The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.
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.
Two of Christian music’s most iconic artists, Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith join forces to spread the good news, leading congregations in melodious worship on their 2 Friends Tour. Since 1982, this dynamic duo has engaged millions to flock to their catchy, ecclesiastical pop music, sharing a musical camaraderie as impenetrable as a castle keep with abandonment issues. Amy Grant, author of No. 1 hits such as “El Shaddai” and “Baby Baby,” has shared her gift of song for more than 30 years, selling more than 30 million albums, garnering six Grammys, and earning a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Michael W. Smith has earned countless accolades with his tremendous songbook of head-bobbing hymns and choir-rousing hits. Sharing the stage for the first time in two decades, Amy and Michael thrill fans with new psalms and favorites from their sonic scroll, merging their sets with joyful duets and chemistry that crackles like Abbott and Costello after getting struck by lightning.
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.
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.
CaJohns Fiery Foods hands out trophies and $1,000 grand prizes to the top masters of flavor while hosting the Buckeye Regional & Ohio State Chili Championships. Regional competitions battle over taste buds’ allegiance on Saturday, September 1, and spice masters fight for the title of statewide champion on Sunday, September 2. Prizes go to those with the best red chili, chili verde, and salsa. Amateurs and Westerville natives also receive the chance to compete against one another in their own divisions, as do men and women in the police force, National Guard, and fire department, where chili is both eaten and commonly used as a backup fire retardant.