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Climbing, camping, paddling, and more: What to expect from Scioto Fest 2023

The outdoor lovers-approved festival is back for another year.

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Boulder to your heart’s content.

Photo by Liz Christian

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We don’t want to be dramatic, but there’s only one right way to celebrate the beginning of fall in Columbus: with climbing, paddling, music, beer + all the wholesome outdoor fun at Scioto Fest 2023.

Happening Friday, Sept. 15-Saturday, Sept. 16 (5-11 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. on Saturday) at Scioto Audubon Metro Park, the free annual outdoors festival has something for everyone.

a man sits in a camping chair in front of a campfire

Sit back and enjoy nature at Scioto Fest this fall.

Photo by Liz Christian

Here’s what to expect from the weekend:

Friday, Sept. 15

  • 5 p.m.: Overnight camping check-in starts.
  • 5-7 p.m.: Treat your pups to Yappy Hour by tie-dying dog bandannas with Friends of Metro Parks and browsing other dog vendor booths.
  • 5-8 p.m.: “Try It! Climbing” and “Try It! Kayaking” excursions kick off. Guided sessions with Metro Parks Outdoor Adventure staff will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • 7-10:30 p.m.: Groove to live music from local bands.
  • 7:30-8:30 p.m.: Gather around the campfire for Gourmet S’mores with Metro Parks Outdoor Adventure + Public Lands.
Wandering Monarch beer

Try the newly released Metro Parks brew.

Photo provided by Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks

Bonus: Local food trucks, Nocterra Brewing Co., and Land-Grant Brewing Company will be serving up grub and cold pints until 11 p.m. — including a special Metro Parks beer: Wandering Monarch, a collab Belgian Pilsner from the two breweries.

Saturday, Sept. 16

  • 9 a.m.-3 p.m.: Food trucks, Nocterra Brewing Co., and Land-Grant Brewing Company will be on-site.
  • 9 a.m.-3 p.m.: Enjoy a full day of Metro Parks activities including slack-lining, volleyball + hammocking, plus more fun local vendors.
  • 9 a.m.-12 p.m.: Metro Parks Annual Climbing Competition — how high can you climb?
  • 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.: Downtown Kayak Floats happening every hour (sign up at the info tent)
  • 12 p.m. -3 p.m.: Additional “Try it! Climbing” guided sessions

See more festival details.


When was the first Scioto Fest? Guess here.

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