Festivals in Athens

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Challenge Nation pioneered the urban-adventure race with a race season that includes visits to more than 35 cities across the country. Each scavenger hunt is personalized to the hosting city, exploring its many diverse neighborhoods with a series of clues that would test even the most skilled children's-book detective. The teams?composed of at least two people?vie for a $300 first-place prize. The Amazing Race?style competition rewards quick wits and wise planning over physical fitness, so the best way to prepare is by doing logic puzzles while eating Funyuns and lounging in a La-Z-Boy. The top 25 teams qualify, the top five receiving free entry, to compete in the national championship, which rewards winning teams with a $5,000 cash prize.

343 North Front Street
Columbus,
OH
US

In Radio & Juliet, artistic media and historical conventions cross-pollinate on stage as the themes of Shakespeare and the music of Radiohead coalesce into a stark framework for Ballet Maribor’s minimalist forms. Dancers exploit the sense of alienation that permeates singer Thom Yorke’s voice to full effect, spinning in counter-clockwise pirouettes to symbolize their defiance of the passage of time. In swapping the Bard’s dramatic romance for Blue Tooth shades of melancholy, the production taps into an expression of longing attraction that the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette called “white hot in a way that Shakespeare could never have imagined.” Main-floor seats in the lavish, gold-swathed Palace Theatre, which was designed in the 1930s to mimic the Palace of Versailles, open up unobstructed views of the action.

34 W Broad St.
Columbus,
OH
US

• For $18, you get a ticket for seating in section 201, 227, or 234 (a $26.50 value, or up to a $36.30 value online, including all Ticketmaster fees). • For $59, you get a ticket for seating in section Floor 9, 104, 123, 131, or 134 (a $99.50 value, or up to a $117.15 value online, including all Ticketmaster fees). • For $84, you get a ticket for seating in section Floor 3, 106, 107, or 122 (a $149.50 value, or up to a $168.45 value online, including all Ticketmaster fees).

555 Borror Dr.
Columbus,
OH
US

The oldest surviving theater in central Ohio, the fin de siècle elegance of the Southern Theatre's jewel-box auditorium transports audiences back to the days of vaudeville antics and silver-screen spectacle. Built in 1896 to state-of-the-art standards, the theater's bandshell-esque proscenium bucked architectural norms to funnel sound to the seats. Its 204 light bulbs required that the theater generate its own electricity for years, until scientists finally found the power outlets. Before the show, audiences can feast on the recently restored auditorium's eye candy, which includes a gilded ceiling etched with reclining figures and majestic arches that help the eye dance throughout.

21 E Main St
Columbus,
OH
US

For 58 years, the Columbus International Festival has brought together the multiple cultures of the world for a spectacular show with dancing, music, and fashion. A Parade of Nations showcases the many countries represented in the festival including India, Ireland, and Algeria. Ethnic food tastings excite the tongue with flavors from afar and a naturalized citizenship oath ceremony brings a patriotic moment to the weekend.

P.O. Box 340272
Columbus,
OH
US

The course itself carries on that fun vibe, too. Winding through city streets and local parks, the 5K route is dotted with hydration stations that dole out hot chocolate. Holiday music, a giant Santa inflatable, and snow blowers help to set

800 Smith Street
Charleston,
WV
US