Locals: Park Street packin’ new heat for this year’s fest

By Sarah Thompson
From the June 6, 2013 edition

Columbus Arts Fest isn’t the only city staple calling Downtown home this Friday and Saturday. Park Street Festival, a 7-year-old event initially designed to promote the Park Street watering hole franchise as well as adjacent bars, claims its own bit of Downtown territory this weekend.

Though the festival has maintained its popularity over the years — it’s seen around 15,000 patrons since its existence — this year’s going to be a little different, with continuous music from more than 35 all-local bands — an increase in number from prior fests — gracing the event’s three stages. The variety has also increased, from indie bands with original tunes to cover bands devoted to blasting the classics, said Mike Gallicchio, event coordinator for the two-day event.

Park Street will also house 23 food trucks this year, Gallicchio said, a slight decrease from last year but a marked change since its early days when five or six tent-covered food vendors were patrons’ only options. The food trucks, all rooted in Columbus, include just as much variety as the music lineup, with food ranging from pizza, tacos and cupcakes to Caribbean and vegan fare.

But don’t think you’re limited to Park Street territory; the fest spills onto Swan Street with various arts and crafts booths run by local artists looking to showcase and sell their talents. These booths have also increased in number, showcasing the ever-increasing demand for and enjoyment of local creative works, Gallicchio said.

However, the cuisine, crafts and continuous concerts are just a few perks of the fest, Gallicchio noted. The fest also fulfills another initiative, which is why Gallicchio has no qualms about sharing city space with the equally local-oriented Arts Fest.

“I just want to support all things local all the time,” he said. “That’s my mantra.”