After doing some work this morning I walked down to the Columbus Arts Festival. The 2012 Festival has moved back to its traditional location on the riverfront, and the relocation was an inspired decision. There’s lots of room for artists’ booths, street food tents, seating, and three performance stages. The booths and tents run along Civic Center Drive, cross the Scioto River on the Rich Street bridge, and then loop back across the river on the Main Street bridge.
The set-up gives the Festival a more airy and open feel than I found at last year’s Festival. It also gives the visitor a chance to check out the Scioto Mile park area and cross Columbus’ two cool new downtown bridges, which are works of art in their own right. The Rich Street bridge features an interesting series of buttress supports, and the Main Street bridge uses an unusual inclined arch superstructure and has a wide pedestrian walkway. I think the two bridges, the downtown buildings, and the Scioto Mile features do a really nice job of framing the Festival and making it a visually appealing venue for the artwork.
When I was at the Festival this morning there was lots of foot traffic and apparent purchases, some fine jazz being played at the main stage, and the heady smell of street food in the air. The Festival runs until 10 p.m. tonight and from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. tomorrow. If you’re in Columbus this weekend, it’s well worth a visit.