Fourth in Columbus Ohio

Fourth of July in Columbus, OH

When reading this article, I was overcome with nostalgia for Columbus, OH, not only for the Red, White, and BOOM! Celebration, but the Short North, Victorian Village, and Grandview neighborhoods, on both the holiday and in general. And let’s not forget the infamous “Doo-Dah” parade, the most unorganized, unorthodox, and unique collection of local citizens, organizations, business owners, and overall characters celebrating the Fourth of July in Columbus in a decidedly unorganized fashion.

Since moving to Jacksonville, Florida, I have been unable to attend this festive celebration of what made the Short North area what it is today. Artsy, funky, crazy, hippie, creative, hippie, just downright FUN, there is nothing in Jacksonville to which to compare it.

Every year, my husband and I visit Columbus, OH, but due to the reason (his annual Father’s Day golf tournament) and his vacation schedule and work responsibilities, we have to return before the infamous “Doo-Dah” parade, and the Community Festival, featuring many of the same cast of characters in leading roles. I miss the celebrated “Queen of Doo-Dah” (you know who you are!) waving to crowds from her limo, and the “Emperor of the Short North” leading the parade. After our annual traverse to Columbus 2009, I have decided that I will stay, no matter what the events for these 2010 festivities.

These funky, outrageous celebrations far outrank the Red, White, and BOOM! Event. They offer more in diversity of people and music, there is never any of the violence that began to occur on a more frequent basis in latter years, and they are all within walking distance of my former neighborhood. No fighting the horrible downtown traffic after watching the fireworks from a bridge or dealing with gun violence and general miscreants, no parking hassles or cooler toting, and no riverside seating on blankets, fighting of hordes of mosquitoes.

I used to have balcony seating with a clear view of the fireworks from my Victorian Village townhouse. Unfortunately, the day of and the night prior to the event, there was a steady barrage of campers into the park surrounding the building. A peaceful, quiet “dog park” turned into a campground not fit for any canine or person. In the latter years, there was frequent gang violence and an influx of punks and general idiots shooting illegal fireworks, thus rendering the balcony view (and the town homes in general) unsafe for the residents.

These unfortunate developments led to the migration of many residents from the formerly peaceful area, and to the support of the afore-mentioned “alternate” activities. In 2010, go off of the roads more travelled and try some of these non-traditional entertainments!