Columbus Festivals Annual Events
From festivals every weekend during the summer months to light displays throughout the city in the winter, there's always something happening in Columbus! Take a look at the awesome events! Columbus is a city known for its festivals. From Memorial Day through Labor Day weekend every year, there’s at least one festival taking place each weekend, and often many more. Unfortunately, this year, due to public health concerns surrounding the spread of COVID-19, we won’t have much opportunity to celebrate in person. However, many of the city’s exciting celebrations are finding new ways to engage the community through virtual and modified celebrations.
Many events through June and July are canceled due to the order from the Ohio Department of Health that gatherings with more than 50 attendees are canceled. As Ohio begins to reopen, make sure to check event website before making any plans to attend any events in Columbus this summer.
Wildlights | Nov. 20, 2020-Jan. 5 2021, Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Central Ohio's favorite family holiday tradition features millions of LED lights, animated musical light shows, Santa, reindeer and other holiday festivities.
Conservatory Aglow | Nov. 14, 2020-Jan. 6, 2021, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
View elegant displays of poinsettias, seasonal foliage, gingerbread competitions and twinkling lights.
Madlab Presents: A Very Covid Christmas | Dec. 3-12
This collection of eight short plays is filled with comedy, drama, reindeer and enough PPE so that the only thing they will be spreading is holiday cheer!
Short North Holiday Hop | Dec. 5, 2020, Short North Arts District
The holiday version of Gallery Hop includes a cosmopolitan display of sights, sounds, food and drink.
Village Lights | December 6, 2020, German Village
Twinkling luminaries greet visitors who are ready to kick off the holiday on the historic, brick streets of German Village. Enjoy the magic of the holidays and visit shops, businesses and restaurants open late with holiday treats, discounts and special offers.
Quarantine with the Clauses | Dec. 10-27
The Short North Stage’s Quarantine with the Clauses promises an evening filled with holiday humor. This original virtual musical follows Santa and Mrs. Claus as they decide to put on a virtual variety show like no other while quarantining during COVID.
A Columbus Christmas Carol | Dec. 16-27
A Columbus Christmas Carol follows a Columbus bank owner – Ebony Scrooge – who embarks upon a journey of family, redemption and love.
Uptown Westerville Ice Sculpture Tour |Dec. 18, 2020-Dec. 21, 2020. Westerville
Uptown Merchants are pleased to present their annual ice sculpture tour starting December 18th and lasting until they melt! Each block in Uptown features holiday-themed ice sculptures during this last weekend before Christmas. Bring your family and guests to Uptown to show off our beautiful area and to celebrate the holidays the “old fashioned” way!
First Night Columbus | Dec. 31, 2020, Downtown Columbus
A spectacular New Year’s Eve celebration in downtown Columbus with fireworks, live entertainment, activities and fun for all ages!
AIMExpo presented by Nationwide | Jan. 21-23, Greater Columbus Convention Center
The largest showcase of the motorcycle and powersports industry in North America will highlight the exciting and diverse lifestyles represented by the modern industry and desired by today’s riders. It will be more experiential than ever, with lifestyle vignettes in the exhibition hall allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the different segments that powersports has to offer.
Blooms & Butterflies | Jan. 23-May 31, Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
Wander through tropical plant collections featuring hundreds of colorful, exotic butterflies.
Buckeye Lake Winterfest – Jan 25th Buckeye Lake
Join us Saturday, January 25th as Benny the Bass once again determines the fate of the winter of ‘20! Area businesses will have specials all weekend long - come partake in the festivities!
Columbus Donut Fest – Jan 24 Columbus
Ohio Chinese Festival – Jan 30th Westerville
The Ohio Chinese Festival warmly welcomes everyone to celebrate the 2020 Chinese New Year with us. We invite you to feel the festive atmosphere, to taste authentic Chinese food, to enjoy cultural performances, and to participate in games.
Arnold Sports Festival | March 4-7, 2021, Throughout Columbus
The nation’s largest multi-sport festival brings 20,000 athletes from 80 nations to Columbus to compete in 70 sports ranging from bodybuilding to equestrian.
Equine Affaire | CANCELED FOR 2020
Experience the nation's premiere equine exposition, featuring an impressive educational program, the largest horse-related trade show in North America, top equine entertainment and competition and endless opportunities to experience, buy and sell horses of all types.
COSI Science Festival | May 5-8, 2021 at COSI
Experience all things science with over 65 family and adult-friendly events, including the Citywide Star Party and the Big Science Celebration, which features a variety of STEM-focused organizations from around the community.
Sonic Temple Art + Music Festival | May 2021
Experience rock n' roll like never before with three days of music from acts like Metallica, Slipknot, Bring Me the Horizon, Evanescence and more!
Columbus Asian Festival | May 2021
Columbus’ significant Asian heritage is on display at the beautifully manicured Franklin Park every Memorial Day weekend. With food, dance, sports and music from across Asia, this festival is a great way to kick off summer.
Ohio Black Expo | June 2021
Come relax, enjoy and be inspired at this annual festival celebrating the past, present and future. The festival features food trucks, vendors, entertainment, a concert, exhibits, speakers and more! Join thousands from around Ohio and surrounding states.
Columbus Arts Festival | June 11-13, 2021,Scioto Mile
Featuring more than 280 nationally acclaimed artists, the Columbus Arts Festival takes over the downtown riverfront. Stroll along the Scioto Mile with friends and family and enjoy the art, entertainment and food that make this event so special.
Columbus PRIDE Festival | June 2021, Scioto Mile
As we work to navigate through the COVID-19 outbreak, our number one priority is the wellbeing and safety of our community. Therefore, we have made the decision to cancel this year’s Pride Parade and Festival. A virtual component may be added at a later time.
Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival | June 18-21, 2021, Gahanna
The Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival boasts the “Best Blues & Jazz in Ohio.” The festival offers more than 90 hours of Ohio’s best blues and jazz. Not to mention, they have plenty of activities to entertain all generations in your family.
Red, White & BOOM! | July 3, 2021, Downtown Columbus
There are few more patriotic ways to kick off your Independence Day weekend than at the largest fireworks display in Ohio. Festivities start at noon and the big show starts at 10 p.m. Plan to be downtown very early, because the best spots go fast!
The Memorial Tournament | May 2021, Muirfield Village Golf Club
This golf tournament brings the PGA's best golfers to Columbus for a week of play at the Jack Nicklaus-designed Muirfield Village Golf Club. The tournament will take place in 2020 without fans.
Jazz & Rib Fest | July 2021, Scioto Mile
This annual festival offers three days of continuous jazz by renowned international and local musicians while barbeque pit masters serve up sizzling ribs, chicken and more. Savor the best ribs from around the country as 23 award-winning barbeque teams compete for Best Ribs bragging rights.
Ohio State Fair | July-Aug. 2021, Ohio Expo Center
With agricultural exhibitions, a huge midway full of rides and a blockbuster lineup of musical performances, you’re never short on fun at the Ohio State Fair. Add a helping of fair food, and you’ve got a recipe for a great trip!
Dublin Irish Festival | Aug. 6-8, 2021, Dublin
Bring the spirit of the Dublin Irish Festival home for 2020. Dublin will be hosting an online experience July 31-Aug 2. Visit the website or Facebook page for a weekend full of Irish fun.
Festival Latino | Aug. 6-8, 2021, Downtown Riverfront
Introducing Viva Festival Latino! In lieu of Festival Latino 2020, CAPA will be hosting a week-long, Latin-American online experience called Viva Festival Latino. Each day August 3-9, check out the Festival Latino web site or Facebook page for a series of online cultural events and activities.
Columbus Food Truck Festival | Aug. 2021, Downtown Riverfront
Head down to the Columbus riverfront and sample delicious food from more than 70 Ohio food trucks. In addition to the food, there is plenty of live music and arts and crafts for all ages.
Columbus Greek Festival | Sept. 2021, Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral
From souvlaki and baklava to traditional singing and dancing, this festival brings the best of Greek culture to Columbus. Don’t miss the free cathedral tours.
Upper Arlington Labor Day Arts Festival | Sept., 2021, Northam Park
This annual festival showcases the works of local, regional and national artists working in a variety of media as well as an entertainment stage, an art activities area and a variety of refreshment booths.
Columbus Oktoberfest | Sept. 10-12, 2021, Ohio Exp Center
Put on your dirndls and leiderhosen, pump up the polka and raise your beer stein. Columbus’ German heritage is on display at this fun annual celebration, which fills two giant beer gardens and a lot more. The city’s best German food purveyors also bring their A-game.
Country Living Fair | Ohio History Center’s Ohio Village
Buyers and sellers come from three states away for this marketplace of modern handcrafted treasures and stylish vintage pieces. Get tips on home decor and gardening from HGTV stars.
Fashion Week Columbus | Oct. 2021, Around Columbus
Columbus is a fashion capital and there’s no time it shows more than at Columbus Fashion Week. See runway couture from our best local designers, meet the fashion cognoscenti and shop for your next look to make heads turn at this full week of events and shows.
Columbus International Festival | Sept. 2021, Franklin Park Adventure Center
This event celebrates Columbus' diverse cultural community with family-friendly attractions including a fashion show, music and entertainment, authentic food and cooking demos, a shopping bazaar and more. Special to this event is also an annual US Naturalization Oath Ceremony conducted by a federal judge.
All-American Quarter Horse Congress | Oct. 2021, Ohio Expo Center
The largest single-breed horse show in America takes place in Columbus each year, stretching for three weeks and welcoming more than 725,000 guests. Find the best riding gear, and watch fun competitions like barrel racing.
HighBall Halloween | Oct. 2021, Short North Arts District
Fashion is at the forefront at HighBall, a costume couture party that closes down High Street for two nights. The local fashion scene is on full display with eight local designers presenting runway shows. There’s a high bar for the public costume contest, so bring your best.
Italian Festival | Oct. 2021, St. John the Baptist Church
Columbus’ Italian Village is undergoing its own renaissance right now, booming with new condos, hip bars, fun live music venues and cozy cafes. See the roots of this neighborhood at the Italian Festival and join in the music, food and parades.
Columbus Ohio Top 23 Things To Do
As Ohio’s capital city, Columbus has the expected lineup of great museums, a zoo and botanical gardens. We have put together the top things to do, and it does not even include all the awesome Columbus-OH events! Whatever you do, don't miss out on these Columbus favorites. We've put together the top things you must see, must do in Columbus and must eat in Columbus, and this is just a start!