The 2021 Columbus Arts Festival has been canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Greater Columbus Arts Council made the announcement Thursday that the annual event won’t be happening in June because of the continued increases in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations and slowed vaccine distribution.
“We must put the health and safety of our patrons, artists, performers, vendors and sponsors first.,” GCAC President Tom Katzenmeyer said in a press release.
Katzenmeyer said there are no plans for a virtual festival as there was for last year’s event.
But as the distribution of vaccinations increases, Katzenmeyer said the arts council is confident there will be a return to the traditional Columbus Arts Festival. The event will move to a new location next year, and is scheduled to take place June 10-12, 2022, in the Arena District.
► Jazz and Rib Fest called off, too
Based on guidance from Columbus Public Health and the Ohio Department of Health, the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department has announced that this year’s Jazz & Rib Fest is canceled.
“While we are disappointed that Jazz & Rib Fest will not be happening in 2021, keeping our residents safe during this public health emergency is our priority,” said Paul Rakosky, interim director of Columbus Recreation and Parks Department.
“Planning for this large event occurs all year, and it was necessary to make the decision now. Based on the information we have at the moment, we don’t believe we will be able to safely host an event of this size where social distancing is very difficult in just a few short months.”
Instead, the event will take place on July 22-24, 2022.
► Asian Festival moved to virtual
Asian Festival Chair Greg Thirtyacre III said the annual event will be held virtually this year. While the plan is to have the festival on Memorial Day weekend (May 29-30), the committee will continue to work out additional details, he said.
► ComFest to take place virtually
For the second year in a row, ComFest will take place virtually on June 25-27 based on guidance from local and state health officials.
Like last year’s event, spokesman Marty Stutz said there will be live performances and an expanded virtual street fair for vendors to sell their items online.
There are currently no plans for 2022 ComFest, but Stutz said organizers, vendors and performers are looking forward to a potential return to in-person.
For more information on this year’s virtual event, visit https://www.comfest.com/virtual/.
►Red, White & Boom up in the air
The Red, White & Boom board of directors have yet to make a decision about the event.
The board is working with city and county officials to determine the best procedures needed to put on the celebratory event.
“Every event has a unique planning time frame, and we are still within that time frame to produce a 2021 event,” the board said in a written statement. “We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic developments and vaccination rollout. We are working closely with city and county officials to determine the procedures and precautions needed to produce a safe and responsible event for the central Ohio community.”
This story will be updated.