Sidebar: In order to shorten this article, I have previously posted the interviews with Wahru Cleveland, Cari Webber and Des Maki. Click on their names to go to the article.
Location: 240 Parsons Ave., Columbus, OH 43205.
Hot Times began many years ago as a flea market on 18th and Bryden. We used Blackburn Recreation Center’s park. Then, it moved to the Buckeye Union Park which is now the Jerry Hammond Center. Then, it moved up on Monroe and Broad. It was there for years. In 1989, Hot Times came here (240 Parsons Ave., Columbus, OH 43205). We have third generation volunteers. I was looking at the trash crew last night that were little kids and now adults with their kids. I have been at Comfest for 47 years.
From the words of the people, Hot Times was struggling in the beginning. Comfest came along to support Hot Times and make it thrive not survive.
We borrow money from Comfest and then we pay them back, usually. If the festival gets rained on, or have really hard times, then I have to find the money other ways. We take some of the things from Hot Times to Comfest like drum circles, poetry slams, and jazz.
These two festivals are not equal. Hot Times has not gotten the same type of equity as Comfest. We don’t need to preach a message of equality. The Public Health Department declared racism a public health crisis. We are here on their grounds trying to create equity not equality. We need to grow our businesses. We need to grow our artists. It only comes by buying local.
Is there anything that I didn’t ask you that you think I should have asked you? If so, go ahead and answer that question.
Hot Times is one of the golden treasures of Columbus. It serves as a cultural bridge in our community. It is so important as everything changes in our city. It is so important to hold on to the cultures of the different communities. That is what Hot Times is about.