Looking to stave off a listless summer afternoon? These annual boredom-busting events draw crowds and give everyone – from the smallest to the tallest – something to do.
Upper Arlington’s Summer Celebration has been a hit among local families for more than a decade. Among the highlights planned for this year’s festival are a host of inflatables, tethered hot air balloon rides, trackless train rides and obstacle courses.
Kids can participate in a variety of games and activities, including games in the style of Minute to Win It, the popular television show that features contestants performing pointless stunts such as “Beach Tennis,” with players batting a ping-pong ball back and forth using scuba flippers. Other draws: balloon sculptors and exhibitions from the various summer camps offered through Upper Arlington Parks & Recreation.
“It’s about giving back to the community,” says UA Recreation Superintendent James Gant. “It’s a great opportunity to gather the community for fun and activities.”
The Summer Celebration is scheduled for 5-9 p.m. June 18 in Thompson Park, 4250 Mountview Rd., and is followed by an outdoor showing of PG flick We Bought a Zoo, starring Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson, beginning at dusk.
Lazy Daze of Summer
Art, music and a book sale combine at the Lazy Daze of Summer Festival, slated for 11 a.m.-6 p.m. July 27 on the grounds of the Grandview Heights Public Library, 1685 W. First Ave.
To celebrate the festival’s 20th anniversary, the Grandview Heights/Marble Cliff Arts Council, which hosts the event, is giving out $1,000 scholarships to two aspiring artists. Typically the group awards one teenager a $500 scholarship.
“Since this is our 20th year for Lazy Daze, we thought we would do something spectacular and raise our scholarships to two $1,000 ones,” says arts council President Ruthanne James.
This year’s award winners are Corey Delpha and Maureen Flanagan. Corey plans to study culinary arts at Columbus’ Bradford School. Maureen intends to double major in Spanish and graphic design at The Ohio State University. Both students had to submit their work to the arts council, which selected scholarship winners via a jury of three board members and two artists.
“Our goal is to help promote, support and encourage the arts in any creative way,” James says.
Corey and Maureen will be honored at the festival, which has tapped 55 artists from all over Ohio to display glasswork, painting and photography, among other mediums.
New this year is the participation of the Ohio Craft Museum, which will provide art activities for children from 3-5 p.m.
“They do amazing work with the kids’ activities,” James says. “I think that will be a great draw.”
Entertainment and food vendors will also be on hand at the event.
Taste of UA
Plan to let out at least one notch on your belt at the Taste of UA.
Organizers from the Upper Arlington Area Chamber of Commerce plan to make this year’s event, 3:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 8, bigger and better than ever.
“Last year we had 30 to 40 vendors, and my goal is to have more than that this year,” says Chamber Administrative Events Coordinator Teresa Conway.
In addition, the chamber is in the process of securing a temporary permit to allow alcohol in a designated area within Northam Park, 2070 Northam Rd. Last year, a beer garden was set up offsite at St. Agatha Catholic Church. This year beer will be offered in a tented “tasting room.”
The entertainment stage, with an entertainment line-up set by Vaughan Music Studios, will be closer to the festival’s entrance. Conway expects the Buckeye Mobile Tour, which brings Ohio State-themed games and inflatables, will generate a lot of excitement as well.
Vendor judging will take place at 5:30 p.m., with a celebrity-packed crew of judges awarding first, second and third place honors to the best appetizers, main courses and entrees.
“Come out for the food, for the music and for the community,” Conway says. “It’s such a wonderful event.”
Admission to the Taste of UA is free; vendors set their own prices for sample-sized goodies.
St. Andrew Parish Festival
The St. Andrew Parish Festival will be a bit bittersweet this year. Reverend Father Michael B. Watson, who encouraged his flock to start hosting such an event 13 years ago, will have moved on to a new parish by the time the event rolls around Aug. 16-17: He has been assigned to St. Mary Parish in Delaware effective July 9.
“Father was the inspiration,” says parishoner Deborah Bichimer, festival chairwoman for the third year running. “Surprisingly, we were one
of the few parishes that did not have a festival at that time. We had to go all around to the other north-side parishes and identify an acceptable weekend so we weren’t overlapping, and we found ourselves fortunate to have the third weekend in August.”
That means the festival is usually held the last Friday and Saturday before school starts at St. Andrew Elementary School, 4081 Reed Rd. Volunteers spend time on Sunday cleaning up after approximately 25,000 attendees.
Rides and games for children and adults are popular features of the festival, as are a casino, bingo and raffles. New this year, those who buy the Saturday Night Dinner will receive a free bingo card. There’s room for 400 dinner guests in the parish hall after 4 p.m. Mass.
Additional food offerings this year are grilled chicken sandwiches, meatball subs and hot pretzels. Entertainment will include EKG from 5-7 p.m. and Conspiracy from 8-11 p.m. Friday, and the Columbus Zoo from 5-7 p.m. and Rascal Flatts tribute band Broken Road from 8-11 p.m. Saturday.
UA Labor Day Arts Festival
The best of the best artwork will be on display at the UA Labor Day Arts Festival – and festival-goers will have a chance to be part of that line-up this year.
The juried event, scheduled for 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 2 at Northam Park, 2070 Northam Rd., showcases work from more than 150 artists and craftspeople.
The event also promises hands-on fun, says Arts Manager Lynette Santoro-Au. Create spin art T-shirts, work with clay -- those are just two of the 20 interactive activities planned for children and adults.
One of the biggest projects planned? A paint-by-numbers snow plow from the city’s Public Service Department.
“We’ve started to put art on our snow plows,” Santoro-Au says. Already, two plows were decked out with clings and unveiled at the Spring Fling a few months ago. They may also make an appearance at the Independence Day parade. But the paint-by-numbers plow at the Arts Festival allows everyone to have a hand in creating a unique motorized masterpiece.
Look to the trees to spot a temporary installation piece from local artist Elizabeth Fergus-Jean, Memory Boats, which features images and stories from the memories of UA residents.
Lisa Aurand is editor of Tri-Village Magazine. Feedback welcome at email@example.com.