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From popular acts like Color Me Badd to local talent, thousands of Ohioans flocked to downtown Columbus to officially kick off the summer festival season.

The Soul Food Festival kicked off Saturday evening with deep fried foods and soul singing artists like Gladys Knight drawing big crowds hours before her performance. The 52nd annual Columbus Arts Festival also looked to attract more than 400,000 people despite high gas prices.
“We’re in the Columbus area right outside of Bexley, so it’s really nothing for us to come down here,” said Columbus resident Claudine O’Grady.
Residents and visitors attend the festivals to beat the heat and high gas prices at events that promote family fun.
“We wouldn’t have gone anywhere this weekend with it being $4 a gallon. That’s too much,” said Chad Davis.
“The majority of our folks come from around this area, and if gas prices go up, people who might have gone further are more likely to stay home. So you get the staycation and you get the wonderful festival experience too,” said Greater Columbus Arts Council member Jami Goldstein.
Which is good news to vendors like Sweet The Mobile Cupcakery owner Amy Line who set up shop at the Park Street Festival. Organizers there said last year’s event drew in 10,000 people. This year they’re hoping for 15,000 people.
“It’s been great. We have been here last night and today and lots of people lots of fun,” said Line. SOURCE

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