Columbus Datebook for August

Columbus Monthly staff
The Ohio State Reformatory

Small Town Murder (Aug. 2)

While true crime stories are the stock in trade of many popular podcasts, most emphasize mystery and suspense. Small Town Murder, though, mines deep research on little-known crimes in lesser-known places for laughs. Episodes have titles like “Too Many Dead Husbands in Gun Barrel City, Texas.” Whether or not you’re a fan, you’ll enjoy the repartee of hosts James Pietragallo and Jimmie Whisman when they perform live at the Riffe Center.

Taste the Future (Aug. 13)

Mitchell Hall, the new home of hotel and culinary arts education at Columbus State, is complete, and officials want to show it off. Guests at this fundraiser supporting student success can walk through the building while, in the courtyard, chefs will show off their culinary skills for 1,500 guests. With more than 50 restaurants participating, count on sampling dozens of stellar dishes.

“The Shawshank Redemption” 25th Anniversary (Aug. 16–18)

When Stephen King’s “Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption” was adapted for the screen, the Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield stood in for the fictional Maine prison where Red and Andy became friends. This month, the former penitentiary is throwing a Shawshank shindig to celebrate the beloved movie’s 25th anniversary, including an Aug. 17 meet-and-greet with cast members like Bob Gunton, aka the despicable warden. There also will be an Aug. 16 screening at The Renaissance Theatre and self-guided tours of filming locations along The Shawshank Trail.

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

Woodstock 50 by Columbus (Aug. 17)

Put on your bell-bottoms, dab on some patchouli and head to the Valley Dale Ballroom, where a new concert series kicks off this month with a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. Columbus bands will channel the performers at the historic concert. Legendary locals the Dantes, who got their start at Valley Dale in the ’60s (shown above: members Lynn Wehr, left, and Barry Hayden, in a hat), will be inducted into the venue’s hall of fame.

Wonderbus Music & Arts Festival (Aug. 17–18)

A new festival from the organizers of Cleveland’s LaureLive will debut on the lawn of Chemical Abstracts for two days of music with a mission. The event will combat depression and suicide by dedicating a portion of proceeds to the Wexner Medical Center’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health. Headliners Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals (left) and Cincinnati’s Walk the Moon will be joined by locals The Floorwalkers and many more.

COSI Farm Days (Photo by Eamon Queeney)


Pelotonia (Aug 2–4)

Join the long- and short-distance riders, virtual riders, cheering fans and online supporters who have made this cycling fundraiser for cancer research so successful, raising $184 million in the past 10 years.

Hospice Volunteering 101 (Aug. 13 and 20)

Volunteers can enhance the lives of people with terminal illness in a variety of ways. If you’d like to help, Mount Carmel Hospice and Palliative Medicine offers a one-hour class to get you started. 614-234-5433

COSI Farm Days (Aug. 18)

Kids will gain exposure to the farming life when you help them milk Daisy, COSI’s fiberglass cow, plant seeds and engage in other fun, farm-related activities. You must be 12 or older to volunteer.


See our online calendar for a full list of things to do this month.