It's here, finally—a season of entertainment in the streets and under the stars, with too many festivals to keep count. From the region's largest fireworks display to a popular barbecue festival, here are some ways to enjoy the season this month.


While most art festivals are pop-up experiences, Summer Jam West in Westgate Park aims to have a long-term effect on the Hilltop neighborhood through permanent installations. This year’s “Peace Train” mural by Justin Withrow will provide a bold pop of color along a 110-foot wall on Sullivant Avenue, becoming the 11th Art Spot sponsored by the festival, the organizers and the community. Free. July 13.

More than 130 artists will gather at Heritage Park for the 46th Westerville Music and Arts Festival, though the entertainment extends beyond their booths. There will be more than 30 musical performances—including a headlining set from The Reaganomics on Saturday—more than a dozen food trucks and youth activities such as backyard games and “a musical instrument petting zoo” from School of Rock Gahanna. $1, children 10 and under free. July 13–14.

After more than a decade away, the Columbus Destroyers returned to the Arena Football League as it expanded to six teams in 2019. Columbus will play 12 regular season games during the spring and summer; catch the last home stand of the season at Nationwide Arena when the Destroyers take on the Albany Empire on July 14. $23–$103.



In year five, the 2X2 Hip-Hop Festival is bringing back all the elements that helped it gain popularity—more than 30 performances from hip-hop artists, battles among MCs, DJs and B-Boys, live art demos, a beatbox session and a kid’s area, all located at The Lookout Shop on West Broad Street. This year’s fest also includes a second day with workshops and talks from music industry insiders. $15–$20, children under 15 free. July 27–28.


Appropriately, the construction-filled Downtown corridor has developed more balconies, rooftops and other vantage points for the city’s other big boom, the annual fireworks display. We’d recommend enjoying some time among fellow patriots during Red, White & Boom’s parade and street festival, then finding a scenic viewing spot high above the fray for the nighttime show. Free. July 3.

The so-called disorganizers of the satirical Doo Dah Parade have allegedly invited Columbus’ famous yet elusive resident Eric Clapton to be this year’s Less-Than-Grand Marshal. Even if the renowned bluesman doesn’t show, there will be plenty of free entertainment during the procession through the Short North and at the block party on Buttles and High afterward. Free. July 4.

Every year, the Ohio State Fair seems to expand its wide world of competitions, which now include a cornhole tournament, a spelling bee and a tablescaping contest, among many others. For entertainment, the 2019 fair concert series features Hank Williams Jr. (July 27), comedian Gabriel Iglesias (July 28), Bad Company (Aug. 2) and several others. $6–$10, children under 5 free. Concerts ticketed separately; price varies. July 24–Aug. 4.

This year, the Columbus Gospel Fest and Columbus Disabilities Fest are joining forces to create one combined experience in Genoa Park. Activities start at 10 a.m. with a Disabilities Walk and will include a Children’s Edu Fun Fest in partnership with COSI, as well as a wellness fair, giveaways and vendors. Free. July 27.