If you're looking for a fun getaway destination without leaving the Midwestern United States, Columbus, Ohio, offers the perfect experience. Founded in 1812 and named the state capital four short years later, Columbus quickly established itself as an integral city in Ohio. Due to its close proximity to roads and railways, the city exploded in population. By 1880, Columbus was home to over 51,000 residents. The 20th Century brought continued growth in population, culture and infrastructure. Over time Columbus has come to be known as a major industrial center and commerce hub for the region. Around the 1990’s, the city cemented itself as a great tourist destination. Culture and art flooded the city during this decade and numerous attractions, museums, galleries, entertainment venues and restaurants were built and began to thrive.
Today, Columbus is a sprawling metropolis of over 820,000 people. You’ll find just about any activity you can imagine here. The city is home to numerous places to grab a meal, from unique fine dining establishments to great family owned restaurants, it's all here. The nightlife is vibrant and engaging, with great clubs, bars and live entertainment venues, perfect for dancing, meeting new people, and enjoying the sights and sounds of a night in Columbus. If major attractions are more your speed, Columbus has a variety. A few examples include the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, Columbus Museum of Art and Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Garden. The park system here is conpreshenisve with well maintained locations that are easily accessible. To get the full Columbus experience, try visiting during one of the big local events like the Park Street Festival, held each June right in downtown.
For a decade, the Park Street Festival has attracted thousands of attendees into downtown Columbus each year. Held right in the heart of the city's largest restaurant, bar and nightlife area, this event features and is surrounded by some the best food and drink options in the city. Live music will be performed by over 20 different acts that hail from a variety of music genres. At least 20 different food trucks will be serving up some delicious meals. Plus, there will be artisan and craft vendors selling some great handmade art. Turn your next vacation into a party you won't soon forget and head to Columbus for the Park Street Festival. We got the chance to interview Mike Gallicchio, Representative for the Park Street Festival, to talk about this fun event.
RAL: Tell me a little bit about the event.
MG: This will be our 10th year of the Park Street Festival. We have a dedicated following of partons and this year we are expecting between 10,000 and 15,000 people in attendance. People come to the festival from Columbus, the surrounding communities and beyond. The demographic breakdown of our crowd shows that our attendees consist of mostly millennials. We do also see some families, couples and groups of friends. Anyone and everyone who is interested should come out and have a great time with us at the festival!
RAL: What makes this event unique?
MG: It's a unique event because of its location in the middle of Columbus' largest bar and restaurant districts. We bring live music and great food to enhance the already fun atmosphere of downtown Columbus. It's the perfect opportunity for meeting new people and getting a unique experience.
RAL: Take me through a day at the event.
MG: For activities we will have plenty of live music being played during the event by a variety of different musical acts. We will also have art and craft vendors selling unique handmade items at a bunch of different booths.
This year we have over 20 food trucks participating ad serving up a variety of food options. There are also nine different bars and restaurants in close proximity to all the action of the festival. No matter what you prefer for food or drink, you’ll find what you're looking for at our event.
The overall environment of the festival is fun and boisterous. The overall atmosphere is electric and it definitely picks up in the evening.
RAL: What can an attendee expect to find for local lodging?
MG: Columbus has a ton of great lodging options to choose from. The Hampton Inn is located right on top of the event, but we also have the brand new Downtown Hilton right next door. If you plan on attending, be sure to make your reservations in advance. It can be hard to find available lodging in the downtown area this time of year.
RAL: Does this drive business to your local economy?
MG: Definitely, our helps downtown Columbus, The Arena District, and the Short North. It’s a big event that impacts our local economy on multiple levels. From the lodging providers to the restaurants, shops, and attractions downtown, having an extra 10,000 to 15,000 people in the city is a big boost.
RAL: Does the event support a special cause in the community?
MG: Yes, we make a donation to our favorite cause, Marines Family Support Services, annually.
RAL: Why should people come to your event?
MG: If you want to visit Columbus, Ohio, come during Park Street Festival. Due to its unique location you can see the best that Columbus has to offer. Shop in the Short North, go to the historic North Market, and then take it up a notch at night while seeing some of the best local bands Columbus has to offer at Park Street Fest. For a more complete list of everything in Downtown Columbus, check out the Experience Columbus’ website and see what else is going on during Park Street Fest weekend.
If you're looking for more information about the Park Street Festival, please visit their website.