Best Festival: Comfest

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Let's start with the obvious reasons why the massive, independently run Goodale Park festival is a favorite among reader's poll respondents: the beer, the food, the high-quality sampler of live local music and the simple pleasure of hanging out with friends on a nice summer day.

But for many, there's an extra appeal to attending the 40-year-old "Party with a Purpose." It's a place where people can fearlessly unfurl their freak flags and make statements - fashion and otherwise - that are more easily shared among a supportive, open-minded group of thousands. Whether you're getting up on one of the stages to promote a local activist cause, going topless, wearing one's pet python as neckwear or just donning some tie-dye, a welcoming spirit reigns.

Best Festival runners-up: Dublin Irish Festival, Columbus Arts Festival

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Goodale Park

120 W. Goodale St., Victorian Village