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Your guide to the 62nd Columbus Arts Festival happening this weekend

Ancizar Marin interacts with his sculptures during the 2024 Columbus Arts Festival on June 7.

Ancizar Marin interacts with his sculptures during the 2024 Columbus Arts Festival on June 7.

Now in its 62nd year, the Columbus Arts Festival is once again taking place in downtown Columbus. The festival attracts almost half a million people every year and is one of the city’s largest summer events.

Festival-goers flock Downtown to enjoy live music, dancing, theater, spoken word and other performances, fashion, food, hands-on arts activities and more.

Here’s everything you need to know and everything happening at this year’s Columbus Arts Festival.

How has the festival grown over the years?

When it debuted in 1962, it was homegrown on a much smaller scale. The art was not for sale; artists competed for prizes. In 1974 the event was expanded to include the High Street, and was given a street fair flair with arts and crafts not present in the juried show. The entire outdoor art gallery moved west to the riverbank for the 1983 festival.

Audiences increased and so did its reputation for attracting performers from outside Columbus. It is now a nationally ranked arts festival.

Read more: The Columbus Arts Festival has grown into a major event over the past 60 years

The Columbus Arts Festival attracts thousands of visitors every year.The Columbus Arts Festival attracts thousands of visitors every year.

The Columbus Arts Festival attracts thousands of visitors every year.

What does this year look like?

The festival has more than 250 artists in 15 media. There will be entertainment on four stages: the Genoa Park Main Stage, Bicentennial Park Stage, Big Local Arts Stage and Word is Art & Acoustic Lounge. With all kinds of music, magicians, dancers, storytellers, poets, spoken word artists and more, there is something for everyone.

For the first time, the fest will include Go Brewing’s non-alcoholic beers and a Water for Everyone Today (WET) portable water fountain that allows visitors to fill reusable water bottles. Another addition is a mobile universal family changing station near the corner of Town and Belle streets.

Music in Central Ohio: What shows are coming to Columbus this summer?

Read more: Columbus Arts Festival returns for 62nd year: What you need to know if you plan to go

Which roads are closed?

The following streets are closed until 6 a.m. Monday for the Columbus Arts Festival:

  • South Civic Center Drive from Broad Street to Main Street

  • South Second Street from Main Street to Mound Street (open to local traffic)

  • South Civic Center Drive from Mound Street to Main Street (open to local traffic)

  • Main Street (Rich Street west of the river) from the east side of Lucas Street to Front Street (local traffic starts at McDowell Street only)

  • South Ludlow Street from Town Street to Main Street (open at Town Street to local traffic)

  • West Cherry Street from South Second Street to South Ludlow Street

  • Washington Avenue from Main Street to Broad Street

  • Rich Street (Town Street west of the river) from the east side of Lucas Street to Front Street (open to local traffic on Starling Street)

  • Noble Street east side from South Second Street to South Civic Center Drive

  • Jewett Street from Mound Street to Main Street

  • Town Street from Front Street to Civic Center Drive (open to local traffic)

  • Belle Street from State Street to Rich Street

  • Starling Street from State Street to Main Street (open to local traffic)

Read more: Street closures, heavy traffic expected during the Columbus Arts Festival

Photos from the 2024 Art Festival

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Columbus Arts Festival: See our guide to the downtown event

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