July heats up with fairs, festivals, concerts, theater and more


Red, White & Boom returns on Friday!

Red, White & Boom returns on Friday!

July will be hot this summer, as many events such as Red, White & Boom, the Ohio State Fair and Buckeye Country Superfest return for the first time since the pandemic began.

We’ve compiled a list of fairs, festivals and events — almost something for every day in July — for you to consider.

If you want to look ahead and plan out your things-to-do calendar, then this is a great start. And this is just a sampling. Be sure to check our Weekender section each week for more information on upcoming events.

In chronological order:

July 1: Red, White & Boom, Genoa Park, 303 W. Broad St. What’s billed as the largest Independence Day celebration in the Midwest returns for its 40th presentation. Expect entertainment, food and, of course, an incredible fireworks  display. (www.redwhiteandboom.org)

Thursdays through Sundays through July 17 (except July 1): “A Tale of Two Cities,” 8 p.m.  Actors’ Theatre of Columbus, Schiller Park amphitheater, 1069 Jaeger St. Terence Rattigan and John Gielgud’s 1935 drama, first staged professionally in 2013, was adapted from Charles Dickens’ 1859 bestselling novel about courage, justice, sacrifice and resurrection in the late-1700s events leading up to the French Revolution and Reign of Terror. (www.theactorstheatre.org)

Fridays in July: “Zoombezi Bay Summer Nights,” 5 to 10 p.m., adjacent to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, 4850 Powell Road, Delaware County. Zoombezi Bay will keep its gates open late to host live entertainment as well as movie screenings at 8 p.m. The family-friendly lineup of flicks includes “The Incredibles 2” (July 1), “Iron Man 2” (July 8), “Sing 2” (July 15), “The Santa Clause 2” (July 22) and “Frozen 2” (July 29). (www.columbuszoo.org)

Saturdays through July 30: Picnic With the Pops, 8 p.m. through July 30: The Columbus Symphony will provide musical support to multiple guest artists: Landslide, a tribute to the music of Fleetwood Mac, July 9; Christopher Cross, July 16; a Rolling Stones tribute band, July 23; and the Ohio State University marching band, July 29-30. Don’t miss the symphony’s Independence Day extravaganza, “Patriotic Pops,” on July 2.

Happy Hour: Seeking happy-hour specials? Check out Forno’s half-off pizzas, drinks, shareables

July 4: Doo Dah Music Fest and Parade, Goodale Park, 120 W. Goodale St. The organizers of the 39th parade invite everyone to celebrate “liberty and lunacy,” and then stick around for some music. Angela An, a news anchor on WBNS-TV (Channel 10), will be the “less-than-grand marshal.” (doodahparade.com)

Get ready for the Doo Dah Parade!

Get ready for the Doo Dah Parade!

Through Aug. 4: CAPA Summer Movie Series, Ohio Theatre, 39 E. State St. The ongoing summer series will include “Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope” (July 8-9), Alfred Hitchcock’s “Notorious” (July 30-31) and “The Wrong Man” (Aug. 11-12), and the Michael Keaton version of “Batman” (Aug. 5-6). Saturday morning cartoon capers will take place on July 30. (www.capa.com)

"The Pirates of Penzance" July 7-16 at Otterbein Theatre.

“The Pirates of Penzance” July 7-16 at Otterbein Theatre.

July 7-16: “The Pirates of Penzance,” Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic 1879 operetta, considered their swashbuckling masterpiece, revolves around raucous pirates, bumbling police, sisters, a modern major general and an innocent young man with an unfortunate birthday. Presented by Otterbein Summer Theatre, Cowan Hall’s Fritsche Theatre, 30 S. Grove St., Westerville. (www.otterbein.edu/drama)

July 7-Aug. 18: “Federico Fellini,” at the Wexner Center for the Arts, 1871 N. High St. The arts center on the campus of Ohio State University will mark the centennial of Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini (1920-1993) two years after the fact: This major retrospective of Fellini’s much-admired films — including masterpieces succh as “La strada” (July 7), “8 1/2” (July 14) and “Juliet of the Spirits” (Aug. 4) — was originally slated for 2020, when Fellini would have turned 100, but was delayed due to the pandemic. (www.wexarts.org)

July 9-10: Westerville Music and Arts Festival, Heritage Park, 60 N. Cleveland Ave., Westerville. More than 130 artists will exhibit their wares, and the event will also feature 30 performers, including headliners The Reagonomics. (www.westervillechamber.com)

July 9-10: Mine 4 God Productions, the 10th Annual Columbus Black Theatre Festival, Columbus Performing Arts Center, 549 Franklin Ave.; and other locations. The 10th festival will showcase six plays by playwrights from across the country, exploring the theme of “Speaking Truth That Heals.” (www.mine4godproductions.com)

Sheryl Crow will perform July 10 at John F. Wolfe Columbus Commons.

Sheryl Crow will perform July 10 at John F. Wolfe Columbus Commons.

July 10: Sheryl Crow with Keb’ Mo’ and Southern Avenue at the John F. Wolfe Columbus Commons, East Rich and South High streets. Singer-songwriter Crow, best-known for “All I Wanna Do” and “Soak Up the Sun,” will be joined by blues master Keb’ Mo’ and soul and roots band Southern Avenue. Reserve your tickets early for this free concert. (columbuscommons.org)

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Select dates through Aug. 25: Summer literary picnics, Thurber House, 77 Jefferson Ave. The picnics will feature outdoor readings (weather permitting) by authors Jessica Strawser (July 13), Leigh Lewis (July 27), Thrity Umrigar (Aug. 6), and Carter Sickels (Aug. 25). (www.thurberhouse.org)

• July 14-16: Picktown Palooza, 300 Opportunity Way, Pickerington. Listen to Winger and Steelheart, take in a car and bike show, jump on a few carnival rides and if you have the energy, zip off in a 5K. (picktownpalooza.org)

Umphrey's McGee will perform at the Werk Out Music and Arts Festival.

Umphrey’s McGee will perform at the Werk Out Music and Arts Festival.

July 14-16: Werk Out Music and Arts Festival, Legend Valley, Thornville. Groove to multiple sets by the Werks, Umphrey’s McGee and other jam bands in a campout weekend. (www.thewerkoutfestival.com)

July 14-16 and July 20-23: “Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express,” Playwright Ken Ludwig (“Lend Me a Tenor”) adapts Agatha Christie’s classic mystery about detective Hercule Poirot investigating a locked-room murder of an American tycoon on a luxurious and isolated train in Europe. Presented by Weathervane Playhouse, 100 Price Road, Newark (www.weathervaneplayhouse.org)

July 14-17: “The Wind in the Willows,” 7 p.m., Coffman Park Amphitheater, 5200 Emerald Parkway: Abbey Theater of Dublin presents the youth musical adapted from Kenneth Grahame’s children’s book about the friendship of good-hearted Water Rat, shy and curious Mole, sensible Badger and impulsive Mr. Toad, who steals motor cars and drives them recklessly around the countryside. (dublinohiousa.gov/abbey-theater)

Thursdays through Sundays July 14-31: “Waiting for Waiting for Godot.” Dave Hanson’s comedy centers on two hapless understudies occupying time backstage during a production of Samuel Beckett’s classic existential drama while trying to understand art, theater and life. Presented by Red Herring Theater Company, 3723 S. High St. (www.redherringtheater.org)

July 15-17: Inkcarceration, Ohio State Reformatory, Mansfield. Celebrate music and the art of the tattoo at the three-day festival showcasing Korn, Papa Roach, Breaking Benjamin, Evanescence, Disturbed, Lamb of God and more bands than you can shake a stick at. (inkcarceration.com)

July 15-17: Otterbein Playwrights Collective, 7 p.m., Abbey Theater of Dublin, 5600 Post Road, Dublin. Original scripts written by Otterbein University playwrights will be workshopped, rehearsed, and performed by Dublin-based teen performers.(dublinohiousa.gov/abbey-theater)

July 15-30: Young Writers Short Play Festival, Fridays and Saturdays. MadLab Theatre, 227 N. 3rd St., will present seven new playlets by students from central Ohio high schools in its 11th festival, directed and acted by theater professionals inside and outside the MadLab ensemble. (www.madlab.net)

July 16: Celeste Barber, 7 p.m., Palace Theatre, 34 W. Broad St. The Australian comedian, billed as the Australian Queen of Comedy and the 2017 winner of a “Funniest Lady on Instagram” award, wrote the bestselling book “Challenge Accepted,” also a 2019 Showtime special of the same name; and has been cast as the lead of “Wellmania,” Netflix’s new comedy-drama series.(www.cbusarts.com)

The Franklin County Fair will begin July 18.

The Franklin County Fair will begin July 18.

July 18-24: Franklin County Fair, Franklin County Fairgrounds, 4100 Columbia St., Hilliard. Enjoy a full week of classic county fair activities, including a petting zoo, stunt dog shows, crockpot contests, horse musical freestyle, a veggie car derby and much more. (www.fcfair.org)

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Mary Chapin Carpenter will perform in Columbus on July 21.

Mary Chapin Carpenter will perform in Columbus on July 21.

July 21: Mary Chapin Carpenter, 7:30 p.m, Riffe Center, 77 S. High St. Singer-songwriter Carpenter will be touring in support of her new album, “The Things That We Are Made Of.” Contact: (www.capa.com)

Rick Springfield will be one of the headliners at the Lancaster Festival this summer. He'll perform with the Lancaster Festival Orchestra on July 23.

Rick Springfield will be one of the headliners at the Lancaster Festival this summer. He’ll perform with the Lancaster Festival Orchestra on July 23.

July 21-30: Lancaster Festival, various sites in Lancaster. Music will be playing all over town during the 10-day celebration, with the showcase concerts — complete with fireworks — taking place at the Lancaster campus of Ohio University. Among the highlights: Rick Springfield, 8 p.m. July 23. The Australian singer is known for the ’80s mega-hit “Jessie’s Girl” and for years of performing as Dr. Noah Drake on “General Hospital”; and Lady A, 8 p.m. July 30. The country music trio formerly known as Lady Antebellum will be showcasing their 2021 album, “What a Song Can Do.” (www.lancasterfestival.org)

July 21-30: Evolution Theatre Company, “Gently Down the Stream,” 7:30 p.m., Abbey Theater of Dublin, 5600 Post Road, Dublin. Martin Sherman’s romantic and comic drama celebrates and mourns the ghosts of the gay and lesbian men and women who fought for equality, legalized marriage and the right to dream. (evolutiontheatre.org)

Thursdays through Sundays July 21 through Aug. 14: “Rock of Ages,” The Broadway jukebox musical, with classic 1980s songs from Bon Jovi, Journey, Styx, Twisted Sister and other rock groups, revolves around the relationship between an aspiring rocker and an aspiring actress in Los Angeles. Presented by Short North Stage, Garden Theater, 1187 N. High St. (www.cbusarts.com)

Thursdays through Sundays July 21-Aug. 14: “Queen Margaret,” Jeanie O’Hare’s 2018 British drama, initially announced for 2020, was adapted from Shakespeare’s history cycle to focus on a young queen who matured into the ruling force in the chaotic War of the Roses. (www.theactorstheatre.org)

July 22: Popcorn Pops, 7 p.m. Kids and families can enjoy music from the Columbus Symphony. Pre-concert activities for each begin at 5:30 p.m., including balloon sculptures, games and free popcorn and rides on the Columbus Commons carousel. (www.columbussymphony.com)

Hot ribs and cool jazz are the hallmarks of the Jazz & Rib Fest.

Hot ribs and cool jazz are the hallmarks of the Jazz & Rib Fest.

July 22-24: Jazz & Rib Fest, Bicentennial Park, 233 S. Civic Center Drive. Load up on barbecue cooked by local masters as you take in the best of jazz in this festival produced by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department. (www.hotribscooljazz.org)

Luke Combs will headline Buckeye Country Superfest at Ohio Stadium

Luke Combs will headline Buckeye Country Superfest at Ohio Stadium

July 23: Buckeye Country Superfest, Ohio Stadium. Beer enthusiast and up-and-coming country singer Luke Combs will headline, with support by Cody Jinks, Zach Bryan and other young country stars. (www.buckeyecountrysuperfest.com)

July 23: Columbus Summer Wine Festival, Kelley Green, 105 Norton Park Drive, Whitehall. Sample wine and shop for arts and crafts. (columbuswinefest.com)

JT Walker III performs in Shadowbox Live’s production of “Flower Power.”

JT Walker III performs in Shadowbox Live’s production of “Flower Power.”

Select performances through Aug. 28: “Flower Power: The Music and Movement,” The music-comedy-and-theater resident company celebrates the late-1960s hippie music and culture that inspired social change in a new musical revue. (www.shadowboxlive.org)

July 27-Aug. 7: Ohio State Fair, Ohio Expo Center, Interstate 71 and East 17th Avenue. The State Fair returns this year in its full-scale glory, including performances by Kidz Bop, 6:30 p.m. July 27; Nelly, 8 p.m. July 30; Ice Cube, 7 p.m. Aug. 4; and country legend Willie Nelson, 7:30 p.m. Aug. 5. Visitors will also find ample food, games and livestock. (www.ohiostatefair.com)

Willie Nelson will perform Aug. 5 at the Ohio State Fair.

Willie Nelson will perform Aug. 5 at the Ohio State Fair.

At sunset on select Thursdays through October: 21+ Outdoor Movie Series, Genoa Park, 303 W. Broad St. The park will host screenings for a mature crowd. Most films are rated R, and highlights include “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” (July 28) and “Remember the Titans” (Aug. 25). Food trucks will be on-site, and wine will be for sale. ( www.nightlight614.com)

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July 29-30: Canal Winchester Blues & Ribfest, High and Waterloo streets, Canal Winchester. Two days of music, including headliners Mike Zito and Davy Knowles, along with a rib competition and other food trucks, in case you’re ribbed out. (www.bluesandribfest.com)

July 30: Ohio Eggfest, Fortress Obetz, 2015 Recreation Trail

Obetz. Raise money for cancer while competing in grilling, barbecuing and culinary feats using a Big Green Egg. (www.theohioeggfest.com)

July 31: Chris Brown and Lil Baby, 7 p.m., Nationwide Arena, 200 W. Nationwide Blvd. Controversial Brown and young rapper Lil Baby should be a fascinating combination. (www.nationwidearena.com)

This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Ohio State Fair, festivals, concerts come to Columbus in July


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