Nothing quite compares to a staycation in Northeast Ohio. You’ll remain in familiar territory close to home, but a vast variety of cultural experiences will leave you feeling miles away from it all. Many of the best annual events in the state fall on or close to weekends, allowing you the perfect opportunity to steal away and get to know a community close to home. Pack the bags or just grab some road trip snacks, because you won’t be able to resist these incredible celebrations.
1. Maple Madness Tour at White House Chocolates (March 2nd & 9th)
From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the first two Saturdays of March, maple is the name of the game at White House Chocolates. This sweet shop in Burton produces incredible chocolates on-site, and as maple season kicks off in Northeast Ohio, maple treats are produced in great quantity. This free event is fun for the whole family.
2. Maple Madness Tour at Sugarbush Creek Farm (Saturdays & Sundays, March 2nd to 10th)
Geauga County is truly a splendid place for maple lovers. Sugarbush Creek Farm is one of its most scenic sugar houses, and it will be open to the public free of charge on the first few Saturdays and Sundays of March. You'll have the opportunity to see how technology has advanced the art of maple syrup production.
3. Ashville Viking Festival (April 27th & 28th)
No matter how you slice it, the Vikings were a pretty cool group. Ashville is all the way out in Pickaway County, but it's well worth a visit for this event. This living history festival reenacts the atmosphere of Viking life by utilizing dance, swordplay, music, and crafts. No Viking celebration would be complete without a superabundance of food, and visitors adore stocking up on snacks during the festivities.
4. Primavara! Romanian Festival (May)
Break out your balalaika and mamaliga, because we're celebrating spring Romanian-style. This annual event is tucked away in Fairlawn at the Presentation of Our Lord Orthodox Church, and it's a cultural celebration you won't want to miss. Delicious desserts and traditional Romanian dishes drawing crowds from all over the state, unique shopping opportunities have them longing to stay for a spell.
5. Riverfront Irish Festival (June 7th - 9th)
Cuyahoga Falls is a peaceful community, but its coveted peace and quiet are broken each summer by the enthusiasm of crowds and the energetic music of bagpipes. The Riverfront Irish Festival is an incredible celebration of Irish-American culture. Authentic and reimagined Irish foods are available in great quantity during this event, a local Foodies are absolutely hooked. Great music, a bit of merrymaking, and seemingly endless shopping make this event truly unforgettable. And did we mention that this event and parking are free?!
6. Avon Heritage Duct Tape Festival (Father's Day Weekend)
Yes, this parade float is certainly made of duct tape. The annual Avon Heritage Duct Tape Festival is an event like no other, and creative types can't help but find excitement at this unique celebration. Duct tape is fashioned into the most spectacular creations at this event, appearing in the form of dresses, wallets, sculptures, and so much more.
7. Waterloo Arts Fest (June 29th)
The annual Waterloo Arts Fest is always an incredible source of inspiration for artists and art lovers alike. This ginormous celebration combines art, music, food, and fun in a way that recognizes the unique personality of this eclectic neighborhood.
8. Twins Days Festival (August 2nd - 4th)
If you feel like you're seeing double, you probably ended up in Twinsburg on Twins Day. This epic annual event is the largest gathering of biological twins anywhere in the world. It draws in participants from all over the nation, but you don't have to be a twin to take part in the fun. Fair festivities, talent shows, a parade, and great food make this event too cool to miss out on.
9. Little Italy's Feast of the Assumption (August 15th - 18th)
Cleveland is home to an astonishing diversity of cultures, and Little Italy is one of the many places within city limits that adores tradition. The annual Feast of the Assumption is a summertime event that has been celebrated since 1898. This traditionally Catholic celebration has evolved into an event that focuses on the best parts of Italian culture. You'll enjoy Italian street food, carnival rides, shopping, parades, spontaneous music performances, and so much more at this event.
10. National Hamburger Festival (mid-August)
It seems many Clevelanders are aversive to visiting Akron, this community is worthy of a weekend visit. Believe it or not, Akron claims credit for the creation of the modern hamburger. Each year, they celebrate its influence with an epic festival downtown. Food competitions like you've never seen before coexist alongside musical performances and shopping opportunities in this unique summertime celebration.
11. Barberton Mum Festival (September 28th)
Barberton is a super cute community, though it's frequently overlooked. It is doubtlessly spectacular in the autumn when the annual Mum Festival returns for another year. 2019 will be the 29th year of this festive celebration, providing a particular focus on dazzling displays and gardening tips. Event activities are unusual, providing experiences that focus on sand sculpting, canoe racing, and even ice sculpting. This free celebration is truly unlike any other, and the beauty of their mum displays is undeniable.
While Cleveland maybe the cultural heart of Northeast Ohio, its surrounding communities and neighborhoods sure know how to throw a party. Which of these festivals are you most excited to attend?