Annual German Village Events
The German Village area, just south of downtown Columbus, was settled in the early 1800’s. It was a much larger flourishing area, but it experienced a period of decline. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Frank Fetch decided to try to revive the area. First, he started the German Village Society, and then, in June 1960, he organized the first annual Haus und Garten Tour that included eight restored homes and two gardens. The area and the Haus und Garten Tour have gained popularity along with other German Village events. The real estate market demand in the area has grown and many more homes have been restored.
This has become a personal favorite of mine. Usually, around the beginning of December, you will probably see a ton of amazing photos from people on Instagram or Facebook posting pictures of brick streets lined with luminaries, ice carvings, and Christmas music. I would highly recommend witnessing it for yourself if you haven’t already! The Village Lights is a truly unique experience and a great way to enjoy the holiday season. For dates and times, you can normally check https://germanvillage.com/villagelights/ .
Haus und Garten Tour
The Haus und Garten Tour, sponsored by the German Village Society, is always held the last weekend in June and 2018 was the 59th annual tour with 12 homes included on the tour. On Saturday, there is a cocktail reception and a preview of the tour at Schiller Park. On Sunday, visitors get to tour selected hones and gardens. Proceeds are used to continue the preservation and educational programs of the Society.
The Oktoberfest was originally held at Schiller park. It was then moved to the Ohio Expo Center before being brought back to various locations around the Village. After it was canceled for several years, it was revived by the Schmidt family of Schmidt’s Sausage Haus. It is now back at the Ohio Expo Center. The Oktoberfest offers German food, beer, music, entertainment, and games. For 2018, the 52nd annual Oktoberfest was held September 7th to the 9th, the weekend after Labor Day.
Annual Downtown Columbus Events
If you can’t find what you are looking for in German Village, it’s just a short walk North to a ton of great events that take place in downtown Columbus each year. Below is a list of some of the standout events you want to miss.
HighBall Halloween, located in the Short North Arts District, is an annual event that started in 2008. It provides the opportunity for teams of local designers to compete in the Battelle Costume Couture Fashion Show. There is also a street party with a public costume contest, live art, and live music. HighBall Halloween is sponsored by the Short North Alliance (SNA) to raise money to improve the Short North neighborhood. The 2018 HighBall Halloween will be held October 26th and 27th.
First Night Columbus
First Night Columbus is the New Year’s Eve celebration located by COSI and the riverfront in downtown Columbus. Activities suitable for families run from 5:30 pm on December 31st to 12 am on January 1st. Many activities are located inside COSI. In addition, there are multiple stages with live entertainment. First Night has been an annual event since 1995. Columbus is part of a group of over 100 cities providing substance-free, family-friendly, New Year’s Eve celebrations worldwide.
Columbus Arts Festival
The Columbus Arts Festival features local artists and artists from around the country. You can purchase art that has been created using a large variety of mediums. There are also art activities for children, live entertainment from multiple stages, and food. The 2019 Columbus Arts Festival is scheduled from June 7th to 9th. Visit https://www.experiencecolumbus.com/event/columbus-arts-festival/48171/ for more information about this awesome event!
Red, White, and Boom
Red, White, and Boom is the annual Independence Day fireworks celebration located along the riverfront in downtown Columbus, usually on July 3rd. Activities begin at 12:00 pm and end with the fireworks at 10:00 pm. There is a parade, food, family activities, and two stages with live entertainment. Make sure that you arrive early to claim a good spot to view the fireworks.
Jazz and Rib Fest
The annual Jazz and Rib Fest offers ribs from local restaurants and restaurants from around the country. These vendors compete to claim the title of “Best Ribs.” You may have to come several days to sample as many of the offerings as possible. While you are enjoying the ribs, you can also enjoy the live jazz from two different stages. The 2019 Jazz and Rib Fest will be held from July 19th to 21st. Visit http://www.hotribscooljazz.org/ for more information.
The Columbus Greek Festival
Since 1972, the Columbus Greek Festival has been held at The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral. Experience Greek song, dance, food, and drink, and take a tour of the Cathedral. This annual event will introduce you to Greek culture without leaving Columbus. The annual festival is held at The Annunciation Cathedral in late August and usuallyon Labor Day Weekend. Visit http://www.columbusgreekfestival.com/ for more information and dates.
Get ready to have some fun!
This list is a good start, but Columbus truly is an amazing city with tons more to get into. As you can tell, no matter what you are interested in, there is surely an event to satisfy.