The Midwestern state of Ohio, with the majestic Lake Erie and jovial attractions like Cedar Point amusement park and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum, makes an enticing choice for a holiday of fun. And though somewhat underrated, Ohio’s festival scene is a vibrant one featuring a mix of large buzzing events and small quirky ones. The state’s busy festival calendar runs through the year barring only the winter months, with summer being particularly lively. It’s not just the largest cities that host charming festivals, but the smaller ones as well, each celebrating aspects of their heritage and character. From music festivals to garlic fests, there’s always something fun going on somewhere in this Midwestern state. We have listed here some of the most popular festivals in Ohio, USA, that promise loads of interesting experiences and enjoyable entertainment so read on.
1. Columbus Asian Festival
Experience diverse facets of Asian culture at the popular Columbus Asian Festival which draws over 100,000 visitors every year. The festival hosts a plethora of fascinating cultural events and exhibits from different Asian countries including visual performances like dance and martial arts, discussions and live music, plus children’s activities. You can also enjoy a variety of Asian cuisine and explore Asian crafts at the stalls there. There’s even a career fair hosted for job opportunities!
Columbus Asian Festival
Address: Franklin Park, 1755 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH
Website: Columbus Asian Festival
Takes place: May
2. Dandelion May Festival
This quaint festival celebrates all things dandelions! Welcoming the arrival of spring, this festival puts out an array of dandelion-inspired food, activities, and arts and craft sitems such as pottery, soap and handmade jewellery. Also included are wine-sampling sessions and cellar tours, offered by the Breitenbach winery which hosts the festival. Dandelion picking contests, children’s activities like making dandelion jelly, and the 5K Dandelion May Run are some examples of the activities you can enjoy. Don’t miss trying out dandelion-flavoured food including dandelion bread, dandelion sausage, and even dandelion sangria!
Dandelion May Festival
Address: Breitenbach Vineyards, 5773 Old Rt. 39, Dover, OH
Website: Dandelion May Festival
Takes place: May
3. Ashville Viking Festival
Get ready for the 13th annual Ashville Viking Festival on Apr. 30 and May 1, 2016! Get more information at...Posted by Ashville Viking Festival on Friday, 11 March 2016
Step back in time with this unique festival that’s themed around the ancient Viking civilisation. Visitors can enjoy a wonderful range of activities and exhibits that bring to life the history of Vikings. Entertainment events such as reenactments, musical/dance performance, swordplay contests/jousts are all part of the festival. You can also enjoy crafts demonstration and even buy period merchandise. A dedicated children’s area makes sure that the little ones also have fun. Of course, there’s fantastic food and beverages on offer to be enjoyed.
Ashville Viking Festival
Address: 90 Walnut Street, Ashville, OH
Website: Ashville Viking Festival
Takes place: April to May
You might be interested in these Airbnbs!
4. Hessler Street Fair [Last event in 2019]
What started out decades ago as a neighbourhood party with a ‘hippie vibe’ has turned into a yearly celebration of arts and music. Hessler Road in Cleveland’s University Circle area is blocked off for a weekend to host live music acts, dancing art shows, street performances, and artist stalls. Still retaining its hippie character, the festival is a celebration of non-mainstream culture.
Hessler Street Fair
Address: Hessler Rd, Cleveland, OH
Website: Hessler Street Fair
Opening hours: First weekend after Memorial Day in May
5. Moonshine Festival
At Moonshine Festival, guests get the opportunity to explore a unique aspect of American history. The city of New Straitsville was the foremost producer of moonshine (illicit alcohol) during the days of Prohibition. Every May, this five-day fest celebrates its history of brewing world-famous moonshine. The city gets a temporary licence to make moonshine using the original method so visitors can appreciate the bygone process of making liquor and even buy some! Of course, there’s a lot of fun on offer including live entertainment acts, carnival games, fabulous food, and amusement rides, plus two parades, too.
Address: Main Street, Wayne National Forest, New Straitsville, OH
Website: Moonshine Festival
Takes place: May
6. Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival
Just a few weeks left for musicians to submit their EPKs for consideration for the #2020CBJF line-up. Deadline is November 1, 2019. More info: creeksidebluesandjazz.com/get-involved.htmlPosted by Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival, Gahanna, OH on Wednesday, 9 October 2019
Ohio’s most well-known jazz and blues festival, Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival, is where you will be able to enjoy performances from some of the country’s and region’s finest artists. Held yearly in Gahanna, Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival hosts five stages promising hours of great music. A family-friendly event, it also offers a whole lot of cool activities including shows by comedians and magicians, a children’s fun zone, and gourmet food-tasting and beverages including craft beer.
Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival
Address: Creekside Park & Plaza, 117 Mill Street, Gahanna, OH
Website: Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival
Takes place: Usually held in June
7. Troy Strawberry Festival
As the name suggests, the Troy Strawberry Festival celebrates the strawberry fruit! Held every June, this cute event is chock-full of attractions - arts/crafts stalls, live entertainment performances on two stages, exciting kids’ activities, and contests/tournaments. The highlight, of course, is the incredible range of strawberry-flavoured treats including cakes, waffles, cheesecakes, ice creams, and more, with the strawberry doughnut being the must-have item!
Troy Strawberry Festival
Address: 154 W Staunton Rd, Troy, OH
Website: Troy Strawberry Festival
Takes place: June
8. Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival
Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival celebrates the host city’s identity as the birthplace of the irreplaceable tomato. Spread over three days are tomato-themed displays, tournaments and entertainment events such as salsa competition, chilli cookoffs. tomato wars, and tomato competitions. For kids, there’s a dedicated corner with special activities and facilities like bounce houses. Other things to enjoy here include live music performances, arts/crafts exhibits, dog shows, and more.
Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival
Address: Huber Park, 1520 Davidson Dr, Reynoldsburg, OH
Website: Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival
Takes place: August
9. Cleveland Garlic Festival
We are open and ready for a stinking good time! Head to #CLEgarlicfest at @shaker_square!Posted by Cleveland Garlic Festival on Saturday, 24 August 2019
Dubbed as the ‘Smelliest Festival of Ohio’, the Cleveland Garlic Festival showcases its heritage as the region with over 300 varieties of garlic. Held over two days, the festival has garlic-inspired food, fun competitions, and live entertainment on offer. The Garlic Gourmet Alley hosts delicious garlic-flavoured dishes from the city and region’s chefs. You must not miss out on the crowd favourites - garlic fries and the unique garlic ice cream! The Top Chef Garlic Grill-Off is a must-watch competition where chefs compete on creating unique dishes with garlic. Beyond these garlic-y feasts, you have live entertainment performance including music acts and a dedicated kids’ section with clowns, trampoline, and special sessions.
Cleveland Garlic Festival
Address: 13111 Shaker Square, Cleveland, OH
Website: Cleveland Garlic Festival
Takes place: August
10. Columbus Arts Festival
Hosted every June, the Columbus Arts Festival is a major event that marks the arrival of summer in the city. Featuring over 250 artists across a bewildering array of arts and crafts including painting, glass art, visual arts, mixed media, film, metalwork, and much more, this festival celebrates all forms of arts. The festival includes dance, theatre, and music performances from some of the nation’s best artists. Visitors also have an opportunity to participate in fun interactive activities such as VR experiences and poetry concerts. The refreshment stalls include food from some of the city’s most well-known restaurants and craft beer breweries.
Columbus Arts Festival
Address: Bicentennial Park, 233 Civic Center Dr., Columbus, OH
Website: Columbus Arts Festival
Takes place: June
Festivals galore promising fun and enjoyment
While this list covers the most popular festivals in Ohio, the USA, there are plenty of others that are held all over the state. Festival Latino. Twins Day Festival, and Circleville Pumpkin Show are just a few of the unusual ones. There are several online resources that track Ohio’s festival schedule so you can use them to find out more amazing events to attend.
Get Trip101 in your inbox