The familiar signs of fall are upon us: football season, slightly cooler weather and Independents' Day. Although 2016 marks the festival's ninth year, the event is still celebrating independent culture, commerce and creativity in new ways. Read on for details on six new things to see at the Franklinton fest this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 17 and 18.

The familiar signs of fall are upon us: football season, slightly cooler weather and Independents' Day. Although 2016 marks the festival's ninth year, the event is still celebrating independent culture, commerce and creativity in new ways. Read on for details on six new things to see at the Franklinton fest this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 17 and 18.

Zones

This year you'll experience Independents' Day in zones that feature a unique theme upon which artists will base their work. Fans of "The Get Down"? Travel back to 1970s New York City in "Gritty City." Obsessed with science fiction? Take a ride on the "Tron" bike in "Retropolis."

Expanded Ohio Beer Garden

At Independents' Day, "craft" applies to more than the talented musicians and arts activities; there is a wealth of local beer on tap, and this year, the Ohio Beer Garden has blossomed. From pale ales to IPAs, attendees will find an even larger selection of home-brewed delights from the likes of Lineage Brewing, Zauber Brewing Company and Alive's first-ever Brewer of the Year, Seventh Son Brewing.

Columbus Invitational Arts Competition

If there was ever a time and a place to recognize the intersection of artistic achievement and community service, it would be Independents' Day, which is why the festival has agreed to host the fifth annual Columbus Invitational Arts Competition. The Visual Arts Showcase is exhibited at the Vanderelli Room, and the Performing Arts Showcase takes place from 3-5 p.m. on Saturday at Strongwater. Don't miss the awards ceremony and gallery reception from 2-4 p.m. on Sunday, also at the Vanderelli Room.

Tribute Bands and Live Band Karaoke

Don't bypass the "Cover My Stage" at Independents' Day. If you do, you'll miss some of your favorite local musicians' tributes to legendary acts. Liner Notes will channel Radiohead, Copywrite and Catalyst will become "A Tribe Called Columbus" and Betsy Ross will take on the Talking Heads. Feeling brave? Honor your own favorite band by participating in Parker Paul's live band karaoke, also featured on the stage.

Virtual Reality

Take a break from playing "Pokemon Go" and try out some other types of virtual reality at the Strongwater zone. Lose yourself in over 40 hours of original content, and create virtual areas in real space with a 3-D painting.

Iron Pixel Final Round

What would happen if you gave an artist a timed design challenge on the spot, in front of a live audience? Find out as the Iron Pixel Design Competition tests its final round of competitors on Saturday. See the designers' progress on projected screens as they work in real time, accompanied by live music provided by DJs.