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One of Toledo’s oldest and most popular ethnic festivals is back this weekend. The Birmingham Ethnic Festival will celebrate the strength and diversity of the Birmingham neighborhood in East Toledo. The festival will feature ethnic food, music, entertainment, education, and more and will run from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. Sunday. Residents of Csongrad County, the Sister County of Lucas County since 1996, will bring an exhibition of folk art and quilts from their hometown in Hungary.
In addition, performers will include Kis Szivek Dancers of Detroit, Holzhacher Baum Schuplattlers, Molly’s Irish Dancers, Echoes of Poland, Matt Keeler (folk musician), Csipke Ensemble, and Dobi Gabi & Magyar Trixie. Returning are the popular waiters races and the Gyanta (Rosin) Orchestra from New Jersey and many other musical acts . Craft and food vendors will also be on site. An array of children’s games and activities will be available in the Tony Packo’s parking lot on the Consaul Street mall. For a complete schedule of events, visit birminghamethnicfestival.wordpress.com.
■ The annual Maumee Summer Fair and Taste of Maumee will be Friday and Saturday in the historic uptown district of Maumee. In addition to 150 arts and crafts booths, the fair will have two Kids’ Zones , a classic car show, and family entertainment throughout the day on Saturday. On Friday and Saturday evening regional bands will rock the night for the 21-andolder crowd in the Beer Garden . Admission is free, but there is a cost for food, some games, arts, and crafts. The festival is open 5 to 11:30 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Saturday. Information: maumeesummerfair.com.
■ The sounds of music will dance along the towpath in Grand Rapids, Ohio, at the Sunset Jazz and Art Festival Sunday. This free festival is held in the park behind the merchants on Front Street, between the canal and the Maumee River . The event will feature jazz musicians from across northwest Ohio. Food and drinks will be available . Regional artists will display and sell fine art. The show runs from 2 p.m. to dusk and performers include Toledo School for the Arts, Bob Rex, Tim Tiderman and Organized, Ramona Collins, and Sixth Edition. Information: grandrapidsartscouncil. org. Up, up, and away to the Defiance Hot Air Balloon Festival Saturday at Defiance County Airport. Hot air balloons will fly in between 7 and 8 a.m. and launch at 7 p.m. for a 9 p.m. glow. All times are subject to change due to weather and wind. Other activities throughout the day include tethered hot air balloon rides for $10 per person, an open mic showcase, food vendors, a marketplace, and children’s activities . A car cruise, one-mile walk, and picnic are also planned. Admission is $5 per car and proceeds will help fund the new Community Engagement Center through United Way of Defiance County. Information: defianceballoonfest.com.