Dispatch Events knows how Columbus residents cook, exercise, and flounce their kitchen curtains. Its quartet of annual expos and other special events draws from the worldly media prowess of The Dispatch Printing Company, which tailors each sprawling festival to the tastes and trends of the city and beyond. The Columbus Dispatch Home & Garden Show lures celebrities from HGTV and other outlets as guests take in home-improvement and gardening ideas, such as which shrubs best lend themselves to topiaries of neighbors' faces.
The Ohio State Fair beckons visitors to its gargantuan grounds that house livestock shows, educational exhibits, adventurous rides, a smorgasbord of tasty comfort cuisine, and unforgettable summer revelry for all ages. Each day of the fair boasts an enthralling hodgepodge of events, from the bacon-cooking contest on July 30 to August 5's tractor square-dancing show that features coquettish farm gear performing a passionate do-si-do. Rise above the festivities during a half-mile ride on the SkyGlider, or head to the pig races, petting zoo, and pony rides in Kiddieland. The giant slide hurls thrill seekers in burlap sacks down 144 feet of delight, and daily NASA exhibits greet visitors with hands-on activities, a gravity simulator, a real moon rock, and nutritional advice from the chimpanzee who invented Tang.
The Ohio Roller Girls, outfitted in their battle colors of green and black, are primed to tear up the track for the last bout of the season, ready to glissade, dodge, and barge their way through flocks of opposing skaters during energetic exhibitions. The Ohio Roller Girl’s Gang Green team skates against the Dynamite Dolls at 5 p.m, with the Charter team challenging the Destruction Dames at 7 p.m. An impressive roster of powerful sportswomen composes the two Ohio teams, replete with such bone-chilling names as McDangerous, Texas Chainsaw Sasskicker, Pippi RipYourStockings, and Mom. With doors opening at 3:30 p.m., visitors can stock up at the cash-only concession stand, fueling frequent cheering and emphatic arm movements when not frantically brainstorming their own punned-out pseudonyms.
The headquarters of the nonprofit Ohio Historical Society, the Ohio Historical Center abounds with exhibits and activities that showcase the state's diverse social, natural, and archeological history. Built in 1970, the museum's towering Brutalist edifice is a piece of history itself, lauded as "bold" and "imaginative” by the American Institute of Architects. Inside, a 15,000-square-foot gallery explores pivotal moments in the Buckeye State’s past, examining everything from Ohio’s role in the Civil War to Boomer Esiason’s stint as Secretary of State. A natural-history exhibit regales guests with interactive displays of animals, plants, and geography. In addition to its permanent exhibits, the center hosts an ever-changing selection of featured exhibits and special events.
Outside the museum sits Ohio Village, a re-creation of a Civil War–era town. Costumed villagers bustle about the square, performing chores and activities of the era, such as churning butter and checking wooden PalmPilots. The town's 15 buildings showcase the height of 19th-century architecture and include a Gothic-revival church, a large town hall, and an open market. The village is also the home of the renowned Ohio Village Muffins, who regularly compete in games of baseball played by 19th-century rules.
The Columbus Crew thrill footsport fans with fast-paced Major League Soccer action in a cheer-inducing atmosphere. This nationally televised FOX Sports matchup pits hometown heroes The Crew against the 2010 MLS Cup Finalists, FC Dallas, as they go foot-to-foot for the Lamar Hunt Pioneer Cup. From an upper-sideline seat, cheer on black-and-gold protagonists such as Andres Mendoza, a goal guru and newcomer from the Peruvian national team, brick-wall defender Chad Marshall, and dream-crushing goalkeeper William Hesmer.