Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars

Experience the international music phenomenon Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars in a FREE live performance in Bicentennial Park on Friday, September 7 at 8 p.m. The band is a potent example of the redeeming power of music and the ability of the human spirit to persevere through unimaginable hardship and emerge with optimism intact. From their humble beginnings in West African refugee camps, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars have performed on some of the world’s most prestigious stages and matured into one of Africa’s top touring and recording bands. The group draws influences from reggae, funky African grooves and deep tribal chants.

Formed in a refugee camp while displaced by civil war in Sierra Leon during the 1990s, their incredible story is documented in the award winning, compelling and emotionally driven film, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars. Initial support for the film came from executive producers Steve Bing and Shelley Lazar as well as high profile celebrities Keith Richards, Paul McCartney, and Angelina Jolie.


(The entire film can be purchased on iTunes for $4.99 | Click HEREfor more info)

The resulting studio album, Living Like A Refugee (Anti Records 2006), is one of the most acclaimed world music releases in recent years, garnering the band international acclaim and high profile fans including Aerosmith, who the All Stars collaborated with on the certified Gold Record, Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur.


6:30 p.m. – Food and beverage sales begin
8:00 p.m. – FREE Outdoor Concert

Check out more great videos from this exciting group:


BALLETMET | Friday, August 31

The nighttime sky on the Scioto Mile is the perfect backdrop for an evening of exhilarating dance as the talented dancers of BalletMet Columbus kick off Labor Day weekend with a performance at the Bicentennial Park Performing Arts Pavilion Friday, August 31 at 8 p.m.

BalletMet’s performance is part of the Rhythm on the River series and is a co-production of BalletMet and the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department. The event is FREE and open to the public.

A varied bill of dances will be featured on the program, from the great storybook classics Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty to more modern ballets by Amy Seiwert, two-time Tony Award-nominee Lynn Taylor-Corbett and BalletMet dancers Jimmy Orrante and Gabriel Smith. The evening will also include several notable works from the company’s 2011-2012 season, among them a pas de deux from Amedeo Amodio’s Carmen, Orrante’s Illuminated Tapestry from the season ender DanceTech program and Darrell Grand Moultrie’s Pulses, Chords, Passion from the much lauded Jazz Moves Columbus production.

Families with youngsters are especially encouraged to arrive early for a pre-show movement activity and a reading of BalletMet’s newly published children’s book “Leap and Twirl.” In addition, singer/songwriter Elijah Aaron will perform “The Buckeye City,” his winning entry in a citywide song contest celebrating the bicentennial. “The Buckeye City” was recently released on a new compilation CD “Celebrate Columbus in Song,” sponsored by the 200Columbus bicentennial committee and the Greater Columbus Arts Council.

“This is our 16th year collaborating with the Recreation and Parks Department and we’re thrilled to be back this summer for the riverfront performances,” said BalletMet Executive Director, Cheri Mitchell. “It’s always such a great event for the community, and our dancers just love it.”

“The Recreation and Parks Department is pleased to continue this partnership with BalletMet,” said Karen Wiser, Office of Special Events. “This annual free performance of BalletMet on the riverfront is a great gift to the community, offering a fabulous evening of dance in a setting unlike anything else in the city.”

BalletMet Columbus, renowned for its versatility and innovative repertory, ranks among the nation’s largest dance companies, and its Dance Academy ranks among the largest dance-training centers. Since its inception in 1978, BalletMet has added 157 company premieres to its repertoire and produced 142 world premieres. It has also developed DanceReach, a series of educational and outreach programs that serve nearly 35,000 people annually; through DanceReach, up to 70 scholarships each year give access to talented youth, many from minority and underserved groups, who cannot otherwise participate.

Event attendees are invited to bring folding chairs, blankets and to pack a picnic dinner. Food and beverages will be available for purchase in Bicentennial Park beginning at 6:30 p.m.


6:30 p.m. – Food and beverage sales begin
7:15 p.m. – Pre-show activities
8:00 p.m. – Performance


Designated drop-off area for shuttles, buses, and persons with disabilities is located on Main Street at the end of the loading dock behind the Bicentennial Park Performing Arts Pavilion. This area is NOT for use by the general public. Please be considerate to the needs of our senior patrons and visitors with disabilities. This is a drop-off area ONLY. All vehicles must move to a parking lot or garage immediately after unloading.
Parking is available at various surface lots and garages in close proximity to Bicentennial Park. However, these parking facilities are independently owned and we can not guarantee availability or cost.


THIS FRIDAY: Charlotte’s Web

This Friday come down to Movies on the Mile in Bicentennial Park! Join a lovable pig named Wilbur and his best friend Charlotte, a wise and kindly spider, in the animated version of E.B. White’s enduring tale of life, friendship, and courage. When word gets out that Wilbur’s days might soon be numbered, it seems only a miracle can save him from the slaughter house. A determined Charlotte – who sees miracles in the ordinary – spins words into her web in an effort to convince the farmer that Wilbur truly is “some pig.”

Before the movie, saddle up for the cowboy challenge with the Ohio Horseman’s Council and learn about raising crops and livestock with the folks from COSI!

7:00 p.m. – Kids’ activities begin, food and beverages available for purchase
DUSKCharlotte’s Web movie screening

Bicentennial Park, 233 Civic Center Drive

Check back soon for updates! Find out more about the Movies on the Mile series here.

Festival Latino | August 11 – 12

Now in its 17th year, Festival Latino returns to downtown Columbus’ Genoa Park on Saturday, August 11, and Sunday, August 12. Produced by CAPA and presented by HONDA, the free, two-day event will offer children’s activities, food, dance, and music from the heart of Latin America, including performances from Saturday night headliner Obie Bermudez and Sunday night headliner Miriam Cruz. Visit for more information!