Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Community Festival 2018 (COMFEST)

Written By Dani and Andrew Livelsberger
Photography by Andrew Livelsberger


Columbus Community Festival, a.k.a. COMFEST operating principles can be found here:


COMFEST is a staple in Columbus, bringing with it vendors, music and events of all kinds. 
Volunteers are a big part of the festival and they did a fantastic job this year.   Having talked with quite a few, they were all very friendly and helpful no matter what you needed.

There were some scattered showers during the hours we were there on Saturday.  However, that did not stop people from enjoying themselves or us from covering the event.   You could see people scatter under vendor tents, while others grabbed umbrellas or just let the cool rain shower over them.

If food and drink is your thing, thne you won;t be disappointed there either as a good portion of Goodale Ave is blocked off for beer and food.  Inside the park, you'll find additional food trucks.

Attending COMFEST annually, we have seen it grow over the years.  This year we noticed a focus on the more family friendly atmosphere where activities geared more toward the youngsters were abundant.  There were book reading stations, play areas, kids activities scattered all through out the park.

Below you can see volunteers helping make tie dye shirts, body paint artists and painting stations for the kids.

No matter if you agree with the politics, you have to appreciate the effort it takes to put something like this together every year.   When your heart is in the right place, looking for ways to better the community and the human condition, we have to at least come together at the table and hear each other out.

Discourse and compromise are always a better solution than ignorance ad violence.   COMFEST gives you an opportunity to interact with people from all walks of life with all kinds of differing views.

All that aside, you can just go there and ENJOY YOURSELF.  Take in some food, fellowship with others from Columbus.  Enjoy the music, the art from our fellow Ohioans, American and our brothers and sisters.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Polo At Bryn Du Park

Written/Photography by
Andrew Livelsberger


Schedules for Polo at Bryn Du can be found here:

Polo is a team sport played on horse back.  The objective of the game is to strike a white ball with a mallet into the goal.  Rules surrounding the game are to ensure safety during play.

Periods or chukkas are played which are 7 minutes each in duration.  Generally there are 4-8 chukkas per match, and riders change horse between chukkas.  There is also a 10 minute halftime period.

The Polo field is 300 yards long and 160 yards wide.


Upon entering the Bryn Du estate, you cannot but be taken aback by the sheer vastness of it.  From the far end of the field, looking back, you can see the mansion sitting atop the hill.

When the chukka starts, there is a scrum, where the referee throws the ball into the crowd of horses.  Here the riders attempt to to clear the ball from the pack and once done, play moves up and down the field.

The game can be both strategically slow and lightning fast, changing each at the drop of a hat.  

Sitting at the side line, you can get an excellent view of the match as it unfolds.

I cannot imagine the skill it takes to swing a 50+ inch mallet while in full stride on a horse and striking a white ball.   All this and also directing the horses actions make for an exciting watch.

During the halftime, fans and onlookers were invited to walk out onto the field and replace divots.

Competition can be fierce and players block others swings to prevent a goal.

If you've never seen a polo match live, I highly recommend it.   Only a short 30 minute drive from Columbus will get you to a great 2 hours of play.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Martinsville Lavender Festival

Written by Dani and Andrew Livelsberger
Photography by Andrew Livelsberger


1 year after starting the Peaceful Acres Lavender Farm, the first Lavender Festival was help.  10 years strong and 2018 had another successful festival season.


In our attempt to hit all of the Great 88 counties in Ohio, we have our first story from Clinton County.  Out amongst the country roads and farms in Martinsville, lies the Peaceful Acres Lavender Farm.  Annually, there is held a festival with music, activities and...lavender!!

Going into this festival, we had no expectations.   We had never been before and just happened to see it listed out on the internet somewhere.  Braving the hot, Ohio summer we drove from the comfort of our central Ohio home to the farm.

Within the grounds are several hiking paths.  From the parking area, it is a short walk to the main festival area.  Here you will see rows upon rows of different lavender plants.   Thankfully, the rows are marked and there is literature to explain the types, where they originate as well as how to harvest.

For a small fee, you can cut your own bunch of lavender, getting to take as much as you can fit within the confines of a wire pipe cleaner.

There is more too to do and see. Rescue birds shown below are there for you to interact with. There are also vendors, music, lavender themed food and drinks.   Education on the different kinds of lavender as well as workshops to craft items using lavender.

While not "large" by any means it is an interesting place to visit.     So, next June jump in the car and visit the lavender festival!!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Columbus Crew SC - 2018

Story and Photography by 
Andrew Livelsberger

Crew SC history direct from the source!

I have an awesome relationship with the group over at Midwest Photo Exchange.   They have always treated my professionally and backed up their sales.  So, I support them whenever I can.  Not only do I buy a lot of gear there, they have educational classes and workshops.  One of my favorites are their sports workshops.  I've been fortunate to have attended Columbus Clippers baseball as well as the Columbus Blue Jackets hockey in the past.

I've always wanted to get access to a Columbus Crew game and as soon as Midwest Photo announced that they would be offering a workshop there, I jumped on the opportunity.

The workshops are great and I'll talk a little about them...however, they need to be experienced to be fully appreciated.  You are there about half a day.  For what I consider a reasonable fee, you get a top flight instructor (Scott Rovak - team photographer for a bunch of the pro St. Louis teams and much more for 34 years), support from awesome Midwest Photo staff and a sponsored camera company.  This event was sponsored by FujiFilm.  They brought along with them all of Fuji's top of the line gear for you to borrow and shoot with for the night if you wanted!!  Oh, yeah, and they feed you dinner and keep you hydrated as well.

I also wanted to give a shout out and kudos to Lara Page who was out Crew SC contact for the day.  During the tour of the stadium, she answered all of our questions and guided us through the whole match.  The Crew SC runs the matches with precision and everything is scheduled down to the second.  She kept us on point the whole time.

Here are some images taken during our tour:

Above is the flag post in the corner kick area

You can see the Columbus skyline to the right of the scoreboard

Balls stacked by the goal mouth for warm ups

This night, Crew SC went head to head with Real Salt Lake(RSL).   pretty close in the standings in their respective conferences.   RSL struggles on the road, so the advantage would be in Crew SC's favor tonight.

From our suite by the stage side goal, we were able to get some images of the teams warming up.

During opening ceremonies, a large flag was brought out and the American national anthem was sung.

Crew SC also honored our American veterans.  This Ohio Marine Corp veteran was given a crew SC scarf and a round of applause from the crowd, honoring his service to this country.

The starting XI huddled up just before kick off.

First goal of the night was relatively quick.  Penalty was assessed inside the box, and a penalty kick was given, which Zardes took advantage.    Putting Crew SC up 1-0.

Faking left, Zardes put the ball squarely into the right side net.
Celebrate the early lead!!

Columbus would add another goal in the first half as well.   RSL would muster up a mid second half goal, but the Crew SC defense would hold, giving them the win 2-1.

RSL keepers Rimando puts a goal kick deep into Crew SC territory

Crew SC Keeper Kempin stops a rocket from RSL

Rimando sacrifices his body to stop an attempt at goal.  He did take a cleat to the head, but was uninjured
Let us not forget the fabulous Crew SC fans!

There were 2 stoppages throughout the night.  Temperatures were 96F with heat indexes pushing into the low 100F range.

Finally, some of the Crew SC players stopped by to greet and talk with the fans.  Despite playing in high temperatures for 90+ minutes, they had smiles on their faces!

At this time, we do not know the future of the Columbus Crew.  As many know, the owner wants to move the team to Texas.  There are certain laws in place that state any Ohio teams that has used taxpayer money must allow for the team to be purchased and kept in state.  If no offer is made, then the team can be moved.  If you want more information on this, check out the Save The Crew website.

I for one hope that the Columbus Crew gets to stay and everyone has on opportunity to experience one of the most popular sports on the planet, right here in Central Ohio!  Whatever the future holds, I just know that I was fortunate to have this workshop and gain the access to cover this fast paced sport.