Local Events Happening in August

Editors’ picks for things to see and do and ways to give back this month

Columbus Monthly
Fans cheer for British musician, Bishop Briggs, at the River Stage at the WonderBus Music & Arts Festival, Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019.


through Aug. 8, Schiller Park Amphitheater

“Changes” is the theme of the Actors’ Theatre’s 2021 season as the group resumes its tradition of providing Columbus with one of summer’s great pleasures: open-air theater. This 2003 play by Sarah Ruhl flips the script on a fateful moment of Greek mythology, exploring Eurydice’s role in causing her beloved Orpheus to undermine his chance of bringing her back from the dead. Bring a picnic and a blanket, and pay what you will—digitally, of course.

“Do the Right Thing”

Aug. 12, South Drive-In

The projectors inside the Wexner Center for the Arts are finally whirring again, but the pandemic-era revival of drive-in movies is one trend we’d like to see continue. Crank the AC or crack the windows to beat the heat as the Wex’s presentation of Spike Lee’s tragicomic masterpiece about racial tension during a hot night in Brooklyn—based on a 1986 confrontation in Howard Beach—reminds you how little has changed in the three decades since it was made.

More:Things to See and Do in Columbus in August

Columbus Food Truck Festival

Aug. 21–22, Franklin County Fairgrounds

The 10-year-old gathering of the food truck faithful, formerly held on the Scioto Mile, will relocate this year to the Franklin County Fairgrounds in Hilliard. Fifty-plus food trucks, local performers like Angela Perley and Willie Phoenix, a craft fair and kids’ activities are all on the agenda. Buy tickets online.

Wonderbus Music & Arts Festival

Aug. 28–29, The Lawn at CAS

Kesha, AJR, Wilco and Grouplove will headline two days of music and outdoor fun when homegrown music fest Wonderbus, which debuted in 2019 (seen above), makes a jubilant return to the 54-acre Lawn at CAS after a year’s hiatus. The event dedicates a portion of funds raised to mental health initiatives at OSU’s Wexner Medical Center—a cause promoters say is even more relevant as we emerge from a year of social isolation. With 28 artists and three stages, the festival promises an opportunity for both emotional release and social distancing.  

Shift: Artists Thinking Globally and Acting Locally 

through Oct. 9, Riffe Gallery

The 11 artists in this Ohio Arts Council show address global issues by beginning with that which is immediate and intimate. (At left: “Houses I Have Haunted: Queen Anne” by Amber J. Anderson). The gallery, located in the Riffe Center Downtown, will reopen to visitors with this exhibition, with an in-person opening reception on July 31 and visiting hours from noon to 5, Wednesdays through Fridays. 

Give Back

Prepare meals for homeless families

Ongoing, YWCA Family Center

The YWCA is seeking individuals and groups throughout the month to provide or help prepare meals for families experiencing homelessness. Sign up to volunteer


Aug. 6–8, throughout Central Ohio

Join in three days of cycling and events to support cancer research. This weekend is the centerpiece of a year-round campaign, so if you can’t join the ride, hit up the website to find other ways to help.

Learn about Pollinator Habitats

Aug. 19, Online

The Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative is hosting a free online symposium about sustaining ecosystems and connecting with nature. Prerecorded talks will be available Aug. 1; log on for the live keynote address on Aug. 19.