Music and movies will be available close to home this summer.
In addition to the annual Main Event movie series, a new Jazz in the Park Series will kick off from 4 to 6 p.m. May 28 in Havenwood Park, 2425 Havenwood Drive S.
Bexley residents Dara Schwartz and Mark Subel proposed the Jazz in the Park Series to the city. Schwartz and Subel also co-founded the Harrison West Jazz Stage, a neighborhood concert series now in its sixth season in north Columbus.
"When we moved to Bexley and saw the beautiful park just south of our home at Havenwood Park, we felt it would be a perfect destination for a neighborhood jazz series," Subel said in a news release announcing the series. "The Harrison West jazz series brought the community together in such a positive light that we wanted to bring this to Bexley."
The city asked the Main Event Committee to organize Jazz in the Park, Mayor Ben Kessler said.
"Hooking this idea up with the Main Event Committee seemed like a natural partnership, and they've taken the ball and run with it," Kessler said.
The jazz series has a similar mission as the Main Event, which is to promote a sense of community, said Lori Ann Feibel, president of Bexley City Council and chairwoman of the Main Event Committee.
"Havenwood is a perfect neighborhood park setting for residents to grab a picnic blanket and enjoy a peaceful afternoon with friends and neighbors," she said.
Each concert will be free and feature an accompanying Food Truck Festival hosted by the Bexley Area Chamber of Commerce. The first 100 people in attendance are eligible to receive discounted food vouchers at the chamber's tent.
"We wanted to bring a community-focused food truck event to Bexley, and this is a natural partnership for us," said Elaine Pelz, executive director of the chamber of commerce.
The scheduled Jazz in the Park performers have ties to Bexley. The series kicks off with saxophonist Bryan Olsheski, a Bexley resident, along with Columbus pianist Bobby Floyd. The series continues on June 24 with the Zakk Jones' Video Game Jazz Ensemble. Capital University's Jazz Studies Faculty Group will perform on July 29, and the series concludes Aug. 26 with the group Birdshack.
The Main Event series will again feature a monthly movie screening beginning at dusk on the following dates with these films: May 25, "Coco;" June 15, "The Princess Bride;" July 13, "The Lion King;" Aug. 10, "Trolls;" and Sept. 21, "Star Wars: The Last Jedi." All screenings will be on Capital University's front lawn at the intersection of East Main Street and College Avenue, except for the July 13 screening, which will be at the David H. Madison Community Pool, 2100 Clifton Ave.
Earlier this year, the Main Event Committee merged with the Bexley Celebrations Association, which has presented the annual Fourth of July celebration.
The merger will enable the BCA to recruit more volunteers and increase its fundraising efforts, said recreation director Michael Price.
"The Main Event has a really active crew (of volunteers) whose main job is fundraising, and that's always a challenge for the BCA," he said.
For more information about the Jazz in the Park Series, visit Facebook.com/bexleyjazzseries. For more information about the Main Event, visit www.gobexley.com/main.