High temperatures and humidity signal that summer has arrived — including hot acts and events that will give you warm feelings. Here’s a summer arts preview of select Columbus area events that will keep you entertained until fall.


  • QMIX Musical Fireworks

What: One of Columbus’ biggest parties, this event draws upward of 20,000 people with a fireworks display choreographed to music

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When: 5 p.m. July 3 (fireworks begin at 10 p.m.)

Where: 4770 Ray Boll Boulevard, Ivy Tech parking lot

Cost: Free

Information: qmix.com

  • YES Cinema Classic Film Festival: “Tribute to the Greatest Generation

What: Scheduled film is “The Great Escape.”

When: 7:01 p.m. July 18

Where: Yes Cinema, 328 Jackson St.

Cost: $5

Information: yescinema.org


  • JCB Neighborfest

What: Monthly summertime entertainment series

When: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. July 2

Where: 300 block of Washington Street.

Cost: Free

Information: artsincolumbus.org, 812-376-2539

  • Johnson-Witkemper Insurance Biggest Block Party Ever

What: Annual fundraiser for the Columbus Area Arts Council features local and regional bands, drawing more than 3,000 people. Local and regional bands including The Woomblies, Punkin’ Holler Boys, Too Hot to Handle and more. Food, beer and wine and hands-on art activities for kids.

When: 5:30 to 11 p.m. July 25

Where: 300 block of Washington Street

Cost: $8; children under 12, free

Information: artsincolumbus.org, 812-376-2539

  • Rock the Park

What: This annual concert returns after a year off, this time with country music icon Charlie Daniels.

When: 7:30 p.m. Aug. 14

Where: Mill Race Park amphitheater, Fifth and Lindsey streets

Cost: $18 in advance beginning June 15; $20 at the gate.

Information: artsincolumbus.org, 812-376-2539

  • Our Hospice concert

What: 29th annual Our Hospice of South Central Indiana Labor Day weekend concert with Don Felder, formerly of The Eagles.

When: 6:30 p.m. Sept. 5.

Where: Mill Race Park amphitheater, Fifth and Lindsey streets

Cost: Free.

Information: ourhospice.org, 812-314-8001

  • Donner Park Variety Shows

What: Annual series features local acts performing in the open air.

When: 7 to 9 p.m. July 18 and Aug. 8.

Where: Donner Park shelter house near 19th and Lafayette streets in Columbus

Cost: Free

Information: columbus.in.gov

  • Noon Kids Concerts: Marc Thomas and Max the Moose Moosical Fun Show

What: Free children’s show

When: Noon June 25

Where: Shelter house at Donner Park, between 19th and Lafayette streets

Information: columbusparksandrec.com, 812-376-2680


  • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

What: The Roald Dahl story, adapted for the stage, comes to life in the hands of the Mill Race Players community theater company

When: June 25-27

Where: Columbus North High School Judson Erne Auditorium, 1400 25th St.

Cost: $12 for adults; $10 for senior citizens and $8 for students

Information: millraceplayers.org

 Visual Arts

  • “33 Selected Pieces: Student Work from the Columbus East High School Art Department”

What: Presented by the Columbus Museum of Art and Design, this multimedia art exhibit features work from local high school students. Includes ceramics, photography and sculpture.

When: Commons hours, through July 30

Where: The Commons, 2nd Floor, 300 Washington St.

Cost: Free and open to the public

Information: facebook.com/CMADart


  • Artz Daze

What: All ages are invited to create their own make-and-take craft project during these free public workshops.

When: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 10

Where: In front of The Commons, 300 block of Washington Street

Cost: Free

Information: artsincolumbus.org

  • “Using a Green Screen”

What: Join instructors in the Bartholomew County Public Library’s new digital makerspace, Digital Underground, for “Using a Green Screen,” and learn how to create special effects in your own videos.

When: 6:30 p.m. June 25

Where: Bartholomew County Public Library, 536 Fifth St.

Cost: Free

Information: mybcpl.org, 812-379-1266

Summer Acting and Creative Training Workshop for Youth

  • What: Professional actor and performance coach Jill Tasker will be lead instruction in acting and performing.

When: 10 a.m. for grades 4 and 6; 2 p.m. grades 7 and 8. Mondays through July 27

Where: YES Cinema, 328 Jackson St. 

Cost: Participation is free for children residing in the Lincoln-Central neighborhood. Fee for residents outside that neighborhood is $80 for the eight-week class

Information: lcnfc.org to download a registration form, LCNFC at 812-379-1630

Literary Events

  • Find Waldo in Columbus

What: Pick up a passport at Viewpoint Books and search for Waldo, the famous literary character of the Martin Handford books. When you spot Waldo at any one of the local businesses listed on the passport, collect a store stamp or signature. Enter your passport to be eligible for a grand prize drawing on July 31. 

When: July 1-31, with a Where’s Waldo celebration 1 p.m. July 31

Where: Viewpoint Books, 548 Washington St.

Cost: Free

Information: 812-376-0778

  • Every Hero Has a Story

What: Summer reading club program with surrounding events and a chance to earn prizes.

When: Through August

Where: Bartholomew County Public Library, 536 Fifth St.

Cost: Free

Information: mybcpl.org, 812-379-1266

  • Bartholomew County Writers Group

What: Meet with local writers to discuss your works and the works of others.

When: 6-8 p.m. July 9 and Aug. 13

Cost: Free

Information: mybcpl.org, 812-379-1266

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Jenny Elig is a reporter for The Republic. She can be reached at jelig@therepublic.com or 812-379-5671.