Scioto Mile opens

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent

It's heeere -- Scioto Mile, the newest reason to hang out in downtown Columbus, officially opens tonight at 5:30 p.m. This riverfront park runs from Broad Street to Rich Street, along Civic Center Drive, includes a complete transformation of Bicentennial Park, and will be packed with family-friendly activities and events.

At the center of the park will be the Scioto Mile Fountain in Bicentennial Park. Lights will cascade across the mist from the fountain providing a luxurious and interactive experience for all to watch. The Fountain will debut its first show at 6 p.m. following the opening ceremony.

Additional activities scattered along the one-mile stretch will include: starting at 6:15 p.m., you can meet Fountain Frog (we're guessing this will be the Scioto Mile mascot and not some mutant new species of frog), jugglers, face-painters, caricaturists and more; at 7:30 p.m., the Hoo Doo Soul Band on Performance Arts Stage; at 7:30 p.m., the new Milestone 229 Restaurant opens to public; at 9:45 p.m., you can enjoy an "Evening Fountain show"; and the park closes at 11 p.m.

The Scioto Mile was built to be a daily downtown destination for residents and visitors alike. The park offers swings on the Promenade, chairs, chess and checkers tables, the Fountain and new Milestone 229 restaurant. The park will provide entertainment throughout the summer that will include:

Rhythm on the River: An electric series of touring artists, local musicians and arts organizations will be presented specific Fridays - July 8, August 12, August 16 and September 2 - at 8 p.m. at Bicentennial Park. Admission is free. The July 8 event features 70's powerhouse, Average White Band.

Fountain Side: This free event provides children the opportunity to play in the fountain bubbles, jets, sprinklers, mists and fog during this interactive program designed to complement the fountain and what it has to offer. In addition to the children's games there will be live music. Fountain Side will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 pm on Wednesdays - July 13, July 27, August 3, August 10, August 17, August 24 at the Bicentennial Park and fountain area.

Movies on the Mile: The summer movie series will include box-office hits, cinematic classics and family favorites. Starting at 7 p.m., there will be activities and concession sales leading up to the movie at dusk. The movies will be free and shown at Bicentennial Park. Saturday, July 9 –Despicable Me (2010, PG); Friday, July 15 – E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982, PG); Friday, July 29 – The Pink Panther (1963, PG); Friday, August 5 – Inception (2010, PG-13); and Friday, August 19 – Toy Story 3 (2010, G).