The Summer fun continues this month


What started as a small Independence Day fireworks show in the early 1980s has grown into one of the biggest Fourth of July displays in the Midwest—and the celebration starts well before dark. Red, White & Boom draws thousands to Bicentennial Park, the Arena District and surrounding Downtown areas for a day full of family-friendly activities, live entertainment and plenty of local bites and libations. Free. July 3.

The champ is here! James “Buster” Douglas, the man who felled “Iron” Mike Tyson to become the world heavyweight titleholder in 1990, will be the “less-than-grand” marshal leading this year's Doo Dah Parade. Grab a spot along the Short North parade route, which steps off from Park Street at 1 p.m., for a view of the liberty and lunacy. Free. July 4.

You don't have to be a gearhead to appreciate more than 6,500 hot rods, classics, muscle cars and more on display at the Goodguys PPG Nationals at the Ohio Expo Center. A general admission ticket includes access to the car show, exhibits and a swap meet. And if indulging the need for speed means catching the action from the sidelines, don't forget to check out Goodguys AutoCross racing for a jolt of adrenaline. $20. July 7–9.

For years Pickerington has celebrated its beauty and long history with the annual Violet Festival, but this summer the community will come together for a brand-new jubilee. Featuring live entertainment, carnival rides, games, food vendors and a beer garden near Victory Park, Picktown Palooza will offer a little something for everyone. $5–$10. July 13–16.

State fairs and fried foods may be bedfellows, but there's much more to love about the Ohio State Fair than a petrified Snickers bar. Where else can you go to see sculptures fashioned out of Brillo pads and the best mustaches in the Midwest—all in the same place? $6–$25, children under 5 free. July 26–Aug. 6.

Outdoor & Adventure

FLIP is a local organization promoting cancer prevention, and FLIP's Darby Creek Trail Run 2017 provides a chance to put an active lifestyle into practice. The day includes a 5K or 10K through Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, and the 10K ends with a challenging stair climb. $20–$30. July 15.

Celebrate all the traditional trappings of summer at Gahanna's Great Outdoors Annual Summer Parks & Rec Party in Friendship Park. There will be canoeing and kayaking on Big Walnut Creek, interactive games, dress-up karaoke, food trucks, a camp fire with s'mores and a screening of “Sing.” Free. July 21.

The 2017 Color Run, a 5K through Downtown, will be like a trip to wonderland; in addition to the signature bursts of colored dust, there will be inflatable unicorns, a Cloud Foam Zone and an inspirational Dream Wall. A return to delicious reality waits at the end, with early bird access to the Jazz & Ribs Fest. $14.99–$39.99. July 22.


Continuing its tradition of playing annual international friendlies, Columbus Crew SC will host Eintracht Frankfurt from Germany's Bundesliga at Mapfre Stadium in July. Frankfurt has a 96-year edge in tradition, but the Crew is 3-0 all-time against teams from Germany, with an aggregate score of 15-6. $24. July 17.

It's fitting that The Honda Indy 200 is held in the crucible of late July, when the smell of burning rubber complements the waves radiating off the pavement. Dublin-born Graham Rahal will try to recreate his 2015 victory for the home crowd during the weekend's premier race at Lexington's Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. $30–$85. July 28–30.


The Grove City Summer Sizzle Concert Series is like scanning satellite radio, flipping through genres from disco to zydeco. Each Friday in the George Edge Music Park, a new band offers listeners a sample of a different style, whether it's The Conspiracy Band's jazz and R&B (June 23) or the contemporary Celtic music of The Ladies of Longford (Aug. 18). Free. May 26–Aug. 18.

It's hard to imagine a more relaxing Friday evening than at Rhythm on the River—kicking back in Bicentennial Park and enjoying the scenery while listening to great music, from bluegrass to soul. This year's lineup includes The Blind Boys of Alabama (June 2), The Seldom Scene with Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper (July 14) and an alfresco performance by BalletMet (Aug. 25). Free. June 2–Aug. 25.

Technically summer begins June 21, but the concert season hits high gear early thanks to the CD102.5 Summer Kickoff with Portugal The Man and Electric Guest on June 10. That's only one of the concerts coming to Express Live this summer: Brit Floyd (July 15); Echo & the Bunnymen with Violent Femmes (July 19); My Morning Jacket (Aug. 10); and Young the Giant with Cold War Kids (Sept. 10). Price varies.

Here comes Common on the Commons: Building on the success of last year's collaboration with rapper Nelly, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra will host hip-hop artist Common on July 15 during its Picnic with the Pops series. It's one of several can't-miss dates, including a tribute to Prince (June 17) and Patriotic Pops featuring the Harmony Project (July 1). $25, kids $10. June 17–July 29.

The third annual 2X2 Hip-Hop Festival highlights four key elements of the culture: live performances, breakdancing, DJ battles and graffiti. On the grounds of Rice Paddy Motorcycles, the one-day event will feature freestyle sessions, live graffiti demos, breakdancing competitions and a kid's art area, all near two stages hosting some of the best rising independent hip-hop acts. $10–$15. July 22. Hip-Hop Festival


The Wex Drive-In series is slightly misleading; blankets and lawn chairs have replaced rows of family sedans on OSU's pedestrian plaza. But the carefree enjoyment of nighttime movies on the big screen hasn't waned, and this year's trio of rock concert documentaries—“Gimme Shelter” (June 15), “Wattstax” (July 20) and “Sign o' the Times” (Aug. 17)—offers plenty of entertainment for music-lovers and moviegoers alike. Free.

For fans of classic cinema, the CAPA Summer Movie Series packs 25 selections into eight weeks. They range from moviemaking's early years (“The Freshman,” 1925) to nostalgia-inducing Gen X blockbusters (“Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade,” 1989). The series also includes a special presentation of “The Shining” by local broadcasting legend Fritz the Night Owl. $5 per screening. June 16–Aug. 6.

Each year, the Westerville Music and Arts Festival turns the scenic grounds of Heritage Park into an outdoor juried show that features more than 150 artists for two days in July. The festival, which attracts approximately 20,000 visitors, also showcases art from students of Westerville's schools. $1, kids free. July 8–9.

Most garages hold cars, gardening supplies, forgotten toys and spider webs, but for a few hours on July 15, a select few in Macon Alley will become the city's trendiest galleries for the German Village Art Crawl. Tickets include samples from participating restaurants, two drinks, music, entertainment and an art demonstration. $20. July 15.

Food & Drink

Ohio isn't necessarily renowned for its winemaking, but the North Market Ohio Wine Festival has been promoting a variety of reputable vintners from around the state for 16 years now. Sample from their wares, and take in the Farmers Market on Saturday and entertainment throughout the weekend. $25–$50. July 7–9.

Sometimes a festival sells itself on name alone: see the Jazz & Rib Fest, an event that regularly earns kudos from Columbus Monthly readers as one of the city's best. The sizzle of meat, the music along the Scioto Mile, and yes, even the mid-July heat—it's synonymous with summer. Free. July 21–23.