CannonFest 2014: A Columbus Tradition

It's time once again for our annual fan gathering to celebrate our team, our community, and our friends. We've grown, grown, and grown again each year, and we hope you'll be just as excited about what's coming this time as we are!

People have heard this story many times, but five years ago, as the Blue Jackets' blogging community began to take off, I suggested having some sort of get together.

At that point, I actually had the idea of having a party and BBQ in my backyard.

Well, the more we talked about it, the bigger it got.

That "little get together" turned into another, and then a third. Each time we held it, it just kept getting bigger, and you never knew who might show up.

For five years, we've been honored to make this event part of the fan experience, and to raise funds and material for the Blue Jackets Foundation, Sedona Grace, and other charities along the way.

We felt the pressure of having to meet (and hopefully beat) people's expectations for this year, particularly after the playoffs, and started quietly working to put together a whole new experience.

We came to the realization that even the largest BW3 in Columbus wasn't big enough to comfortably hold everyone who attended last year, so that meant we needed to find a dedicated event space, and that lead to some more questions - how do we get food there? What kind of space would fit? Could we find someone who would understand why this was so special, and help us to keep that feeling?

After a lot of hard work by fellow travelers (and better go-getters) Greg May and Alison Lukan, I'm thrilled to tell you that the answer is yes.

We wanted a space that would be unique to Columbus, that was just as much a part of our community as the team and the fans, and represented a lot of the same attitudes we've seen as the club built itself up "Brick by Brick."

May I introduce our host and partner for the 2014 edition of Cannonfest, Strongwater Food & Spirits. With their help and the attached 3,500 square foot event space at the 400 W. Rich Street complex, we're stepping into a building that has been reinvented from the ground up, changing from a set of old unused warehouses to a dynamic home of local artists, farmers, food trucks, and performers. They've graciously opened their doors to us, and I look forward to filling that space with the sounds of our cheer and excitement.

Sunday, August 31st
400 W. Rich St Columbus, OH 43215

Strongwater will be offering beers on tap and full bar service through the afternoon, but we aren't stopping there.

Another growing community in Columbus are the food trucks who have been appearing throughout the city with unique, flavorful, and local offerings, and we found a few friends there who are excited to join us. The Ajumama, and OH! Burgers food trucks will be there with unique and tasty offerings, and we encourage you to check out everything they're bringing to the party. (And there may be a few more trucks pulling up to offer you some unique treats!)

So we've promised food, we've promised drinks, and we've promised a party, but as you all know, we like to have a few more things up our sleeves for you.

Just to whet your appetite, what if I told you that our friends from DKM Hockey will be recording a live show with YOU that day? That we'll have even more amazing Blue Jackets memorabilia and collectables on display in their own dedicated room? That we'll be raffling off some unique prizes to support Defending The Blue Line and the CBJ foundation?

Somehow, if that's not enough to get you excited, perhaps you'll be interested to know that Papa John's, as an official team sponsor, is bringing "something special" to the event?

All this and we have even more surprises coming that we cannot wait to share.

The NHL season is just around the corner - let's get together and really start this thing off right!

Excited? Can't wait? Considering the construction of an elaborate cardboard time machine to help get you there faster? Let us know on twitter that you'll be there by tweeting out the hashtag #SeeYouAtCannonfest, and keep an eye on the #CannonfestV tag on Twitter and Facebook for more news!

Subscribe to The Cannon

Don’t miss out on the latest articles. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only articles.