Inside the Mile

Kick Off Summer Fun with a Double Feature

Friday Nights on the Scioto Mile kick off with Rhythm on the River featuring Arnett Howard Band followed by Movies on the Mile showing Inside Out


Grab your blanket and bring your family to enjoy an evening under the stars. Movies on the Mile kicks off the summer season with Inside Out, the 2015 Academy Award recipient for Best Animated Feature.

Poignant and familiar, Disney’s Inside Out tells the story of a young girl uprooted from her Midwest life and moved to San Francisco. Along the way her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness – conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house, and school.

Inspired by his daughter, writer and director Phil Docter created the story as he noticed changes in her personality and emotions as she grew older. The film’s producers consulted numerous psychologists who helped revise the story by emphasizing that human emotions affect interpersonal relationships and can be significantly moderated by them.

After premiering at the 68th Cannes Film Festival in May 2015, critics praised the film’s concept, screenplay, subject matter, musical score, and the vocal performances. Inside Out blends a poignant story with fun and engaging animation to create a film that’s perfect for the whole family.

Before the movie, hometown favorite, Arnett Howard Band will have the whole family moving and grooving with their peppy blend of creole, cajun, zydeco and reggae music. The musical concoction of Motown roots and Memphis-meets-New Orleans rhythm and blues has drawn diverse audiences to more than five thousand concerts throughout the world since the band’s formation in 1985.

We’re looking forward to an evening full of family-friendly fun!

Evening schedule:
6:30 p.m. – Food & beverage sales begin
7:30 p.m. – Opening performance by Arnett Howard Band
At dusk – Movies on the Mile featuring Inside Out

Rhythm on the River and Movies on the Mile are produced by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department and made possible through the generous support of the Scioto Mile Endowment Fund: Columbus Downtown Development Corporation, ABC 6/ FOX 28, Rewind 103.5/104.3, Donatos, WCBE 90.5FM, Crowne Plaza-Columbus Downtown
and Gateway Film Center. 

The 2016 Season Event Guide is HERE!


Are you planning your fun-filled days of sweet, sweet summertime? Look no further! The Scioto Mile has an array of programs, performances and movies in store for you this summer.

Check out the 2016 Season Event Guide for details and pick one up at any of the locations listed below.

  • Columbus Recreation and Parks Department recreation centers
  • Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream (Bexley, Short North)
  • Columbus Public Library Locations
  • Columbus Museum of Art
  • Experience Columbus Visitor Center’s
  • COSI
  • Cultural Arts Center
  • Milestone 229 & Bicentennial Park
  • Columbus Airport Baggage Claim
  • Donatos Pizza locations
  • Whole Foods Market stores
  • Franklin Park Conservatory
  • North Market
  • Hills Market
  • Local Matters
  • Various Columbus-Area Hotels


A Sneak Peek of Summer Fun

The warm and sunny days of summer are ahead which means picnics, performances and lots of fun on the Scioto Mile! Whether you bike, run, or drive down, the Scioto Mile has something exciting in store for you.

BalletMet performance, Scioto Mile, Bicentennial Park Columbus Ohio

With our summer programs just around the corner, we are thinking about all the activities, music and movies coming your way. Here is a sneak peek of what you’ll experience in Bicentennial park this season:

FountainSide presented by Sunny 95 (94.7 FM)
Wednesday’s from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Bicentennial Park – 233 Civic Center Drive, Columbus, Ohio

Scioto Mile Columbus Ohio

Celebrate summer at FountainSide presented by Sunny 95 (94.7FM) with a variety of FREE children’s activities on the Scioto Mile. This delightful series offers fun and educational programs encompassing arts, crafts, music, dance, healthy living and physical fitness in Bicentennial Park on select Wednesdays throughout the summer from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Kids can splash around the Scioto Mile Fountain presented by the American Electric Power Foundation before cooling off with a sweet treat from the Lazer Kraze Treat Truck.

Check out the list of just a few of our fountain friends hosting activities at FountainSide this summer!

Columbus Zoo & Aquarium
Ohio Wildlife Center
Ohio History Connection
Columbus Children’s Theatre
Franklin Park Conservatory
OSU Urban Arts Space
Dramatic Impact
The Turtle Lady
Bring the Farm to You
…and more!

Check out the FountainSide event page for a complete schedule and list of partners!

Rhythm on the River & Movies on the Mile
Friday evenings
Bicentennial Park Performing Arts Pavilion – 233 Civic Center Drive, Columbus, Ohio

Rhythm on the River, Mark May and James Cotton, Bicentennial Park, Cloumbus Ohio

FREE outdoor performances at Bicentennial Park are a great way to end your busy week! Ten different Rhythm on the River performances feature everything from bluegrass to blues to ballet and more! NEW this year, select Friday evenings will feature a family-friendly movie following the live music performance. Movies on the Mile kick off at dusk and are presented with support from Gateway Film Center.

Donatos will have hot pizza to complement your cool summer nights on the riverfront.  Food and beverage sales begin at 6:30 p.m. each week. Mark your calendars and click on the links below for more information:

June 3 | 7:30 p.m.
Arnett Howard Band | Inside Out (movie at dusk)

June 17 | 7:30 p.m.
The Navigators

June 24 | 7:30 p.m.
Larry Sparks & The Lonesome Ramblers | Planet Riders

July 8 | 7:30 p.m.
Popgun | Back to the Future (movie at dusk)

July 15 | 8 p.m.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo

July 29 | 7:30 p.m.
Omar Coleman & The Byron Stripling Blues Band | Sean Carney Band

August 5 | 7:30 p.m.
JD Eicher | Star Wars:The Force Awakens (movie at dusk)

August 19 | 7:30 p.m.
Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives | Jonalee White

August 26 | 7:30 p.m.
Buckwheat Zydeco | New Basics Brass Band

September 2 | 8 p.m.

Check out the Rhythm on the River or Movies on the Mile event page for a complete schedule!

See you in June!

SAVE THE DATES | 2016 Summer Program Dates Announced

Imagine – the sun is shining, a warm breeze blows, and you dip your toes in the Scioto Mile Fountain before laying a blanket in the grass at Bicentennial Park to enjoy live music beneath a summer sunset. Warmer weather is on its way to Columbus and it’s time to mark your calendars for FREE downtown summer activities on the Scioto Mile.


Rhythm on the River features an eclectic array of touring artists, local musicians and arts organizations on select Fridays throughout the summer. Highlighting everything from bluegrass to blues to ballet and more, Rhythm on the River is the perfect way to spend summer evenings with family and friends. Stay tuned for a full performance schedule!

Returning this year is Movies on the Mile. On select dates throughout the summer, Movies on the Mile will feature fun, family-friendly films following Rhythm on the River, just after dark. A schedule of dates and films is coming soon!


FountainSide presented by Sunny 95 (94.7 FM) offers free children’s activities in and around the interactive Scioto Mile Fountain on select Wednesdays throughout the summer from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The series offers fun and educational programs encompassing arts, crafts, music, dance, healthy living and physical fitness. Attendees enjoy free frozen treats courtesy of the Sunny 95/Meijer Treat Truck. Check back soon for activity details!


Hungry for more? The 37th annual Jazz & Rib Fest will take place July 22, 23 and 24. Get ready for a weekend full of hot ribs and cool jazz in downtown Columbus. In the meantime, stay up-to-date by joining the Jazz & Rib Fest mailing list HERE!

Until then, we’ll be dreaming of June!


Information on Canada Geese

Canada geese are common in much of North America. Unfortunately, they have proven to be extremely adaptable and highly persistent throughout the country especially in urban areas where there are few predators, prohibitions on hunting, and a dependable year-round supply of food and water. Though pleasant for city dwellers, more lawns, golf courses, and parks offer Canada geese a reliable habitat that encourages them to stay year-round instead of migrating.

Preventative Measures
The Scioto Mile’s project planners were aware of the potential issue and took measures to mitigate the geese from the earliest days of design and construction, including:

– Grasses and shrubs were planted to create a barrier between geese and lawn grass, which is their main source of nutrition. These plants may take some time to mature into an effective prevention tool since they have been recently planted.
– Trees have been planted and as they grow larger they will become more of a deterrent to the geese direct line of flight from the river to grassy areas.
– Shrubs, aquatic plants, and closely spaced groups of trees were strategically placed to block the birds’ pathways to grazing areas and safety, and reduce the birds’ sight lines to 30 feet which rouses their fear of confinement.

Discouraging Food Supply
Our team at Columbus Recreation and Parks will continue to do our best to keep the geese at bay while adhering to the terms of the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Ohio state law protecting waterfowl, but we need your help to discourage their presence on the Scioto Mile.

First and foremost, please DO NOT feed the geese. Waterfowl have amazing survival skills, but feeding them can cause issues such as food dependency, aggressive behavior, disease, delayed migration, and many other cumulative problems.

We want you to enjoy the park, so we ask that you please dispose of trash. It may be hard to imagine, but that stray French fry or leftover sandwich crumbs add to the problem. Compound that with another visitor’s abandoned food waste and it becomes a major issue for both the geese and park visitors.

Cleaning Up After Geese
Columbus Recreation and Parks recognize that cohabitating with Canada geese can be a nuisance and we’re working diligently to limit their effect on the Scioto Mile. While paths are swept multiple times per week to clear the droppings, we recognize that the geese return to the area creating a continual issue for park guests. (A single goose can defecate every 20 minutes up to 1.5 pounds each day.) The Columbus Recreation and Parks Department is working to make best use of our resources to address ongoing clean-up.

For more information on the Canada goose:
National Geographic: Canada Goose
Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife: Living with Wildlife
The Humane Society of the United States: Solving Problems with Canada Geese

Record Turnout for Grand Illumination Lighting Ceremony


The Grand Illumination lighting ceremony drew more than 15,000 people to Bicentennial Park and the downtown riverfront on Friday, December 4. As holiday music from the Columbus Children’s Choir and the SupaFun Band filled the air, thousands of happy children were greeted by BalletMet’s Clara and the Nutcracker and created festive crafts with Girl Scout Cadette Troop 2150 and OSU Urban Arts Space. Meanwhile, Mad River Mountain and HERO USA offered attendees a chance to win a Burton Snowboard, a helmet, snow gear, or tickets to Mad River Mountain for the upcoming ski, snowboard and tubing season.


Amid the merriment, POINT provided important lessons about the struggles of being homeless during the winter season. During the course of the evening, the Empty Bowls project raised more than $4,300 for the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. Special thanks to Milestone 229 for their generous contribution of chicken and dumplings soup, the volunteers from the Downtown Residents Association of Columbus, and Cheryl’s for donating their famous cookies. The record-breaking amount raised this year will help fill a lot of “Empty Bowls.”


In keeping with the city’s green initiatives, all seasonal decorations feature energy efficient LED lighting, including more than 250,000 LED lights on 150 trees. The Scioto Mile Fountain presented by the American Electric Power Foundation comes alive for the holiday season with festive video projections and illuminated spheres suspended from each of the five fountain halos. New this year, programmable LED lights have been installed in the steps of the Riverfront Amphitheater in Genoa Park just outside COSI. During the holiday season, this new lighting display will feature three brightly-colored holiday packages. The lights twinkle in Bicentennial Park and along the Scioto Mile until January 10, 2016.


Special thanks to our media partners, ABC 6 / Fox 28 and Sunny95 (94.7), for their great event promos and coverage. Grand Illumination is presented by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department and made possible through the support of the Scioto Mile Endowment Fund: Columbus Downtown Development Corporation.

Watch the live coverage from ABC 6 here:

Watch the Grand Illumination Lighting Ceremony

More than 15,000 people packed the downtown riverfront on Friday, December 4, 2015 for the Grand Illumination lighting ceremony. Watch the live coverage from ABC 6 here:

The lights twinkle in Bicentennial Park and along the Scioto Mile until January 10, 2016.

Grand Illumination

There’s a lot to see and do at the Grand Illumination in Bicentennial Park on Friday, December 4!  Beginning at 5:00 p.m., look for juggling elves, barnyard friends, and Clara with her Nutcracker Prince from BalletMet while your favorite carols are performed by the Columbus Children’s Choir.  Visit our North Pole Tinkershop to create holiday crafts with Columbus Children’s Theatre, Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, Girl Scout Cadette Troop 2150, OSU Urban Arts Space, POINT, and the Recreation & Parks Arts Committee.  Then, learn what Ohio’s animals do during our cold winter months with the McKnight Outdoor Education Center staff and Bring the Farm to You.

It’s the time of year to enjoy fun in the snow! Frolic over to Mad River Mountain and HERO USA for a chance to win a Burton snowboard, helmet, snow gear, or tickets to Mad River Mountain for the upcoming ski, snowboard and tubing season.

Join Mayor Coleman, City Council President / Mayor-elect Andrew Ginther, Recreation and Parks Director Tony Collins, and ABC 6 / Fox 28 as they flip the switch and illuminate the Scioto Mile.  Following the lighting ceremony, children are invited to visit with Santa and enjoy live holiday music from the SupaFun Band– a group of merry, musical elves that is sure to delight audiences of all ages.

In the spirit of giving, attendees can support the Empty Bowls project by purchasing a piece of handcrafted pottery and receiving a bowl of hearty chicken and dumpling soup compliments of Milestone 229.  Cookies, compliments of Cheryl’s, and hot chocolate will also be available.  All proceeds will benefit the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

The event is free and open to the public.  Click here to print a voucher for FREE parking in the COSI lot, but remember space is limited.  You can enter the lot between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Friday, December 4 until the lot is full.  We hope to see you there.  Happy Holidays!

The lights will twinkle in Bicentennial Park and along the Scioto Mile until January 10, 2016.

The Spirit of Giving


The holiday season is almost upon us and we’re busy with our preparations for the Grand Illumination. But amid the hustle and bustle, from trimming the tree to baking cookies, it is important to remember those less fortunate.  You can help fill “empty bowls” at the Grand Illumination lighting ceremony beginning 5:00 p.m. on Friday, December 4.

For the past 18 years, the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department has coordinated Empty Bowls, a program benefiting the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.  As part of the initiative, Columbus area children and adult artists have created handcrafted ceramic bowls that will be available for purchase during the event.  For a $10 donation, you are invited to select a piece of handcrafted pottery and receive a bowl of hearty chicken and dumpling soup, compliments of Milestone 229.  Soup is available without the ceramic bowl for a $5 donation.  Plus, don’t miss your chance to bid on our special selection of silent auction bowls. Proceeds benefit the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

We can’t wait to see you at the Grand Illumination on Friday, December 4. With over 200,000 holiday lights, dynamic seasonal projections on the Scioto Mile Fountain, live festive music, and tons of great activities, this one-of-a-kind visual experience will enchant the entire family.