Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Comfest 2010: Why stay home?

The 2010 Community Festival continued a tradition in taking over Goodale Park in the Short North. Originally a campus event put on yearly between the off-campus student centers of major religious organizations in the 1970's, Comfest moved down to the Short North in 1983 because of the lose of some of these centers to the economy. Not having readily available buildings anymore to put on the festival, Comfest became a tent and outdoor event in an empty lot between High Street and Goodale Park. Slowly, the festival started taking over Park Street as well as putting a few things in the park. In 1993 they empty lot became the construction site for the Victorian Gate Apartments and Comfest had to get serious about renting out the Park. The idea of selling beer and having multiple stages of local bands brought down an ever larger crowd without having to charge admission. Vendor booths began to stretch a mile. Today, it is a $600,000 a year event that stretches the Park to its capacity across three days in the end of June. 2010 saw the beginning of ending the music at dark and closing early.
Park and Goodale Blvd. are closed to traffic and contain half of the vendors and the Jazz stage next to the many new buildings since 1993.
Many interesting booths are contained in the park. The beer is very popular and they usually sell-out of the premium brew.
The Ohio Rollergirls have a booth every year(above) and you might find kids putting on a puppet show for the grown-ups. Some local shops and many artisans rent booths, if they make the selection cut. Competition is very fierce for vendors and it helps to be a volunteer and attend meetings.
Art cars are a favorite new tradition during the festival. This year saw some new ones and some old ones with even more objects glued to the car body.
Lots of kid events, including the COSI Science Spot truck make this an enjoyable event for liberal minded families.
 Alternative energy is starting to power the festival including this solar and wind machine brought by International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers who have a local lodge in the Short North. This was behind the arts stage, but there has been a solar tent stage for three years with its own solar panels.
Here are some african drummers and dancers at the arts stage with has the widest range of interesting acts.
The main stage (top) is called the Bozo stage and is where the most people spread-out a blanket. Yet, the Gazebo Stage (above) was unusually popular this year.

You always see some unusual things at the Comfest. Chris Steele took pictures of Ohio Crop Circles (who knew?) and the Third Hand Bicycle group showed-off a sidecar bike.
A festival mural was being made out of handmade paper pulp.
Hula Hoops were very popular this year. They seemed to be everywhere.
 Two rain and wind events occurred, one on Saturday evening and one on Sunday afternoon, but the crowd and tents just made the best of it. Temperature hit 96 on Sunday, but the crowd always double for every evening's performances.
Not all performances are scheduled. The all male drum circle (top) kept the beat going for hours in the grassy center of the festival. The wild bird dancers (above) danced for different bands on stage.
Many people wonder if Comfest can remain in Goodale Park or will have to find a better place. Very few cities could pull-off this kind of event for free. Very few festivals can go with the punches and keep moving and changing like Comfest. 

Sunday, June 06, 2010

June 2010 Gallery Hop: Between Rains, Crowded & Humid

The new signs are finished that tell people about the gallery hop. The first Saturday in June is always a crowded as Columbus dominates network TV sports and holds a comic convention. The Memorial Golf Tournament was joined by the NCAA Rugby Championship at Crew Stadium, so both CBS and NBC were in town. This brought Rugby shirts and plaid dinner jackets down to the Short North in a window of time when the rains let up. The usual crowd were also sporting their new summer clothes and looking at the growing number of designer fashion shops moving in.
Many street musicians were out, even in the North Short North section.
REFINDESIGN, a gallery devoted to art made from recycled material is finally hitting its stride.
Rivet Gallery
Katheryn Gallery
Terra Gallery (above)
had a live artist painting
Sherrie Gallerie
Hotel Lilly is a hair salon that continues with monthly art shows.
Ray's Livingroom is a new gallery in the alley next to the Short North Tavern. It brings a high level of class to the scene, despite its hand written sign.
Circurious is a new circus minus the animals that is showing at the Southern Theatre June 26 & 27.
The Ibel Gallery
The Short North branch of the Oxygen health club is starting to show local artists like Abraham's figures made from junk.
mahan gallery had collage based art
RoyGBiv Gallery had photographers
The 83 Gallery continued its "seat of the pants" openings with some fun art, including some made from old cassette tapes.
Above the 83 Gallery is the Anti-83 Gallery that was showing even more fun work. And at reasonable prices.
Chalk sidewalk art "It Happened One Night"
Even the Batmobile made an appearance. It had Ohio license plates, but I'm not sure about the machine guns, they looked real with real bullets!
The yellow dress was one of several "condom" dresses displayed along the gallery hop row.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Zombie Walk 2010

The 2010 Zombie Walk was massive, as hundreds of the undead
walked High Street in the Short North to their demise at
Goodale Park.
Best Dead
All you can eat
I'm carrying a severed head down the street and nobody cares!
onward to the gates of hell!

who called the paramedics?

I have a burning sensation
why did I have to die in this clown costume?
A toot out from your local funeral parlor
all's well that ends well