Jenny’s Picks – June 23

Are you ready for the burst of activity in the downtown area set for June 25? The day begins with the Seventh Annual Firecracker 5K Race, in conjunction with Columbus Artfest and BBQ Blues & Brew. The race starts at 10 a.m., when runners leave Mill Race Park on their way to the finish line at Fourth and Franklin streets. At the same time, ArtFest, conducted this year in Mill Race Park, begins as vendors offer up their artistic wares. Runners will loop around to the third annual MainSource Bank BBQ Blues & Brew Festival, noon to 10 p.m., Fourth and Washington streets, downtown Columbus. Admission is free for the afternoon events. BBQ Blues & Brew features a variety of barbecue-style vendors offering pulled pork, chicken and related fare at various prices as well as more than 20 craft breweries. Children’s activities and live music start at noon and run to 10 p.m. Information: Facebook at BBQ Blues & Brew and 812-418-8918.

There is something rather quaint about Hope’s Town Square. I think the good folks of the town are with me on this sentiment, and that’s why they’re offering another Old Fashioned Independence Day celebration, 5 to 10:30 p.m. July 1. Conducted on the square and hosted by Yellow Trail Museum, the day will feature free crafts, games and contests for kids and adults, music by the Banister Family Band, cake walk by Miller’s Merry Manor, special program by “Abe Lincoln,” bike parade for kids, fish fry and other food booths, fireworks at dark. Information: 812-371-7969.

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