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Columbus EventsIn addition to its many cultural and historic landmarks, this destination hosts a number of outstanding festivals and events that may coincide with your visit.

The Ohio State University Jazz Festival in March features college and high school bands. Origami, kite-making, cultural displays, martial arts performances, cooking demonstrations and an open market selling exotic Asian goods are on tap at the Asian Festival , held Memorial Day weekend in Franklin Park.

The Memorial Tournament in late May and early June epitomizes the rich history and traditions of golf. Started in 1976 by Columbus native Jack Nicklaus, the PGA Tour event takes place at Muirfield Village Golf Club in nearby Dublin. A portion of the proceeds benefits Ohio charities.

In June the Columbus Arts Festival features music, dance and theater performances, arts, crafts and food. On the last Sunday in June a walking tour of the renovated homes of German Village is offered in the Haus und Garten Tour . Festivities include gardening demonstrations and a watercolor competition. The city celebrates our nation's independence with Red, White and Boom in July.

If there's one don't-miss festival in town, it's the Columbus Jazz and Rib Fest in July. Some 400,000 people bring their bibs to this event, which boasts performances by premier jazz artists and local bands—plus 50 tons of barbecued ribs. After sampling the award-winning food, relax to mellow tunes.

In late July to early August, Columbus is the home of the Ohio State Fair , probably the biggest shindig in the state and one of the largest fairs in the nation. Held at the Ohio Expo Center off I-71 between 11th and 17th avenues, the 12-day event, which is attended by more than 800,000, has livestock displays, exhibits, midway rides, entertainment and food. The fair has been held since 1850.

Early August's Festival Latino attracts growing crowds with Latin American music and food as well as educational workshops and cultural performances. Traditional and modern music and dance are highlights of the 3-day Dublin Irish Festival in August. Cultural draws include Irish storytelling and English Civil War reenactments. Also in August, Reynoldsburg residents celebrate the birth of the commercially sold tomato at the Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival .

In September private residences are opened during the Short North Tour of Homes & Gardens . In mid-September is Country Living Fair ; inspired by the popular magazine, it features more than 150 booths filled with antiques and handcrafted goods, seminars, music and food. Polka bands, bratwurst, beer and thousands of people combine at the Ohio Expo Center in September to give Columbus one of its grandest celebrations: Columbus Oktoberfest . The month closes out with entertainment, food and music at the Columbus International Festival at Franklin Park Adventure Center.

The Columbus Italian Festival takes place Columbus Day weekend and revolves around St. John the Baptist Catholic Church. The convening of the All American Quarter Horse Congress also in October, brings one of the world's largest quarter horse shows to the city. It attracts more than 650,000 people to the Ohio Expo Center and includes horse-judging contests and educational lectures.

Stand on the sidelines to cheer thousands of runners in the Columbus Marathon in October. Ranked as one of the top U.S. marathons, the course is mostly flat with a clover-leaf design, looping through downtown and the surrounding suburbs.

In mid-October, head to Circleville for the Circleville Pumpkin Show , which hosts fall exhibits and activities centered around pumpkins.

Wildlights , held mid-November through New Year's in Powell, includes musical performances, animal exhibits at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, an ice-skating rink and a display of holiday lights. The year ends with First Night Columbus , a community-wide event featuring dancing, music and fun in downtown.

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Columbus, OH

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Travel Information

City Population

787,033

Elevation

777 ft.

Sales Tax

Columbus has a sales tax of 7.5 percent and a lodging tax of 10 percent. There is an 11 percent concession fee on rental cars picked up at Port Columbus International Airport.

Emergency

911

Police (non-emergency)

(614) 645-4545

Fire (non-emergency)

(614) 221-3132

Time and Temperature

(614) 281-8211

Hospitals

Doctors Hospital, (614) 544-1000; Grant Medical Center, (614) 566-9000; Mount Carmel Medical Center (Mount Carmel West Hospital), (614) 234-5000; The Ohio State University Hospital East, (614) 257-3000; The Ohio State University Medical Center, (614) 293-8300; Riverside Methodist Hospital, (614) 566-5000.

Visitor Information

277 W. Nationwide Blvd. Suite 125 Columbus, OH 43215. Phone:(614)221-6623 or (800)354-2657

Air Travel

Port Columbus International Airport

Rental Cars

Hertz offers discounts to AAA members; phone (614) 239-1084 or (800) 654-3080.

Buses

Greyhound Lines Inc., (614) 228-2266 or (800) 231-2222, 111 E. Town St. between S. 3rd and S. 4th streets, serves Columbus.

Taxis

Yellow Cab, (614) 444-4444, is the largest cab company. Fixed fares are $3 base rate, $4.50 for the first mile, 45c for each additional 2/9 mile and $2.25 for each mile outside Franklin County. A $3 surcharge is added for fares originating at the airport.

Public Transportation

Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) provides bus transportation throughout the city and suburbs Mon.-Fri. 5:30 a.m.-11:45 p.m., Sat. 6 a.m.-10 p.m., Sun. 8-7. The basic fare is $2, express fare is $2.75 and transfers are free. Multiday passes and reduced rates for children and senior citizens are available. Passengers must have exact change.

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