Those of you who live in the Columbus area might want to mark your calendars for two cool events that are coming up in two weeks: Independents’ Day 2014, and Open Streets Columbus.
Those of us lucky enough to work on Gay Street know Independents’ Day well. For years, it’s been held on Gay Street, right in front of my office. It’s a great event that gives the “independents” in Columbus — be they musicians, artists, businesses, food trucks, or just about anyone else who wants to claim the title — a chance to show what they’ve got to offer the community.
This year Independents’ Day is moving to Franklinton, the part of Columbus just across the Scioto River from downtown Columbus. Franklinton is where Dinin’ Hall is found — so it’s a great place by simple association — but it’s also an area on the uptick, where people are willing to try new things. Although we’ll miss Independents’ Day on Gay Street, I think it’s great that Franklinton is the new location, so people can get a look at this up-and-coming area and what it has to offer. This year’s festivities will be held from September 19 through September 21.
And here’s a terrific new twist on Independents’ Day: on September 21, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Rich Street — between High Street in downtown Columbus and Starling Street in Franklinton — will be closed to vehicular traffic so that cyclists, walkers, joggers, skateboarders, and the casual strollers among us can walk down the street and across the new bridge. They’re calling it Open Streets Columbus, and a chance to explore “a car-free urban playground.” If you’ve never walked down the middle of a broad street and over a bridge without the thrum of traffic and the smell of exhaust affecting the experience, I can assure you it’s fun.