Festivals representing many cultures are held throughout the year in Central Ohio, celebrating the diversity of life and lifestyles Columbus is known for. Columbus also celebrates traditional holidays like Christmas, Independence Day, and Memorial Day with a non-traditional midwestern flair.

American Quarter Horse Congress

Taking place for three weeks in October at the Ohio State Fairgrounds, the AQHC is the world's largest single-breed horse show, with vendors, breeders, owners, and competitors from locations worldwide. Additionally, the AQHC features three weeks of competitions and events relating to the diverse world of the American Quarter Horse.  Official Quarter horse racing takes place at Beulah Park ( www.beulahpark.com) October 13, 2008.

Asian Festival

During Memorial Day weekend at Frankl Park, the Asian Festival celebrates Columbus' growing Asian heritage, to coincide with the end of "Asian History Month" in the United States. The Festival features traditional foods from many different Pacific Rim cuisines, traditional dancing, and several Martial Arts displays. There is also an Arts gazeebo near the Conservatory, which hosts information kiosks relating to Asian heritage and culture.

Balloons Off Broadway: Hot Air Balloon Festival 

Located at Beulah Park Thoroughbred Racetrack and Event Center (Beulah races live through the winter from Oct-May), 3811 Southwest Blvd, Grove City, Ohio 43123.Established over 10 years, this festval keeps soaring with help from Giant Eagle's sponsorship.

Columbus Arts Festival

Usually taking place during the second weekend in June, the Columbus Arts Festival features Artists in a wide array of media; paints, ceramics, fabrics, photography, sculture, and crafted items. Not only does the Festival feature approximately 800 artisans during each event, but also includes food and drink midways, so you can enjoy foods while you stroll along the Artist's tents. If you find something that catches your fancy, feel free to take a piece of the festival home with you by purchasing from any of the on-site vendors.

Community Festival (ComFest)

For three days and nights in early June, Goodale Park is transformed into a land where dogs and joggers are free to roam to a place where dogs and tie-dye and Birkenstock clad hippies and hippie wanna-bes roam, taking in live local music on six seperate stages. There are also several midways, featuring food, community action tables, and hippie-centric arts and crafts vendors.

Festival Latino

Festival Latino began as a small street fair in 1995 and now is one of the larger events in downtown Columbus, featuring Latin music, food, dance, and culture.

First Night Columbus

With over one-hundred participating vendors and organizations, First Night Columbus rings in the New Year in style. Downtown buildings are opened for tours and family-oriented events, culminating with a New Year's Eve countdown at the Statehouse and Capitol Square.

Greek Festival

During Labor Day Weekend, the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in the Short North celebrates Greek Heritage with the Greek Festival. The Chruch is open for visitors, including a traditional Greek dinner, arts and crafts, and catheral tours. Outside, the patio features traditional dances and performances and additional street vendors serving Gyros, Baklava, Ouzo, and other tradtional and non-traditional foods.

Haus und Garten Tour

Each June, German Village Society hosts the Haus and Garten Tour, featuring selected Village properties, highlighting restoration and revitalizaion projects in German Village. Additionally, there are other events surrounding the tour, including gardening demonstrations, shopping, as well as the annual Watercolor painting competition.

Irish Festival

The first weekend of August, the Dublin Irish Festival gets underway with over a half-dozen entertainment stages featuring traditional Irish step dancing, Irish music, and other cultural entertainment for all ages. There is also the Irish Marketplace and Emerald Arts Isle (in basic wording: an Arts and Crafts area), and several food vendors offering traditional and non-traditional food stuffs.

Italian Festival

In late September, near Saint John the Baptist Church and the Wonder Bread Factory at 4th and I-670, the Italian Festival celebrates Italian heritage with an "Italian-American Idol" competition, two open Bocce courts with day-long competitions, food and product merchants, a Lamborghini display, live cultural displays in the main tent, and, of course, the Spaghetti Dinner in the Basement of Saint John's.

Juneteenth Ohio Festival

June 19th, 1865, is considered the date when the last slaves in America were freed. Columbus, OH has has celebrated this event since 1990 with the largest African American culltural festival in Ohio. Attendees can get free health screenings, explore colleges and careers with representatives from institutions and companies, visit the natural hair expo, and enjoy talented performers from all over the mid-west and the nation.

Memorial Tournament

On the course that "Jack built", Jack Nicklaus' Memorial Tournament is a major stop on the Professional Golf Association tour and has attracted top golfers such as Tom Watson, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Tiger Woods,Hale Irwin, Greg Norman, and  Vijay Singh,   The events begin on Thursday and run for four days until the final round of the golf tournament, on Sunday.

Mid-Ohio Fiber Fair

Held in the Bryn Du Mansion Field  House in Granville, the Mid-Ohio Fiber Fair offers the finest in yarns, rovings, and fibers from vendors from across the region.  Fiber arts tools such as spinning wheels, needles, and dyes are also available.  For those less crafty finished items like beautiful hats, scarves, shawls, and home decor are also available.  You can also take a class to learn a new technique or watch a demonstration by a vendor at their booth.  A raffle to benefit the local food pantry is also offered.  The Fair is held in June.  

Ohio State Fair

As Summer ends, the Ohio State Fair gears up for two weeks of exhibits, midway rides and games, and live music for every taste. Whether it's the midway or the amusement park rides or the pig races, there is definitely some thing for every visitor to the Ohio State Fair.


The Oktoberfest in downtown Columbus' German Village has recently been moved from the first weekend in September to the last weekend, now officially ushering in October in German Village. The festival is located near the corners of Grant and Livingston Avenues and events are shown on three different performance stages. There is also a rides midway, several village vendors, a large Arts and Crafts tent, and, of course, Bratwurst, Sauerkraut, and fine German Ales.

Pride Weekend

Taking place the same weekend as Comfest, Pride Weekend celebrates Gay and Lesbian Pride, rights, and culture. Events during the weekend include a Drag Queen Softball game, various shows and events at Gay-friendly stops such as Wall Street, Union Station, Havanna, the Full Monty, and the Gay Pride Parade.

Pumpkin Show

The Circleville Pumpkin Show encompasses most of downtown Circleville, located about 40 minutes south of Columbus. The show traditionally runs the third weekend in October and features pumpkin-related events and vendors, an Arts and Crafts Exhibit area, several kinds of street vendors at three concourses, a pumpkin carving contest, a pumpkin weighing contest, and the Pumpkin Show Parade.

Red, White, and Boom!

The annual Independence Day celebration features day-long events, usually on the third of July, to celebrate America's beginnings. Events are presented at several focal points: Nationwide Arena, the Center of Science and Industry, and all along the Riverfront. At 9:45 pm, a multi-media and multi-million dollar fireworks display caps off the night's activities. 

Rose Festival

The annual Rose Festival  takes place in June (in 2007, it was the second weekend) at the Park of Roses, 3923 N. High St., in Whetstone Park.  There are educational exhibits, and vendors selling food for people and roses both, plus trinkets and tools.  But the 13 acres of old and new roses are the star.  Admission and parking are free.  Handicap accessible.

Tomato Festival

Usually during the first weekend in September, the Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival features four separate entertainment stages, a full games Midway and Festival-style rides. There are also a few Arts and Crafts tents, a tomato display tent and judging area. Saturday night features the Tomato Queen Pageant and Sunday wraps up festivities with a Parade down Main Street in Reynoldsburg and ending at Civic Park. 

Via Colori

A street painting festival originally created to usher in the re-opening of the I-670 Can and connector, Via Colori features local artists creating chalk designs on city streets. Plots are purchased by area corporations and business and proceeds are used to support a themed social cause or charity. Festival food is served by street vendors at appointed locations.