Columbus, the 14th largest city in the U.S., one of the fastest-growing cities in the Midwest and Ohio’s capital city, invites visitors to experience new public art, new first-in-the-nation urban rock climbing, and a packed schedule of festivals and concerts.
“In addition to some of our city’s biggest and most anticipated annual festivals, we are excited to welcome new attractions this summer that showcase Columbus’ Live Forward mindset and commitment to staying at the forefront of arts and recreation experiences for our residents and visitors,” said Sarah Townes, Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer at Experience Columbus.
What Columbus is offering its guests
Acclaimed artist unveils first floating sculpture
In a spectacular unveiling, the skyline of downtown Columbus was transformed with the debut of “Current,” a monumental artwork by internationally acclaimed sculptor Janet Echelman.
Using an astonishing 78 miles of twine meticulously crafted into over 500,000 knots, the sculpture gracefully hangs above the bustling intersection of High and Gay streets, resembling a cloud in shades of blue and red.
Notably, “Current” is now the longest public art piece in Columbus and the first of Echelman’s permanent sculptures to be suspended above a street.
The country’s first unique rock-climbing adventure in an urban setting
Soon, Columbus will be home to the first urban via ferrata in the Quarry Trails Metro Park.
The via ferrata will be a limestone cliff with an 800-foot horizontal traverse designed for the popular style of mountaineering climbing, which typically only exists in Europe or mountainous regions in the United States.
Participants must be at least 14 years old, weigh between 88 and 265 pounds, and be at least 5 feet in height. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
All equipment, including a climbing harness, helmet and via ferrata lanyard, will be provided during the program by Metro Parks. Online registration is expected to begin in July on Metro Parks’ official website.
Reach new heights of fun on a temporary Ferris wheel installation
Experience the thrill of Ohio’s tallest Ferris wheel, towering at a majestic height of 110 feet, as you step into Adventure Cove during your upcoming trip to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium.
With its impressive 24 gondolas, a swift rotation velocity of 2.6 revolutions per minute, and captivating multicolored LED lights illuminating the evening sky, Adventure Sky Wheel promises to create unforgettable memories that will be the topic of conversation throughout the entire summer.
Signature festivals bring art, music, and culture to Columbus
Every summer Columbus proudly hosts numerous annual festivals that celebrate local, national and international arts, music, literature and culture.
Here are some of the upcoming festivals that will bring in audiences and talent from all around the country:
July 3, 2023, Downtown Columbus. Independence Day weekend in Columbus kicks off with the largest fireworks display in Ohio. The street festival and fireworks show attracts over 400,000 visitors.
July 15–16, 2023, Downtown Historic Main Library. This new inaugural literary festival celebrates the Columbus Metropolitan Library’s 150th anniversary in 2023 and features panel discussions, author talks and book signings from nationally acclaimed authors with new releases at the historic Main Library downtown, named one of the country’s 11 most beautiful libraries by Fodor’s.
July 21–23, 2023, Scioto MileJazz & Rib Fest, presented by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, is a highly anticipated summertime tradition offering both jazz and rib connoisseurs the finest in music and barbecue.
August 12–13, 2023, Genoa Park. This free, family-focused event is bringing national and international music acts, Ohio-based Latino dance and music, children’s activities, and more for the community to enjoy.
August 19, 2023, Genoa ParkIn a collaboration between Experience Columbus (and its CBUS Soul® initiative) and the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, the CBUS Soul® fest will return for its second year at Genoa Park. Come out to experience Columbus’ vibrant Black culture, music, history, and soul!
August 25–27, 2023, Lawn of CAS. Come on out to enjoy music from Pitbull, Demi Lovato, Caamp, Sean Kingston, Chelsea Cutler and many others right here in Columbus.