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Best Fun Festivals in Ohio

Updated on June 14, 2015

Don't Miss the Art Inside the Cars


Early Summer Festivities

From Lake Erie to the Big River, or the Ohio, our state is full of summer festivals and adding additional events each year. Out cities and towns are proud of their individual and community histories and like to share these aspects of town life with the greater public.

Each summer month is particularly scheduled with festivals and the Fourth of July Week is a fun time to take a vacation with family or on your own and view what's happening in Ohio, the Buckeye State. Some of the interesting and entertaining festivals for July each year are listed below, along with some historical attractions nearby.

Celebrations at The Ohio State University from early Spring through Summer and Autumn 2015 spread the joy of the John Glenn School of Public Affairs being upgraded to an accredited college of the university. Senator and Former Astronaut Glenn is in his mid-90s and still teaching in Columbus at his college. The last of the fammous Mercury 7 astronauts, we are thankful to have him here.

Inventor of the Automobile Self Starter

Charles F. Kettering, born near Loudonville.
Charles F. Kettering, born near Loudonville. | Source

Loudonville, Ohio and Its Classic Cars and Hot Air Balloons

CLASSIC CAR SHOW - The first Saturday in July each year.

Loudonville is a favorite spot in Ohio, in the Mohican State Park Area and more than one festival is held here. The Classic Car Show is a lot of fun, held in the Historic Downtown District of Loudonville in early July. The related, popular magazine, Cruisin' Times has rated this car show as the Number One in the nation since 2008.

The event includes musical entertainment, car parades, concessions, and over 500 classic cars to view and admire. Awards in the various classes of classic cars are awarded at the end of the afternoon on Saturday and the cost to register for the contests is under $10.00; spectators free. This is an inexpensive way to have fun around the 4th of July.

Loudonville is southeast of Mansfield, Ohio and the McDonald's in Mansfield on Highway I-71 was the first in the state to operate a 24-hour Drive Thru Window. Current staff and management may not even be aware of that!

Mohican Indian Pow Wow

Pow Wows are one of my favorite types of events to attend and I am always looking for more of them. This one is held early in July (for 2011, July 8 - 10) in Mohican State Park. Since the National Pow Wow moved from Washington DC top Indiana and rotating cities, the remaining pow wows have had a chance to gain attendance and develop additional activities.

The Pow Wow is held at a rustic camping venue called the Mohican Reservation Campgrounds and Canoeing. Although rustic camping is available at reasonable rates, the campground also provides free WI-FI Internet access and wide screen movies each weekend in the summer. Canoeing is on the Mohican River, which local groups attend and clean in an ongoing program of preserving the river.

Pow Wows are fascinating, having their own respectful etiquette for participation and attendance, and no alcohol or drugs are permitted on the grounds. A Grand Entrance Parade is held at least once daily and dance demonstrations an contests include divisions for men, women, Senior Citizens, children, and short lessons for the audience.

Native Americans and First Nations from other parts of the US and Canada often come to Ohio Pow Wows, especially to perform in dancing and drum circle songs and competitions. Fine arts and crafts are always on display and occasional workshops these arts are offered. Story telling, educational presentations, and traditional Native foods from Ohio groups are always offered.


If you're in Loudonville for the Classic Car Show, you're also in time for the Balloon Festival in Ashland, on the other side of Highway I-71. In 2011, it is held through July 3. It incorporates balloon races, glows (lighted balloons at night), sports activities and many special things to do. The Battle of the Bands is a lot of fun. Check the link above for the current events' schedule and a look at the balloons that will be at the festival.

Classic Car Collection

Classic Cars of the 20th Century: 100 Years of Automotive Ads, 1900-1999
Classic Cars of the 20th Century: 100 Years of Automotive Ads, 1900-1999

This is one of the best books you can find for classic cars and ads that were used for seeing them and car parts. Friends and I carry it to car shows.


Loudonville - About an Hour NE of the State Capital

show route and directions
A markerLoudonville OH -
Loudonville, OH, USA
get directions

B markerMohican State Park -
Mohican-Memorial State Forest, Hanover, OH, USA
get directions

C markerAshland OH -
Ashland, OH 44805, USA
get directions

Other Fun Car Shows in Ohio

  • Armed Forces Day Car Show in Columbus, Ohio during Mid-May
  • Annual Acts Believe Church Car, Truck & Bike Show - Chillicothe at the end of May
  • Blast From the Past Car Show - Delaware, Ohio. July 25.
  • Buckeye Grand National MCA Mustang Car Show. Early September.Labor Day - Columbus.
  • Independence Day Car Show - Every July 4 in Huber Heights near Dayton, Ohio off I-70.
  • Goodguys PPG Nationals - This is a giant car show in Columbus during mid-July. Call 925-838-9876.

Car Shows Around Central Ohio

show route and directions
A markerColumbus OH -
Columbus, OH, USA
get directions

B markerChillicothe OH -
Chillicothe, OH 45601, USA
get directions

C markerDelaware OH -
Delaware, OH, USA
get directions

D markerHuber Heights OH -
Huber Heights, OH, USA
get directions

This car show is not far from the National Museum of the USAF in Fairborn/Dayton, which offers free admission 7 days/week.

Come see our classic car shows in Ohio!
Come see our classic car shows in Ohio!

Additional Festivals

Early July is a busy time in Downtown Loudonville. In addition to some of the festivals above, the district will be hosting other events that includes an Antiques Festival and a huge Fireworks display celebration at Riverside Park on the riverfront of the Mohican.

If you are in the Mid-Ohio area near Loudonville during the middle of July, the Chatauqua has been resurrected a few miles away again in Ashland, Ohio. The middle of July always offers the Ashland Chatauqua for entertainment and education, with actors portraying famous "Adventurers and Explorers" in our country.

Some of my favorites are Teddy Roosevelt, Lewis and Clark, Sacajawea, Leif Eriksson, Amelia Earhart, famous cowboys and pioneers, and even Ponce de Leon and his quest for the fountain of youth.

This three-day event is fun for families, historians, and anyone that wants a different type of experience for the 4th of July Week (the actor portraying Amelia Earhart REALLY looks and sounds like the famous pilot!). Reasonable hotels and B&Bs are located nearby.

Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart | Source
Alpacas of Ashland, Ohio
Alpacas of Ashland, Ohio | Source

Ashland, Ohio

The Most American Thing in America: Circuit Chautauqua as Performance (Studies Theatre Hist & Culture)
The Most American Thing in America: Circuit Chautauqua as Performance (Studies Theatre Hist & Culture)

Effective actors portray famous people during these Ashland events. Come and see Teddy Roosevelt and Amelia Earhart.


Malabar Farm - Farms and Farming Communities

Main Dairy Barn & Petting Farm of Malabar Farm State Park.
Main Dairy Barn & Petting Farm of Malabar Farm State Park. | Source

Halloween in July

This is radical. Malabar Farm west of Loudonville, part of the Ohio Historical Society and State Parks systems offers families and children a lot of opportunities to see a working farm and get to know its animals. However, in mid-July, the farm holds a Night Haunt from 8:00 PM to Midnight that is said to be so scary that no one under 17 should attend.

It is a journey into the paranormal that includes bats, cemetery visits, discussions of murderers, ghosts and other beings, with food around a campfire as well. For 2011, the event is scheduled for Saturday, July 16. See Malabar for the Night Haunt and other festivals held on this National Historical Landmark.

Another event in mid-July is appropriate for the entire family. This is the Mansfield Rock N' Ribs Festival. Cooking demonstrations, concessions, rib-cooking contests and a variety of music highlight this three-day event. It is held from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM each night at North Central State College. Bands have included Here Come the Mummies, 38 Special, various tribute bands (Rolling Stones), and the Kentucky Head Hunters.

Largest Amish Community In the World


Ohio has the largest community of Amish people in the United States and the world.

Amish Cooking

This region of Ohio is in Amish Country, including Mansfield, Ashland and most of Richland and Holmes Counties. Visitors are sometimes surprised to see horses and buggies traveling the same streets as automobiles in the cities. Amish restaurants offer delicious home cooked meals, with a store at the front where you can purchase Amish breads, pies, cakes, jams, jellies and other products, all made from scratch.

A program has been developed to offer Amish meals in actual Amish homes around the year and even at Christmas, with details that can be seen at Amish Heartland Tours.

Nearby in another community that is also the home to many Amish, Thunder Over Holmes County is a 4th of July celebration held July 1 and 2 in Historic Downtown Millersburg. It is a festival with fireworks, music, vendors and entrtainment.


Millersburg, Ohio - Amish Community

show route and directions
A markerMillersburg OH -
Millersburg, OH 44654, USA
get directions

B markerRichland County OH -
Richland, Ohio, USA
get directions

Holmes County farmer.
Holmes County farmer. | Source

Festivals in Cincinnati at the Ohio River

Cincinnati Fringe Festival - Late May and the first week of June annually Downtown in storefronts, theaters, taverns, and other places. The Over-The-Rhine neighborhood that has been revitalized in the 2000s and 2010s come alive with performances - at least 150 of them. After the performances of the day, still other performances take place on an informal basis.

This is an entertaining avant garde theater festival inspired by the Edinburgh Fringe Festival of Scotland. Comedian and show host Craig Ferguson felt he'd succeeded in his career when he performed there. His hotel room overlooked the automatic picture booth in which he used to sleep for a few hours while waiting for the first train home after his late-night cabaret performances as a young comedian. The Cincinnati festival mirrors such determined spirit and creativity in its actors. Up to 20 performances a day can be enjoyed here and a new mural is painted every year. Other activities include the Fringe Olympics and other activities. This is a good place to spend one or two weeks.

Especially for youth, FringeNext is a program established in 2011 that brings together high school kids and introduces the,m to Fringe and creativity in expression. It is a wonderful opportunity for youth interested in the dramatic arts - and comedy.

FringeFest in the Refurbished Neighborhood

A markerOver-the-Rhine -
Over-The-Rhine, Cincinnati, OH, USA
get directions

What is a bunbury or bun-bury?

Bunbury Music Festival - To bunbury (burying a bun, perhaps) is to have a fictional excuse for avoiding some boring work or duty. A music festival is a good excuse!

Held the first weekend of June, I love this festival, because of the variety of music offered. Old Crow Medicine Show is one of my favorites and can be heard there in 2015. Snoop Dog, the Black Keys, and Catfish and the Bottle Men will also perform in 2015. I am lucky to be in Columbus, Ohio where the headquarters for the festival are located. Events and lineups are posted outside on the bulletin board and announced in the Columbus Underground.

If you want to hear Jennifer Hudson and Jill Scott, attend the Cincinnati Music Festival at Paul Brown Stadium during the last Friday and Saturday Weekend in July.

Bunbury Music Festival

A markerSawyer Point / Yeatman's Cove 705 East Pete Rose Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202 -
705 East Pete Rose Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202, USA
get directions

Special Interests

Parish Festivals - Each of the Queen City's Catholic parishes offers a festival during the days of late May and June, providing family activities and entertainment. Everyone is welcomed. I have been to some of these festivals and have enjoyed the music, art exhibits, crafts experts, food concessions, carnival rides, and family activities. Each festival is a little different and they all bring in money for the excellent educational system. Cincinnati parochial schools produce some of the highest scores on standardized tests, without resorting to "teaching to the test", according to statewide report cards for individual schools in Ohio since the 1990s.

Volksfest - With many German descendants in the city, Cincinnati operates a popular German festival not unlike Oktoberfest in mid-July. It is a craft beer festival with musical entertainment. The beer fest, parade, and carnival are held by the German-American Citizens League of Greater Cincinnati to host the event Listermann Brewing Supply Company, 1621 Dana Ave, Cincinnati, Ohio 45207.

© 2011 Patty Inglish


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    • susannah42 profile image

      susannah42 6 years ago from Florida

      Thanks for the tips, sounds fun.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

      Patty, plese tellGoogle to pay more. I would absolutely love a Pow Wow and also see the Amish people. I always thought they would very much withdraw from any people trying to come see them. I gues they also changing. I saw film where they were absolutely closed-up to outsiders.

    • danfresnourban profile image

      danfresnourban 6 years ago from Fresno, CA

      I am from California, but reading this hub makes me want to move to Ohio. I never knew that Amish had restaurants, coincidentally I just watched a documentary on Ex-Amish, one of the things they reported missing the most was the home cooking. Thanks for sharing this fine hub.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      I'll try to work that in!

    • Cardisa profile image

      Carolee Samuda 6 years ago from Jamaica

      I've always been fascinated with the Amish culture, I have never met an Amish person, maybe never will. I am surprised to know that they have restaurants and store, I really thought that they were dislodged from the rest of society.

      This is real interesting stuff, I would really like to know what they eat and how their foods are prepared.

      Is it possible for you to do a hub on Amish culture and cuisine? Please, pretty please with cherry on top?


    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 6 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Great hub! I wish that I lived closer so I could visit these festivals!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Will do after the events this year!

    • travel_man1971 profile image

      Ireno Alcala 6 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      I've watched that movie, "The Legend of the Mohicans" and can't help but refresh it with this hub.

      Thanks for sharing, Ms. Patty! Please keep us updated of the festival.