Sure, the average fried fair food is great and all—but authentic, locally produced cuisine is even better. If you are a foodie in search of some unique, delicious cuisine to try this year, then you’ll want to attend the following festivals. Here are 11 festivals in Ohio that food lovers should not miss:
1. A World A’Fair (Dayton)
This three-day international festival showcases the ethnic backgrounds and cultures of Dayton and the greater Miami Valley. It features booths (and incredible cuisine) from more than 30 countries and ethnic groups. A World A’Fair takes place on May 20-22 at the Dayton Convention Center.
2. Cleveland Asian Festival (Cleveland)
This annual celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage month is unbelievably delicious. While it's only in its seventh year, it is currently one of the fastest growing festivals in Ohio, with more than 45,000 attendees in 2015. This year, the Cleveland Asian Festival takes place on May 21-22.
3. Taste of Cincinnati (Cincinnati)
The nation's longest running free culinary arts festival started in 1979 and now entertains an average of 500,000 attendees each year. The festival features cuisine from more than 40 fine restaurants and continuous live entertainment. Taste of Cincinnati takes place on May 28-30 this year.
4. Utica Sertoma Ice Cream Festival (Utica)
Don't miss the chance to savor some of the state's most delicious ice cream at this family favorite festival, which also features pony rides, a car show, a magic show and many more events. This year's festival will take place on May 28-30.
5. Banana Split Festival (Wilmington)
This summer, mark your calendars for the Banana Split Festival in the small city of Wilmington, which celebrates the creation (and claimed birthplace) of this classic dessert. This year's festival will take place on June 10-11.
6. Jazz & Rib Fest (Columbus)
For some amazing "hot ribs and cool jazz," be sure to attend this year's Jazz & Rib Fest in Columbus on July 22-24. More than 20 award-winning barbecue teams will compete for "Best Ribs" (and the bragging rights that come with it, of course.)
7. Bucyrus Bratwurst Festival (Bucyrus)
The popular Bucyrus Bratwurst Festival will "serve the best 'wurst" on August 18-20, and the theme of this year's festival is "If You Mustache...Brattie is 49!"
8. Ohio Swiss Festival (Sugarcreek)
Celebrate the Sugarcreek area’s Swiss heritage (and Swiss cheese, of course) with parades, a 5K and all the authentic Swiss cuisine you can eat. This year's festival will take place on September 30-October 1.
9. Bob Evans Farm Festival (Rio Grande)
Don't miss the Bob Evan's Farm Festival, where we celebrate what’s “down on the farm," feast on local food and leave with one too many jars of apple butter. This year's festival takes place on October 14-16.
10. Circleville Pumpkin Show (Circleville)
"The Greatest Free Show on Earth" in the small city of Circleville features pumpkin flavored everything. (Be sure to try the pumpkin favored burgers, waffles, chili and cheesecake.) This year's Circleville Pumpkin Show will take place on October 19-22.
11. Fabulous Food Show (Cleveland)
If you've yet to attend this festival, check out what the Fabulous Food Show's website says is "the nation’s largest presentation of fine food, fine art, craft breweries, wineries, restaurants and purveyors all under one roof." This year's show takes place on November 11-13 at the International Exposition (I-X) Center.
Have you been to any of these festivals? What other festivals are there in Ohio this year that food lovers shouldn’t miss?