We spoke to Columbus leaders, business owners, visionaries about what makes the city special

My Favorite Thing: Yolanda Harris, anchor, WBNS-TV, Channel 10
“Columbus is a great place to live! There's so much here to love. But my favorite thing about Columbus? All the festivals that celebrate the diverse cultures in our city. From the Italian Heritage Festival and Asian Festival to Oktoberfest and Festival Latino, this is how we can all experience the food, music and lifestyle of different cultures. I love the food at Greek Festival, the gospel music at the African American Cultural Festival, and I love watching the children do Irish step dancing at the Dublin Irish Festival. Live, love and learn to respect one another and our differences.”

My Favorite Thing: Janet Chen, executive director, ProMusica
“I love neighborhood gems like South of Lane for a weekend breakfast—the owners are welcoming and the atmosphere is comforting! I survive on coffee from Stauf's and The Roosevelt, and the lemon square at Third & Hollywood is divine. Whether on stage, in the house, or up in the balcony close to the arches, the Southern Theatre is intimate and inviting. I have heard many musicians perform there—from Jason Isbell, Cowboy Junkies [and] Jon Batiste to classical stars like Gil Shaham, Vadim Gluzman and Yuja Wang. The theater gives life to the artistry, and I have yet to find a place like the Southern anywhere else in America.”

My Favorite Thing: Jonathan Olson, executive chef, The Keep Liquor Bar
“The Olde Towne Tavern quickly became my favorite spot after moving to Olde Towne East a couple years ago.I was the chef at Black Creek Bistro at the time, so just a short walk after work and I could be somewhere the bartenders remember you by name and groups of people you do not know quickly become your friends.Best of all, it's always a diverse crowd with people from all walks of life and everyone is accepted.”

Like what you’re reading? Subscribe to our weekly newsletters.

My Favorite Thing: Kate Stevens, founder and lead designer, Red Giraffe Designs
“One of my favorite events in Columbus is Community Festival or, as many know it, ComFest. Even before I was a vendor there, I loved going with my friends to check out all of the music, art and of course the food! The name could not be more fitting, because there really is a sense of community at this festival—you can't go too long without hearing someone wish another, ‘Happy ComFest.'"

My Favorite Thing: Tim Bezbatchenko, president, Columbus Crew SC
“My family and I love to go to the Franklin Park Conservatory, where they have great exhibits and activities for the whole family. The new Children's Garden—with the water feature—is fantastic for the kids to play around in. We recently went to a jam-making session, which was a great activity. It's fun, and it's near our house, so to have that resource within the city is fantastic.”

***

Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Columbus Monthly magazine so that you keep abreast of the most exciting and interesting events and destinations to explore, as well as the most talked-about newsmakers shaping life in Columbus.