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This August in Columbus, Ohio | 10 Best Events & Festivals
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This August in Columbus, Ohio | 10 Best Events & Festivals

Picture of Gina Mussio
Updated: 9 February 2017
Columbus, Ohio, is a patchwork of communities, each with its own distinct character and offerings. In Columbus it’s easy to sample the artsy, historic, college-life and cultural in one visit. Get a taste of this friendly Midwestern city with these top ten art, culture, food and music events this August.

Culture | The Ohio State Fair

23 July – 3 August

The ultimate look into the heart of this Midwestern state since 1850, the Ohio State Fair has fireworks, food, games and live music, as well as a chance for Ohio to fully show-off its agricultural and livestock industries. Check out the educational stations at the Ag is Cool interactive where visitors can learn how agriculture is a part of daily life and even milk a cow! Watch baby animals being born in the OVMA Veterinary Education Center or get up close and personal with Ohio’s native wildlife in the Natural Resources Park.

Ohio State Fair, Ohio Expo Center 717 E. 17th Ave. Columbus, OH, USA, +1 (614) 644 3247

Everyone has fun at the fair! | Image Courtesy of Ohio State Fair
Everyone has fun at the fair! | Image Courtesy of Ohio State Fair

Theatre | The Actors’ Theatre of Columbus present Shakespeare

31 July – 31 August

This season the Actors’ Theatre of Columbus, a performing arts theatre troupe in Columbus, Ohio, is showing The Merry Wives of Windsor, directed by Beth Kattelman. Founded in 1982, Actors’ performs plays by William Shakespeare and other famous playwrights all summer long in Schiller Park in historic German Village. A comedy, the Merry Wives of Windsor finds a fat and aging knight in a difficult, but comical, situation among various wives he’s trying to woo. Outdoor summer shows are free and open to the public, though donations are encouraged.

Schiller Park, Amphitheatre Stage 1069 Jaeger St Columbus, OH, USA, +1 (614) 444 6888

Art | Gallery Hop in the Short North Arts District

2 August

The first Saturday of every month Columbus’ art district fills with people going for a dinner, cocktails and, most importantly, the opening of the area’s galleries for the Short North Gallery Hop. Go to view new art exhibits, add to your collection and meet local Columbus and Ohioan artists in one of the dozens of galleries and unique exhibit spaces.

Gallery Hop, North High Street from Goodale Blvd to Fifth Ave. Columbus, OH, USA, +1 (614) 299 8050

Culture | The Dublin Irish Festival

Until 5 August

Appropriately named, Dublin holds the annual Dublin Irish Festival, hosting dozens of musicians, Irish dancers, animals, shopping and games. The second largest Irish Festival in America, this year over 100,000 guests are expected to come see the seven stages, 65 acts and more than 535 performers. Besides just food and drinks, the festival seeks to help guests discover their roots or simply the Irish culture with a variety of exhibitions dedicated to culture, such as the Irish Traditions stage focusing on traditional songs, storytellers sharing Irish lore and the cultural workshop tent teaching guests a hands-on skill, from making chainmail to the basics of knitting and tatting. If that’s not enough, head to Brian Boru’s Ireland to immerse yourself in life in Ireland 1,000 years ago.

Dublin Irish Festival, Coffman Park, 5600 Post Rd. Dublin, OH, USA +1 (614) 410 4545

Music | Columbus Zoo and Aquarium’s JazZoo Concert Series

8 August; 15 August

Locals love spending summers at the Columbus Zoo, the second largest zoo in the United States, or nearby Zoombezi Bay. Now, for two Fridays in August the Zoo is once again teaming up with the Jazz Arts Group to present the JazZoo Concert Series with ‘Ragtime, Blues & All That Jazz’ and ‘Elton John, Billy Joel & Some Rock ‘n’ Roll’. Concert tickets include price of zoo admission, so go early and visit the zoo’s newest Heart of Africa exhibit – a 43-acre, 150 animal up-close look into the African continent.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, 4850 West Powell Rd., Powell, OH, USA, +1 (614) 645 3550

Culture | The 42nd Annual Greek Festival

29 August – 1 September

Labor Day weekend marks the start of the 42nd annual Columbus Greek Festival. Located on the grounds of Columbus’ impressive Greek Cathedral, a traditional Byzantine style cathedral dating back to the sixth century, the Greek Festival is a weekend of dancing, culture and food. In the cultural center visitors can enjoy stories from Greek mythology, attend lectures from Greek history professors or hear more contemporary stories from Greek immigrants. There are also exhibits showcasing more than 100 years of the Greek immigrant experience in Columbus, Ohio. Just be sure to catch everyone’s favourite part – the traditional Greek dance! Few can resist joining in with the performers in full traditional dress dance to the bouzouki music.

The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral 555 N. High Street, Columbus, OH, USA, +1 (614) 224 9020

Art | American Modernism at the Columbus Museum of Art

Until 31 August

Located in the Discovery District, just four blocks east of the State Capitol, the celebrated Columbus Museum of Art is a must-visit for art and culture lovers in Ohio. On display this summer is Modern Dialect, an exhibition of American Modernist paintings from the 1920s to the beginning of World War II. Showcasing artists from every region of the country, Modern Dialects presents the feelings and concerns of the United States during a difficult time in American history. The exhibition features works by George Ault, Charles Sheeler, John Steuart Curry, and Charles Burchfield.

Modern Dialect, Columbus Museum of Art 480 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH, USA +1 (614) 221 6801

Comedy | The Best of Shadowbox Live

Until 6 September

Columbus’ Shadowbox Live is a non-profit performance troupe presenting musicals, contemporary dance, TV and video and comedy for the past 20 years. Now you can see all the shows you missed during The Best of Shadowbox Live 2014. All of the year’s most popular sketches and songs make it into the line-up for a fast-paced, hilarious show.

Shadowbox Live 503 S. Front St., Columbus, OH, USA, +1 (614) 416 7625

Nature | Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Until 28 September

Columbus’ much-loved Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is celebrating its 20th anniversary of the popular Blooms & Butterflies exhibit. Every year thousands of butterflies emerge from their chrysalises, flying freely in the Pacific Island Water Garden. Saturday, 2 August the Conservatory will release its 300,0000th butterfly to celebrate its anniversary. Walk through the beautiful tropical ecosystem as hundreds of butterflies flit around, close enough to see or even hold! And for summer the Conservatory is open every Wednesday until 10:00 p.m.

Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens 1777 E. Broad St. Columbus, OH, USA +1 (614) 715 8000

Film | Ohio Theatre Summer Film Series

Until September

CAPA, a non-profit, award-winning presenter of national and international performing arts and entertainment, was founded in 1969 to save the historic Ohio Theatre from being demolished. Now it is the owner and operator of downtown Columbus’ historic Ohio, Palace, and Southern Theatres, and manager of the Riffe Center Theatre Complex and Lincoln Theatre. This August it continues its annual Summer Film Series with films like Dial M for Murder (1954); The Band Wagon (1953); You Only Live Twice (1967); and Oliver! (1968), among others.

Theatres throughout Columbus: 39 E. State St. Columbus, OH, USA, +1 (614) 469 0939

By Gina Mussio