They’re back!

Here at 1831Galion, we know well that one of the perks of living in the Galion area is its proximity to an extraordinary collection of unique attractions and events within easy driving distance. Every so often this summer we’re going to be heading “down the road” to sample a few of these offerings. Each is an easy day trip from southeast Crawford County.

Today it’s a recommended trip down State Route 61 and I-71 right into the heart of downtown Columbus. This year’s Columbus Arts Festival has several new things to see, hear, taste, and do:

While many favorite artists, bands, hands-on activities and food vendors return to the Columbus Arts Festival, there are always new things to discover at the welcome-to-summer event, presented by the American Electric Power Foundation and produced by the Greater Columbus Arts Council (GCAC). Here are some of the adventures in store for the nearly 500,000 guests coming to the 2024 festival, June 7-9:

Return of Bicentennial Park Stage

After a year off due to construction on the fountains (which reopen May 24), the Bicentennial Park Stage will be back in action. The stage will feature spoken word and acoustic music on Friday and music for the remainder of the weekend. The Word is Art spoken word and acoustic music offerings move to the courtyard of the Priscilla R. Tyson Cultural Arts Center for Saturday and Sunday.

All Columbus-Based Performers

This year the Festival is also focused exclusively on Columbus-area performers, from music to spoken word, dance to theater. To see the full performance schedules, visit

New Designers at Fashion as Art

On Friday, June 7 at 8 p.m., the Genoa Park Main Stage once again hosts Fashion as Art, a runway show featuring four Columbus-based designers whose fashion intentionally intersects with art. New designers Chawis Saelim and Dominic Ciucci join returning designers Tracy Powell and Casey Immel-Brown. They will showcase eight looks each on the runway, accompanied by DJ Pastel. This program is supported by Encova Insurance. Learn more in Fashion as Art Runway Show Returns to Columbus Arts Festival on Genoa Park Main Stage.

Mural ReMix Creates Lighting and Projections on Rich Street

Mural ReMix will create an immersive lighting and projection installation paired with art by Heidi Clifford/Primary Child and evening music performances on the Big Local arts Stage, located under the railway bridge on West Rich Street. Mural ReMix is a collective of digital artists bringing Columbus to life through dynamic color and images with video and projection mapping.

New Accessibility Accommodations

For the first time, the Arts Festival is partnering with Momentum Refresh to provide a mobile universal changing station for families, located near the corner of Town and Belle streets. In partnership with the Autism Society of Central Ohio, the Festival will also provide a sensory friendly tent on Belle Street near the Kid’s Hands-On Activities Village. Both services are sponsored by Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Read more in Columbus Arts Festival Expands Accessibility with New Adult Changing Station and Sensory Friendly Tent.

The Largest Emerging Festival Artist Class

Created in 2011, the Emerging Festival Artist program is for artists who have limited or no experience exhibiting at national festivals. Artists must be residents of Franklin or the surrounding counties. The 2024 Columbus Arts Festival will feature the largest Emerging Festival Artist class to date, with 22 central Ohio artists showcasing their work. The program is supported by the Paul-Henri and Erika Bourguignon Charitable Trust.

Non-Alcoholic Beers from Go Brewing

In addition to refreshing brews from Rhinegeist Brewery and boozy slushies from High Bank Distillery, the Festival is offering non-alcoholic beers from Go Brewing at all beverage booths. Selections will include a pilsner and a double IPA.

New Sustainability Efforts at the Festival

Thanks to our Sustainability Sponsor IGS Energy, we are doing all we can to make the Columbus Arts Festival a greener festival. This year the Festival, in partnership with the city of Columbus, will add a Water for Everyone Today (WET) portable water fountain, to allow guests to fill their reusable water bottles. The water fountain will be located at Main and Civic on the east side of the river, near Bicentennial Park. Also new this year, the Compost Exchange will also be on site, providing free composting buckets for the food trucks on the west side of the river, saving food scraps from the landfill.

Engage with Public Art at the GCAC Booth

Festival guests can visit GCAC’s booth at Rich Street and Civic Center to pick up Columbus public art coloring pages and crayons, interact with a giant map to indicate neighborhoods where they want to see more public art and get connected to an interactive map of Columbus and Franklin County to “pin” future locations for public art.

Arts Fest Swag

The annual Columbus Arts Festival T-shirt has become a hot collectible. The 2024 Arts Festival T-shirt was created by Columbus-based designer Nick Nocera of Rewind Press. It will be available at the official merchandise booth on West Main Street, on the east side of the river next to Bicentennial Park. And visit the GCAC booth at Rich and Civic Center for fans, stickers, public art coloring pages and more Festival swag.

Memorial Tournament

The Memorial Tournament, taking place June 6-9 at Muirfield Village Golf Club, will be on site at the Kid’s Hands-On Activities Village (sponsored by Battelle) with a giant paint-by-numbers mural. Over the course of the weekend, kids can take part in painting the mural.

MLS All-Star Summer Roadshow

Major League Soccer will visit the Columbus Arts Festival to kick off its All-Star festivities with the MLS All-Star Summer Roadshow, featuring the Avant Fan Center and AT&T Soccer Skills Challenge Bus. Festival-goers can test out the mobile version of the MLS All-Star Shooting Challenge presented by AT&T, with a chance to earn tickets to the Skills Challenge on Tuesday, July 23 at Field.

Visit Savannah Trolley

Festival sponsor Visit Savannah will be on-site in West Bank Park, sharing information about Savannah, Georgia with Festival guests. Check out the real Savannah trolley and try samples of regional treats. Learn more at

Keep up with more Festival updates and announcements at

Festival Hours: Friday, June 7 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday, June 8 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, June 9 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Please note: on Friday and Saturday artist booths close at 9 p.m.; artists have the option to stay open later.)

Photo: Columbus band MojoFlo performs at the 2023 Columbus Arts Festival
Credit: Nick Dekker