Cleveland April 07, 2017
The 9 Best Small-Town Festivals Near Cleveland You’ve Never Heard Of
As the snow and ice continue to melt away around Cleveland, the summer festival season draws closer and closer. While the Forest City is home to a wide variety of wonderful festivals, the surrounding towns of the greater Cleveland area are no slouch when it comes to amazing summer fests.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. North Ridgeville Corn Festival (North Ridgeville)
Just in time for harvest season, this annual tradition in the small farming community of North Ridgeville closes out the summer with a tribute to the town's agricultural bread and butter - er, corn on the cob - with a parade, live music, and other fun activities. This year's festivities kick off over the weekend of August 12-13.
2. Great Lakes Medieval Faire (Rock Creek)
Every weekend from July to mid-August, the small town of Rock Creek is cast back hundreds of years to a fun-filled festival of all things medieval. From knights in shining armor to traveling minstrels, there is no shortage of unforgettable experiences waiting in this kingdom.
3. Ashland Ohio Balloonfest (Ashland)
Soaring over this peaceful city every summer, the Ashland Ohio Balloonfest takes the festival experience to dizzying new heights with free rides and a celebration of hot air balloons from around the world. The balloons take flight from June 29 to July 1 this summer.
4. EarthFest Berea (Berea)
Kicking off festival season this year is an Earth Day tradition in Berea. EarthFest is dedicated to preserving and celebrating the great outdoors through activities and special guest performances. This one-day fest takes place in just a few weeks, on April 22.
5. Avon Heritage Duct Tape Festival (Avon)
It's a little-known fact that northeast Ohio is the birthplace of the world's most versatile tool. Every year in Avon, duct tape lovers of all ages convene to share in the fun and usefulness of this remarkable invention. Be sure to look out for the particularly festive attendees who fashion entire outfits out of duct tape. Avon Heritage Duct Tape Festival rolls out the silver carpet on the weekend of June 16-18.
6. Dean Martin Festival (Steubenville)
The legendary Rat Pack icon was born and raised in Steubenville, and every year the town pays tribute in grand fashion at this annual celebration of the King of Cool. Festival staples include a lookalike performance and a screening of some of his most beloved films. This year marks Martin's 100th birthday, so expect a truly unforgettable experience from June 16-18.
7. Ohio Scottish Games (Wellington)
It's not every day that you can witness men in kilts hurl massive logs through the air while pipes and drums blare overhead, but at the Ohio Scottish Games in Wellington, it's par for the course. A celebration of heavy athleticism and musical talent in Scottish heritage, this year's games on June 24 will be legendary.
8. Berea's National Rib Cook-Off (Berea)
If mouthwatering, fall-off-the-bone barbecue ribs are your kind of snack, there is no better place to get your smoke on than at this massive cooking contest in Berea. Free tastings, live music and the all-important final judgement are all lined up for this Memorial Day weekend, so be sure to stop in. Just bring napkins.
9. Main Street Port Clinton Walleye Festival (Port Clinton)
There are few fish so prized on the North Coast as the walleye. For the past 37 years, the fishing town of Port Clinton has paid tribute to this famous fish with a veritable carnival, including a parade, rides, fishing tournaments, and so much more. The Walleye Festival takes over Port Clinton from May 25-29.
Are there any other great festivals outside Cleveland that we left out? Let us know about them in the comments below!