notch people watching, you’re definitely in for a good time.

Powell Festival

When: June 22 – June 23

Where: Village Green Park, Powell

Check out Powell's signature community event this summer. Admission is free for this two-day festival that features family friendly entertainment, awesome food and fireworks. 

Toast to Summer

When: June 23

Where: Fayette County Airport, Washington Court House

Kickoff summer the right way at the Fayette County Toast to Summer.  This year's event features wine from local wineries, arts and crafts from local artisans, food venders, a beer garden and live music. Stick around to check out the hot air balloon launch after dusk. 

July

Red, White & BOOM!

When: July 3

Where: Downtown Columbus

Celebrate the Fourth of July the way it’s meant to be celebrated: with the largest fireworks display in Ohio. More than 400,000 people flock to downtown Columbus every year, a huge change from the event’s humble beginnings in Bicentennial Park back in 1981. The annual event features the Ford Oval of Honor Red, White  & BOOM! Parade, the Columbia Gas’ Children’s Park, Party on the Park, and of course the most recognized fireworks display in the Midwest. (Can’t make it this year? Don’t worry — you can still catch the spectacular sights right here on NBC4!)

Picktown Palooza

When: July 11 – July 14

Where: Olde Pickerington Village, Pickerington

Celebrate the charm of Pickerington and Violet Township at the 2018 Picktown Palooza. This four-day celebratin features carnival rides, food vendors, a car and bike show, live entertainment and much more. This year's headliners include Christian rock band SlawDog, Pink Floyd cover band Eugene's Axe and Night Ranger. Click or tap here for ticket information. 

Italian Heritage Summer Festival

When: July 13 – July 15

Where: Coffman Park, Dublin

Enjoy everything Italian at the 2018 Italian Heritage Summer Festival. You'll find great wines, authentic Italian beer and the best Italian food in Columbus, as well as performances by popular Italian and Italian-American musicians. For ticket information, tap or click here

INKcarceration

When: July 13 – July 15

Where: Ohio State Reformatory, Mansfield

Three days of  rock 'n' roll with performances by more than 30 bands on two stages and tons of talented tattoo artists at Ohio's most famous ex-prison... What could be better? The brand new INKcarceration festival is coming to the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield this July. Headliners include Rise Against, A Day To Remember, Bush, Our Lady Peace, Black Label Society and Clutch. Tap or click here for ticket information. 

Grove City Food Truck Festival and Patio Hop

When: July 14

Where: Historic Downtown Grove City

Enjoy the best food and patios Grove City has to offer on July 14. The food trucks will be spread out in the town center and there will be a patio hop so you can bring all your great food finds and enjoy specials while you relax on the patio. All proceeds benefit the Grove City Buddy Ball program. 

Westerville Music & Arts Festival

When: July 14 – July 15

Where: Heritage Park, Westerville

Now in its 45th year, the Westerville Music & Arts Festival is one of the best outdoor juried arts festivals in the Buckeye State. This year, the festival features more than 30 local musicians and entertainers, amazing food from more than 20 food trucks and vendors and so much more. On Saturday, the festival will have a special anniversary concert featuring Shucking Bubba. (Bonus: Vendors will also be selling beer at the festival this year!)

Jazz and Rib Fest

When: July 20 – July 22

Where: Scioto Mile

The annual Jazz and Rib Fest on the Scioto Mile is one of the best festivals of the year in the Columbus area. This yearly tradition features only the finest in music and barbecue. This year, 23 award-winning barbecue teams will compete for the bragging rights of “Best Ribs.”

Ohio State Fair

When: July 25 – Aug. 5

Where: Ohio Expo Center

No summer is complete without a visit to the Ohio State Fair. From livestock and amusement rides to concerts and carnival games, the state's biggest fair has it all. This year's concert headliners include Reba McEntire, The Commodores, Casting Growns, and Cheap Trick and Styx. Tap or click here for more information. 

August

Dublin Irish Festival

When: Aug. 3 – Aug. 5

Where: Coffman Park, Dublin

The annual Dublin Irish Festival features more than 65 acts and 535 performers, so there’s plenty for you to take in. This year, internationally renowned Celtic rock band Gaelic Storm will be headlining the festival Friday night, and the Young Dubliners are also performing. Check out the full list of performers here.

Grove City Bourbon Festival

When: Aug. 11

Where: Grove City Town Center, Grove City

Calling all bourbon enthusiasts: the annual Bourbon Festival is returning to the Grove City Town Center in August! For just $20, you can sample eight great bourbons before you invest in an entire bottle. Food vendors will also be on-hand and The Boondogglers will be performing from 7 to 9:30pm. 

Columbus Food Truck Festival

When: Aug. 17 – Aug. 18

Where: Downtown Riverfront

Columbus happens to have one of the best food truck scenes in the country, and more than 70 mobile food vendors from all over Ohio will be at this year’s festival. Click or tap here to see a list of our favorite Columbus-based trucks. If you’ve never been to the food truck festival, make sure to hit it up this year!

WAG! Fest

When: Aug. 18

Where: Darby Bend Lakes, Prairie Oaks Metro Park

The Midwest’s largest dog festival returns this August, with tons of fun planned for both dogs and their human companions. Along with activities and fun for dogs, dozens of area rescue groups will be in attendance with adoptable dogs looking for their forever homes. Tap or click here for more information.

Columbus Summer Wine Festival

When: Aug. 25

Where: Columbus Commons

The brand new Columbus Summer Wine Festival combines the best wine, food, arts and music that Columbus has to offer. More information about the festival is coming soon. 

Columbus Greek Festival

When: Aug. 31 – Sept. 3

Where: Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Columbus

Experience the culture and ancestry of Greece at the 2018 Columbus Greek Festival. From dance and music to food and architecture, there are a ton of opportunities to learn about and experience the everything Greek. This four-day celebration has turned into a central Ohio Labor Day weekend tradition. 

Obetz Zucchinifest

When: Aug. 31 – Sept. 3

Where:  Fortress Obetz

If you love zucchini, you won’t want to miss out on the 2018 Obetz Zucchinifest! This free festival features a classic car and motorcycle show, more than 20 food funders, midway rides and games, and live national entertainment, including country music superstar Gretchen Wilson. Monday is kids day with the Cincinnati Circus Company, COSI and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Click or tap here for more information.

Breakaway Music Festival

When: Aug. 24 – Aug. 26

Where: MAPFRE Stadium, Columbus

The Breakaway Music Festival is returning to MAPFRE Stadium and its bringing the best hip-hop and electronica preformances with it. Headliners this year include Halsey, Odesza and Migos with special guests Kaskade and Khalid. To purchase tickets, tap or click here. 

VIVO Music Festival

When: Aug. 29 – Sept. 2

Where: Columbus Museum of Art

If you love classical music, you'll definitely want to check out the VIVO Music Festival. This summer chamber music festival has featured musicians that have performed at the legendary Carnegie Hall. The lineup hasn't been announced for this year yet, but stay tuned for more information. 

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Don't see your festival listed? Send a press release about the event to rgribble@wcmh.com. 


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