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Columbus celebrates 43 years of community

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This week marks the 43rd anniversary of Community Festival, or “ComFest” as it has come to be known. With roots originating in the University District, it has grown beyond its origins of food co-ops, tenants unions and underground newspapers to include other vendors such as artists, health food vendors and even children’s events. ComFest sets out to show the unity in community by putting everything on display — the pretty, the weird, the controversial and the mainstream.

This year’s theme is “People Before Profit, Planet Before Profit.” With topics like police brutality, green initiatives and a living wage at the forefront of the news, ComFest is looking to present these themes at the community level. This year’s honored community organization, the Ohio Student Association, is an example of people working toward this goal. The group has worked to fight for social justice with local organizations and movements, like the Black Lives Matter movement. Organizations and groups such as The Ohio Student Association and others focusing on this theme will be a focal point of this year’s festival.

While ComFest operates as a medium for issues in the community, there is a lighter side to it as well. Local vendors, artists and crafters will be on display. Clothing, art, music and food will also be seen in a variety of forms. Free concerts featuring a genres ranging from rhythm and blues to passion folk rock will be ongoing throughout the three-day event. Jesse Henry, this year’s honored artist, will be performing with his band The Spikedrivers on Saturday. The 13-year veteran of the festival is one of many community members who will be recognized for their service.

Since its beginning, ComFest has been all about community. The way it’s organized, displayed, and focused is all done locally. The festival looks to celebrate all things local, regardless of one’s perspective.

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