Columbus Arts Festival opening this weekend

COLUMBUS (WCMH)—The 2016 Columbus Arts Festival has begun! The event will bring 300 artists from 38 states and four countries to downtown Columbus for three days of arts, food and music along the Riverfront.

Hands-on activities are the hallmark of the festival, which has been going strong for 55 years, going back to the early days on the Statehouse lawn.

After a violent windstorm damaged several dozen displays five years ago, when the Columbus Arts Festival took place in the Discovery District during a 4-year period, strict safety rules were put into place, requiring weighted tie-downs to keep tents more stable in a storm. A PA alert system has been added along the Riverfront to warn of an impending storm threat.

Mount Sterling artist Brittany Hallowell weathered last year’s gusty rainstorm, with the help of 50-pound weights that she uses every year to secure the tent and protect her acrylic landscape paintings.

“We have a little fort in the back area, so we have shower curtains around in the back, with awnings to kind of keep out the rain,” she said.

Jami Goldstein, with the Columbus Arts Council, said, “If there is any impending weather emergency, we have two evacuation locations, so COSI will open their doors and the Cultural Arts Center will open their doors.”

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