Your 2018 Guide To The Columbus Arts Festival

This weekend, the arts will officially take over Columbus.

The Columbus Arts Festival runs from June 8-10 and is on track to be one of the largest ever. Thousands of people come to Columbus each June to stroll along the Scioto Mile, enjoying a day filled with fun, creativity, and imagination. The festival hours are Friday from 11 a.m. until 10:30 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. until 10:30 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.

The festival encompasses all kinds of art, from painting and sculpting to spoken word and classical music. The Columbus Arts Festival is free to the public and completely funded by sponsors. With over 30 food vendors, six entertainment stages, and an entire kid zone, it’s the perfect place to spend the day with your family.

What’s New At The Columbus Arts Festival?

This year, the festival is offering all sorts of new goodies, including a free app with an interactive map and other festival info, a local craft beer tent, a new location for the Hands-On Activity zone, and more. You can read about all of the additions here.

Transportation and Parking

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There are so many ways to get to the Columbus Arts Festival. If you’re driving, parking is available at several locations near the Scioto Mile. Park at:

  • The Columbus Commons, located at 55 E. Rich St. for $11
  • Riverside South, located at 232 S. Front St. for $12
  • The LeVeque Tower Garage, located at 40 N. Front St. for $17.49
  • If you’d like to reserve a parking spot now, you can do so through the Columbus Arts Festival Website.

    COTA Bus

    COTA is an official sponsor of the Columbus Arts Festival, which makes it a great way to get there. With the recently redesigned transit routes, it’s easier than ever to find the perfect way to the fest. Not to mention it’s only $2.00-$4.50 (depending on transfers). Please visit for more information.

    Hopper Carts

    If you’re looking for a free transportation option, please consider taking a Hopper Cart! Hopper Carts has paired with the festival this year to provide rides from participating neighborhoods to the drop-off point at Rich St. and Front St. For more information about Hopper Carts, you can visit their website here.


    If you’d like to bike to the festival, it’s totally encouraged. Volunteers from Pelatonia will be hosting a secure bicycle corral. For a suggested donation of $5, you can leave your bike safely and Pelatonia will put your money to good use fighting cancer! The bike corral is located at Town St. and Civic Center Dr.

    Family Activities

    Hands on Art Activities

    If you’re bringing the kids, your first stop should be the Hands On Art area. Volunteers from local organizations will be around helping your children with fun and educational activities from 11 a.m.–7 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.–7 p.m Saturday, and 10 a.m.–5 p.m on Sunday. There will also be a festival-wide scavenger hunt. Pick up your map, complete five activities, and then choose a free prize!

    Children’s Gallery sponsored by Puffin West Foundation

    The Children’s Gallery gives kids a one-of-a-kind experience. On both Saturday and Sunday, the gallery will be open from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Kids 12 and under can go to the gallery to experience child sized art, all of which is donated by different participating exhibitors.

    Remind the kids to bring their allowance money because all of the art in the Children’s Gallery is for sale for $5 or less.

    Grass Patch Theatre

    The Grasspatch Performers will be treating festival-goers to performances of St. George and the Reluctant Dragon throughout the weekend. The theater company is made up of local actors, ranging in age from 4 years old to 12 years old! The performances take place near the Hands On Activities area.

    For more information about the activities at the festival, please click here.


    The full lineup for performers at this year’s arts festival is insane. It doesn’t matter if you like zydeco music or you enjoy a full orchestra, there is literally something for everyone. Here are some of the performances you won’t want to miss!

    ABC6 Bicentennial Stage

    The ABC6 Bicentennial Stage will host some of the best performances all weekend. Performers throughout the weekend include Honey and Blue, The Salty Caramels, Dru Era, Yesterday Kids, The Big Badd, The Jeffs, and Zoo Trippin’. Headliners for the weekend are Post Modern Jukebox on Friday and G. Love & Special Sauce on Saturday.

    Genoa Park Stage presented by Huntington

    The Genoa Park Stage is a new addition to the festival. With food and drink vendors nearby and plenty of seating, it’s the perfect place to grab a bite to eat and enjoy some entertainment. Over the course of the weekend, 20 bands will play the Genoa Park Stage, including Theo’s Loose Hinges, Mistar Anderson, Peronsal Public, The Devil Doves, and Booty&theKidd.

    Groove U Stage

    The Groove U Stage is back again, with some amazing performers in genres ranging from hip-hop to punk. Highlights from the Groove U Stage include Max Beal, Time Out, The Blue Jays Jazz & Funk Band, and While I’m Away.

    The Grange Acoustic Lounge

    If you’re looking for a place to get out of the sun and relax while enjoying some amazing performances, then the Grange Acoustic Lounge is the perfect spot for you. A variety of performers will play throughout the weekend, including Nolan Taylor, Kelly Zullo, Bella Ruse, Chris&Rose, Sarah Cooperider, and Shelby Olive.

    Dance & Theater Stage

    30 performances will entertain festival attendees this year on the Dance & Theater Stage. Local acting troupes like Columbus Children’s Theatre, Actors Theatre of Columbus, Columbus Celtic Dancers, Imagine Productions of Columbus, and SueMo Dance Company.

    Ohio Magazine Word is Art Stage

    Undoubtedly one of the most unique stages at the Columbus Arts Festival, the Ohio Magazine Word is Art Stage will feature some of the best writers from the city and state. More than 50 authors, storytellers, and poets will share their work over the course of the weekend.

    For the full lineup of performances, please click here.


    There are dozens of vendors ready to serve up some delicious cuisine for festival goers! From Kona Ice to Late Night Slice to Buckeye Donuts, there will be a variety of food, snacks, desserts, and drinks for everyone to enjoy.

    West of the River, Town St.

      Babanzo Falafel
      Big Pappy’s
      Cate’s Steakhouse
      Cheesy Truck
      Copper Kettle
      Eaton Cookies
      Empanadas & More
      G & G Concessions
      Giuseppe’s Concessions
      Kahiki Foods
      Mojo Tago
      Pizza Cottage
      Rismiller Concessions
      Schmidt Hospitality Concepts
      Snowie Daze
      Story Points Friendly Fork
      Lombardo’s Concessions
      Rime Time Curiously Crafted Pops

    East of the River, Main St.

      Angry Weiner
      Barroluco Argentine Comfort Food
      BJ Events LLC
      Buckeye Donuts Food Truck
      Buckeye Wraps
      Chicky Chicky Waffle
      Cousin’s Maine Lobster
      Giuseppe’s Concessions
      Hogback BBQ
      Island Noodles
      Late Night Slice
      Mediterranean Cuisine
      ML Concessions
      Rausch Darby Enterprise Inc.
      Schmidt’s of German Village
      Solo Merengues
      Tortilla Street Food
      Wendy’s Kitchen
      White Castle

    Get out there and enjoy some art, Columbus!

    For more information about the Columbus Arts Festival, please click here.