Inside the Mile

THIS FRIDAY (9/4) ǀ The Steepwater Band and Angela Perley & The Howlin’ Moons


Hailing from Chicago, Illinois, is one of America’s few standing true blues-rock bands—The Steepwater Band. Their name, which was discovered upon a cargo vessel along a Lake Michigan port, serves almost as an indicator of the sound that they create for their listeners.

Establishing themselves in the late 90s rock scene, the group initially set out to perform their own versions of classic blues songs, in Chicago-style blues form. Early in their career, after quickly garnering interest from music fans across Chicago, the band traveled as an opening act for many national groups who were performing across the Midwest. This momentum continued as over the next several years the band was recognized as headliners at major festivals, spent time performing in Europe, and was even invited to perform as the opening act for Bon Jovi, in their home of Chicago. Performing has served The Steepwater Band very well; the group has now played the same shows with acts like Lynyrd Skynyrd, .38 Special, Cheap Trick, Doobie Brothers, and many more. Additional to their time on stage, the group’s studio recordings have been featured in numerous films, television shows, and commercials.

The night will begin with local musical icon, Angela Perley & The Howlin’ Moons. Earning comparisons to everyone from Joan Jett to Patsy Cline, Angela Perley is a dynamic front-woman who commands the stage with her booming voice and incisive lyrics. Backed by the Howlin’ Moons, a group of guitar slingers and rhythm players who play like a raw, ragged roadhouse band, Perley is winning over nonbelievers the old-fashioned way with tireless touring and well-crafted albums. Recently, Angela and the band were voted Columbus’ Best Local Band by Columbus Alive, so there is no better way to showcase their talents than right here in Columbus!

6:30 p.m. – Food and beverage sales begin
7:00 p.m. – Angela Perley & The Howlin’ Moons followed by The Steepwater Band

Artist Websites:

THIS FRIDAY (8/28) | BalletMet Columbus


Start your weekend off right! Come to Bicentennial Park as Columbus Recreation and Parks presents BalletMet Columbus. At nightfall, the Columbus skyline along the Scioto Mile is the perfect backdrop for an evening of exhilarating ballet.

Since its formation in 1978, BalletMet has provided artistic merit in the field of dance to Central Ohio. At the beginning of the 1994 season, David Nixon was named BalletMet’s Artistic Director. As an internationally renowned dancer, choreographer, teacher, and ballet master, his vision and liveliness were instrumental in transforming the academy, company, and repertoire. He was not only able to expand but enrich the Academy in many ways. Ranked among the nation’s largest dance companies, it is now known for its versatility and innovative repertory.

BalletMet has added 160 company premieres to its repertoire and produced 141 world premieres, touring countries such as Egypt, Poland, Russia, Spain and Canada. It has also developed DanceReach, a series of education and outreach programs, serving 30,000 people annually. Additionally, BalletMet offers over 300 classes per week to students ages 4-84, and stages 60-70 performances each year. Be sure to come out and enjoy BalletMet’s skill, dedication and innovation this Friday night! See you there!

6:30 p.m. – Food and beverage sales begin
8:00 p.m. – Performance

Artist Websites:

THIS FRIDAY (8/21) | The Navigators


The Columbus Recreation and Parks Department is thrilled to present The Navigators—a Columbus-based band that is sure to cover the musical needs of all ages. The energy of the band, combined with their crowd interaction, always provides for a fun night with the family!

The Navigators will be performing at Bicentennial Park this Friday at 7:30pm. You can expect to hear vibrant horns, rich multilayered vocals and covers of classic hits from Chicago, The Beatles and the Commodores. This 13-piece band, comprised of Columbus executives and professionals, are passionate about serving the community and raising money for charity. In this effort, they have helped raise over $200,000 to benefit local and national charities since their formation in 2003. Their focus is on having fun so plan on joining us at Bicentennial Park this Friday! Be sure to come hungry, as food and beverages will be available for sale in the park beginning at 6:30 p.m.

6:30 p.m. – Food and beverage sales begin
7:30 p.m. – Performance

THIS FRIDAY (8/14) | Maceo Parker


Maceo Parker is a name that requires very little explanation—known as one of the greatest jazz and funk saxophonists to ever live. Falling into a category like he does, it is vastly known that Maceo has collaborated with the top artists in funk including James Brown, George Clinton and even Prince. Parker is a living connection to the sounds of funk in its hay-day, still unraveling audiences as they dance to the sounds of his infectious saxophone playing.

Spending the first half of his career as a sideman to funk greats, Maceo went unknown for a long time—other than to those who were extremely into funk and its community. However, the last two decades have brought Parker a prospering solo career, as he combines the funk of the 60s and 70s with modern sounds of today’s hits. Maceo Parker eats, sleeps and breaths funk music—leaving many unsure what came first, Maceo or the funk itself. His early performances, although not the front man, shaped the sounds and revolutionized funk with men like James Brown. Over his long and extremely successful career, Parker has also been seen collaborating with artists like Ray Charles, James Taylor, Dave Matthews Band, and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. Since his beginning as an artist, Maceo has been featured on over 100 albums of both his own and other’s music.

The evening will begin with The HooDoo Soul Band, which features the talents of eleven of the Midwest’s most dynamic and critically acclaimed musicians. The HooDoo Soul Band has been performing high energy funk, rhythm & blues for nearly 20 years, known for putting their own twist on the standards and introducing audiences to unfamiliar funky gems with style. They have opened for James Brown and Ray Charles among others—bridging a connection to Maceo for an evening commemorating the world of funk.

6:30 p.m. – Food and beverage sales begin
7:30 p.m. – The HooDoo Soul Band followed by Maceo Parker

Artist Websites:

Festival Latino | August 8 – 9

Festival Latino
Festival Latino is a free, family-friendly event and the largest Latin event in Ohio, celebrating family and community with two days of children’s activities, music, food, fashion, art, and dance from the heart of Latin America. The Festival has moved to Saturday and Sunday with hours from 11am-8pm each day. Both days are packed with music and dance performances from Ohio-based bands and dance companies with international headliner acts performing both evenings.  Visit for more information.

THIS FRIDAY (7/31) ǀ The Spikedrivers


For over a decade, audiences around the country have been engulfed by the infectious country twang, rock, and harmonic blues of The Spikedrivers. Pulling listeners to the dance floor with their intoxicating and gritty sound, The Spikedrivers balance a combination of down-home songwriting with an electrified and precise backing band. Along with their multiple studio albums, it is their high energy live performances that grab ahold of listeners and turn them into avid fans.

6:30 p.m. – Food and beverage sales begin
7:30 p.m. – Performance

Artist Website:

THIS FRIDAY (7/24) ǀ James Cotton

It is often said that the smallest voice can make the biggest difference. Tiny in stature, but boasting and howling with sound, when played correctly the harmonica can overpower an entire band. James Cotton, a Mississippi native, learned this at a very young age—taking the ‘past-time’ instrument and giving it the proper tender, love and care that he thought it deserved.

Growing up, Cotton spent his days working in the cotton fields beside his mother—who would make chicken and train sounds on the harmonica she carried. Cotton, who thought these were the only two sounds that the instrument made, received a harmonica of his own for Christmas and quickly mastered all that it was capable of doing. However, at age nine, Cotton lost both parents; taken in by his uncle, he was introduced to his harmonica idol, Sonny Boy Williamson. Williamson listened to Cotton play his repertoire, still only a child, and soon the two became inseparable like father and son. Eventually when Williamson was ready to move on from his musical endeavors, he handed his band down to James—who struggled to hold the group together at such a young age. Without a family or home, Cotton was left with just his harmonica, playing for tips and shining shoes on the streets of Memphis.

At the age of fifteen, Cotton cut his first four songs at Sun Records (where artists like Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Johnny Cash got their start). This feat not only landed James a radio show of his own, but an introduction to what would be a lasting friendship on the stage with legend, Muddy Waters. Leading Waters’ band, and playing harmonica, Cotton would later go on to work with artists like Janis Joplin, Santana, B.B. King, Keith Richards, Grateful Dead, Charlie Musselwhite, Gregg Allman, and many others. Aside from his contributions to so many artists’ work, Cotton is a GRAMMY winner, and member of the Blues Hall of Fame.

The evening will open with the Mark May Band, a recognized and well received guitarist in the blues community. Perfecting his craft playing rough and tumble biker bars and blues clubs in Houston, Texas for over 20 years, Mark May’s confident vocals and technical guitar work once were the driving force for Dickey Betts and Great Southern. Mark’s current album is receiving heavy national radio play, and his music has been featured in major publications including Blues Review, Guitar Player and Guitar World.

6:30 p.m. – Food and beverage sales begin
7:30 p.m. – Performance

Artist Website:

Jazz & Rib Fest | July 17-19

There’s no better way to celebrate summer than with hot ribs and cool jazz. Jazz & Rib Fest, presented by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, returns to the Arena District riverfront area for three days. The aroma of hot ribs and sounds of cool jazz will fill the air on July 17 and 18 from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., and July 19 from 11 a.m. – 8:30 p.m. Admission is free.

Check out this year’s Festival Guide:

For more information, visit

THIS FRIDAY (7/10) ǀ Sammy DeLeón Y Su Orquesta

2011 Tri-C JazzFest

One of the most recognized Latin bandleaders in Ohio, Sammy DeLeòn is a timbale player—performing professionally since he was just 13 years old. At this young age, Sammy was not only introduced to the greats of his instrument, but he was also performing with them too. The eighth child of a large Puerto Rican family (thirteen children all together), DeLeòn grew up in a family with no professional musicians—just parents that enjoyed the musical styling of Puerto Rico. His older brother, Robert, became responsible for introducing Sammy to his timbales, a twin set of metal-encased drums that includes a cowbell and cymbal on the side. His other brother also began taking up percussion and is currently a successful percussionist and band leader in Kansas City, Missouri.

Featuring his 12-piece ensemble, Sammy has gained popularity for his danceable groove-oriented music in the styles of Latin jazz, salsa, and merengue for nearly 30 years. Once called the “hottest and most innovative timbalero” by legendary Latin jazz percussionist Tito Puente, Sammy’s credits include collaborations with salsa greats El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, Tito Rojas, Tony Vega, Hector Tricoche and Rey de la Paz, among others.

Fronting his Sammy DeLeòn Y Su Orquesta for the past decade, the group has grown to become one of the best multi-cultural musical groups in the area. With an extensive discography, Sammy is sure to provide Columbus with endless toe-tapping, hip-shaking, groove oriented music.

Before the performance, sign up to join Mayor Michael B. Coleman and fellow cyclists for an evening bike ride through the heart of Columbus promoting the benefits of active living. This unique tour takes riders through the vibrant downtown area, with views of parks, city landmarks and a wide variety of architecture in scenic neighborhoods. Proceeds from the Mayor’s Twilight Bike Ride Finale will help to fund bikes and helmets for kids in need and support bicycle safety initiatives. The Mayor’s Twilight Bike Ride Finale will be begin on the Rich Street Bridge and return to Bicentennial Park where participants can enjoy the Rhythm on the River performance by Sammy DeLeón Y Su Orquesta.

For more information or to register for the Mayor’s Twilight Bike Ride Finale, please visit

6:30 p.m. – Mayor’s Twilight Bike Ride Finale begins
6:30 p.m. – Food and beverage sales begin
7:30 p.m. – Performance

Red, White & Boom | July 3, 2015


Festival season is in full swing and BOOM! is one that brings huge crowds to downtown Columbus for a night of music, food, activities and of course – fireworks. As one of the largest displays of Independence Day fireworks in the Midwest, the Scioto Riverfront provides one of the best views.  The event officially begins next Friday, July 3 at noon. For more information and a full schedule of performances and activities, visit You won’t want to miss it!

WHAT: Red, White & Boom – the largest fireworks display in Ohio!

WHEN: Friday, July 3
Noon to 11pm

WHERE: Downtown Columbus


The Scioto Mile Fountain will be closed beginning 6 p.m. on Thursday, July 2 and resumes at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 4.  Bicentennial Park restrooms will also be closed during the event on Friday, July 3.

Public set-up for Red, White & Boom may begin after 5 p.m. on Thursday, July 2 – anything placed before 5 p.m. will be collected and may be picked up at the Bicentennial Park office.  Please do not place personal tents/canopies, tarps or blankets until Friday, July 3.

Genoa Park will be closed to the public from Monday, June 29 through Saturday, July 4 for fireworks preparation.


Launch Areas

  • Canoes, kayaks and legal vessels that can be carried will be allowed at the Downtown Lower Olentangy River Boat Launch, located west of Neil Avenue on Nationwide Boulevard. (The ramp has been permanently closed to trailered boats).
  • Power boats, canoes, kayaks may be launched at the Scioto Audubon Metro Park launch area west of Front Street on W. Whittier Street. Parking is on a first-come, first-served basis, with approximately 30 spaces available. (Franklin County Metro Parks will close gate when spaces are full).

General Information

  • Due to the ongoing construction of the Scioto Greenway project, boating will not be allowed in the Scioto River 100’ above the first railroad bridge south of the confluence of the Scioto and Olentangy Rivers and the first railroad bridge south of the Main Street bridge. Boats launching from the Downtown Lower Olentangy River launch area will be restricted to the areas north of the railroad bridge 100’above North Bank Park.
  • Boats launching from the Scioto Audubon Metro Park launch area will be permitted to travel north to the railroad bridge south of the Main Street bridge.
  • Boater Safety Inspections and Registration Checks will be occurring at the launch areas. Individuals without proper safety equipment, registrations or proper display of OH numbers will not be permitted to launch. Individuals launching before 2:00pm will be checked by marine officers on the water.