The streets of Gahanna’s beautiful Creekside District are about to be filled with the sounds and smells of the city’s largest signature event AND Ohio’s BEST Blues & Jazz! June 17-19 marks the 18th annual Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival, presented by the Gahanna Convention & Visitors Bureau. The event (located at 117 Mill St.) draws thousands of people from across the region with its 5 stages, 48 bands, 90 hours of non-stop jams, Family Fun Zone, food and retail vendors AND memorable experiences. The Festival runs Friday 5-11 pm; Saturday 11 am-11 pm; and Sunday 12-6 pm. There are some NEW additions this year, some changes and a few other general tips to keep in mind when visiting #2016CBJF:
1) NEW Stage Locations. Growing attendance over the past several years has led to some exciting new changes to the event layout. New seating areas will ease congestion and offer improved sound quality.
- The Heartland Bank Jazz Stage will now be located on North Mill Street, providing for more seating. (Snag an “All That Jazz” VIP reserved seat/table and avoid the standing room only for the biggest acts.)
- The Benchmark Bank Electric Blues Stage will be relocated under a new tent structure that can accommodate up to 3 times as many fans as before. (A limited number of “Club Blues” VIP seats/tables are still available.)
- The Mount Carmel Creekside Community Stage is now located off South Mill St. (behind Griffin Gallery at Creekside).
- The Toyota Direct Acoustic Alley Stage will now be located at Creekside Plaza.
With the new layout, shuttle drop-offs will be conveniently located along Walnut and North Streets. Guests will still have five different ways to enter the festival. (Download the Festival Map for specifics.)
2) FREE Park & Ride Shuttles. While there is limited free parking within walking distance of the Festival, the smarter option is to take advantage of one of the 4 Park & Ride shuttles that run continuously during the Festival. Locations:
- Giant Eagle (1250 North Hamilton Rd.) At Morse Rd and Hamilton Road intersection
- Stygler Road and Route 62 Shuttle (101 S. Stygler Rd.), courtesy of Ohio AAA.
- Gahanna Lincoln High School (140 S. Hamilton Road), courtesy of Meijer.
- Clark Hall, (380 Granville Street) Provided courtesy of Hollywood Casino.
Accessible shuttles are available at the Clark Hall/380 Granville St. location. Additionally, handicap parking is available in Creekside Parking Garage, 151 Mill St. (rate of $5.00 per car). The Creekside parking garage will be open throughout the festival weekend, with an entrance near the intersection of Mill and North Streets; accessible only by traveling south on Mill Street. Event parking rate is $5 per car, collected at entrance to garage. Festival Admission also will be collected for all cars parking in garage. Cash only accepted at garage entrance.
3) General admission is as follows:
$7 Friday, June 17 & Sunday, June 19
$7 Saturday, June 18 (until 5 pm)
$10 Saturday, June 18 (After 5 pm)
FREE Children under 12 and Military w/ ID (and immediate family)
FREE Sunday 11:30 am-12:30 pm with the donation of one non-perishable food item per person to benefit Gahanna Residents in Need (GRIN).
4) Cocktail Tastings
Some of the most popular events within the Festival are the Tastings. These often sell out, so reserve your tickets early by calling 614/418-9114.
Cocktail Tastings w/ Watershed Distillery (Fri. 6-10 pm) Meet the owners of Watershed Distillery and share 4 new cocktails inspired by the Festival. 45-minute seatings start at 6 pm under the pergolas at Creekside Plaza. 4 tastings /$15. Limited seating.
Craft Beer Tastings. (Sat, 2-5 pm) Explore the world of craft beers enjoying samples with local experts, including Gahanna’s own Pigskin Brewing Company, Kindred Artisan Ales, Columbus Brewing Company, Four Strings, New Belgium and Southern Tier. In addition, 101 Beer Kitchen will be offering appetizer pairings. Reps from each of the breweries will be on hand to chat about their brews. 6 tastings/$12.
Ohio Wine Tastings. (Sun, 1:30-4 pm) Sample a variety of Ohio-made wines from Buckeye state wineries including Wyandotte Winery (Gahanna) and Good Vibes Winery (Westerville), 6 tastings/$12.
5) VIP Experiences
With amazing headliners slated to appear at #2016CBJF like Marion Meadows with Urban Jazz Coalition on the Heartland Band Jazz Stage (Sat) and Sonny Landreth on the Benchmark Bank Blues Stage (Sat), plan on some packed houses. For the best views of the stages, treat yourself to a VIP experience. Book a reserved seat or table in the Club Blues or All that Jazz VIP sections and come-and-go as you please. Enjoy VIP parking and shuttle, swag bags, refreshments are more. Just a few seats remain in both sections. Book online now or call 614/418-9114.
6) Family Fun Zone & NEW Little Kid Zone
Families can enjoy free hands-on activities, crafts, face painting, sports demos and more on Saturday and Sunday afternoons in the Giant Eagle Family Fun Zone at Veteran’s Memorial Park (73 W Johnstown Rd.) Play with band instruments in the Musical Discovery Zone (presented by the Rotary Club of Gahanna). There is no charge to enter this area of the Festival. You will need to buy wristbands (or individual tickets) to ride the Amusement Rides or bounce in the “Little Kids Zone.” Check out the hours, ride pricing and a full schedule of events.
7) Come Hungry! Whatcha hungry for? We got that. With more than 30 food and beverage vendors and another 12 restaurants located in or near the Festival footprint, #2016CBJF offers plenty of chow options for ALL tastes. Check out the list of vendors here.
8) GO Green! BIKE PARKING – YAY VALET! Yay Valet! is a valet parking service that will be offering free, secure bicycle parking to everyone who rides to the Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival on Saturday or Sunday. The valet will be located near the High Street Entrance Gate at the Olde Gahanna Sanctuary (82 N. High St.).
For a full musical lineup, artist bios, a complete schedule of events and much more, check out www.CreeksideBluesandJazz.com. Also, follow @CreeksideBlues on Facebook and Twitter, and @VisitGahanna on Instagram for frequent updates throughout the event.