Like ethnic food? We ve got German, Italian, Irish, Hungarian, Polish, Greek, Latino, Native American, and more.
Do you enjoy neighborhood or community-wide celebrations where you can get a taste of everything?
Or perhaps you re into something more specific, like flowers, arts, walleye, glass, beans, strawberries, tractors, apples or applebutter, bugs, blues, ribs, bratwurst, the War of 1812, perch, friendship, melons, flea markets, railroads, butterflies, lighthouses, or tombstones?
We have festivals touching on all of those subjects and more in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan, so there is bound to be one that fits your interests.
The most popular are the ethnic festivals, where rich backgrounds and traditions are celebrated and an array of food, music, and dancing is enjoyed.
There is the German-American Festival, the area s largest ethnic festival, held each year in Oregon. Some of the other large ethnic events include the Lagrange Polish Festival, the Holy Trinity Orthodox Church s Greek-American Festival, and the Hungarian delights of the Birmingham Ethnic Festival.
Others swear by the chicken at Delta s annual festival or the bean soup in Montpelier.
For dessert, perhaps a strawberry pie from Holland or the apple pies in Oak Harbor.
In many area communities, there is an annual community festival that everyone looks forward to as a place to see family and friends.
In Grand Rapids, it s the Applebutter Festival. In Perrysburg, it s Harrison Rally Days. In Woodville, it s the annual firemen s fair. In Elmore, it s the Portage River Festival. In Milan, Ohio, it s the Melon Festival. And so on.
Many towns, such as Genoa, simply call them homecomings a time when former residents or natives who have moved away return to their roots to say hello.
Following the traditions of the agricultural community, the fall harvest season is a time of many celebrations aimed at recognizing a particular crop or the success of the year s work in the fields.
Most area festivals are within an hour s drive or less north to south or east to west, and with gas prices expected to reach new highs this summer, these festivals could provide the chance of a day of fun for the family. As the locals sometimes like to say, if you haven t been, you don t know what you ve been missing.
Though The Blade has tried to include festivals from as many area communities as possible, the accompanying list represents just a sampling of what s going on. To find out more about festivals or special events in your community, contact your local chamber of commerce or county visitors bureau, or visit the Ohio Festivals and Events Association at www.ofea.org. Festival organizers are also urged to contact The Blade with info about their events, which can be added to the online Discover magazine available at toledoblade.com.
Here is a listing of many of the area s festivals by month:
May 21: Oregon Fest, noon to 6 p.m., Dustin Road, Oregon. Fun under the tents, rain or shine. Continuous free stage entertainment. Grand parade at 3 p.m., fest foods, chicken dinners, children s rides, classic cars, arts, and crafts, quality-of-life exhibits, expanded living-history encampment, free hands-on kids art area, and more. Visit www.OregonFest.org or call 419-691-7060.
May 25-29: Historic Port Clinton Walleye Festival, Water Works Park, Port Clinton. Live entertainment, carnival rides, and educational programs. Kids Fishing Derby Sunday at 1 p.m. Queen pageant Thursday, and grand parade Saturday at 1 p.m. For a complete schedule, visitwww.walleyefestival.com.
May 27-29: Flower Day Weekend, 16th Annual Spring Celebration, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Toledo Farmer s Market, downtown Toledo. On Sunday, the market will be packed with the best flower growers from all over northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. Saturday and Monday are market days with produce and crafts as well as a sampling of flowers. On Sunday, the parking lot is filled with bloomers for all to see. Call 419-255-6765.
June 1-4: Taste of the Town, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., downtown Toledo. The event highlights the area s best restaurants, which will set up shop in downtown Toledo along Jackson Boulevard for a four-day food frenzy. Taste of the Town also offers live music, including pop, classic rock, reggae, and the blues. Sponsored by United Health Services. Call 419-242-9587.
June 3-4: Historic Old West End Festival, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Old West End, Toledo. Juried art show with more than 60 artists, historic home tours, garage and lawn sales, entertainment, children s activities, a restoration clinic, and a parade featuring art, cars, bands, and marching units. Visitwww.toledooldwestend.com.
June 2-3: Peony Festival, Van Wert, Ohio. The festival includes a 5K run, car show, bands in the park, flower judging, craft festivals, and garden tours. Visit www.vanwert.com/peony
June 3: Point Place Days. A parade kicks off Point Place Days, which take place throughout June and includes a barbecue, canoe races, baking contest, concert/art at the library, car show, and a pet-dressing contest. Sponsored by the Point Place Business Association. Visit www.pointplace.net.
June 9-10: Latino Fest, Promenade and Festival parks, downtown Toledo. Hours are 5 to 10:30 p.m. Friday and 3:30 to 11 p.m. Saturday. Call CitiFest at 419-249-5018.
June 14-18: Holland Strawberry Festival, Community Homecoming Park, 7807 Angola Rd., in Springfield Township. Food, crafts, rides, games, parade on Sunday, rib-eating contest, entertainment, baseball tournament (13 and 14-year olds), men s softball tournament, bingo, queen pageant, toddlers pageant, and strawberry bake-off. Hours are Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday 4 to 11 p.m., and Saturday noon to midnight. Call 419-865-1859.
June 16-18: McClure Radish Festival, McClure Village Park, McClure. Dancing, food, beverages, contests, games, chicken barbecue, cruise-in, and radish recipe contest. Call 419-592-1786.
June 17-18: Art Tatum Jazz Heritage Festival, International Park, Toledo. Saturday 1:30 to 11:30 p.m. and Sunday 2 to 10 p.m. The two-day outdoor program features local, regional, and national jazz acts and vendors selling food, beverages, and merchandise, as well as a special KidsJazz area for jazz lovers ages 2-12, open from 2 to 6 p.m. Call the Toledo Jazz Society at 419-241-5299.
June 21-24: Gibsonburg Homecoming, Williams Park, Gibsonburg.
June 23-25: Celebration Town & Country Festival, Morenci, Mich. Visit www.cityofmorenci.com or call 517-458-6828.
June 23-24: Mayfly Music Festival, Toledo Street, Dundee, Mich. Music, children s programs, and more. Call 734-529-2650.
June 24-25: 41st Crosby Festival of the Arts, Toledo Botanical Garden, 5403 Elmer Drive, Toledo. A juried art show, children s activities, fine art, music, and food. Hours are Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 419-936-2986.
June 25: Portage River Festival, Elmore. Call 419-862-3552 for more information.
July 1: Springfield-Holland Freedom Celebration, 4 p.m., Community Homecoming Park, Holland. Classic car show, carnival rides for kids, chicken dinner, concerts, and a special time designated to honor the military.
July 1-3: Woodville s 4th of July Celebration, Trailmarker Park, Woodville. Midway full of rides and games, food concessions, nightly live entertainment, nightly cash prizes, bicycle giveaway, four-mile run, and fireworks. Call 419-849-2980.
July 4: The Pharm Lights the Night/Family Fest, 4th of July Fireworks, 1 to 10:30 p.m., Promenade and Festival Parks, Toledo. Promenade Park features all day entertainment on the main stage leading up to the largest fireworks show in northwest Ohio at 10 p.m. Festival Park features FamilyFest. The fun hands-on area has activities for children as well as musicians, jugglers, and storytellers. Call 419-249-5018.
July 7-9: Lagrange Street Polish Festival, Polish Village, Toledo. Hours are Friday 5 to 10 p.m., Saturday noon to 10 p.m., and Sunday noon to 7 p.m. A celebration of the neighborhood s Polish heritage featuring games for children, polka bands and dance contests, and a variety of craft and food vendors. Visit www.polishfestival.org.
July 7-9: Delta Chicken Festival, Community Park and high school. Call 419-822-4500.
July 8-9: Toledo Harbor Lighthouse Festival, Maumee Bay State Park, Oregon. Hours are Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 419-691-3788.
July 14-16: 23rd River Raisin Festival, along the banks of the River Raisin, Blissfield, Mich. The theme of this year s event is Jingle Bells in July. Spanning both Bachmayer and Ellis parks, this year s festival will include three stages with free entertainment throughout the weekend, a giant parade through the village on Saturday morning, a carnival, fireworks on Friday night, and the Miss River Raisin Festival Scholarship Pageant. Food vendors, a children s area, tractor pulls, beverage tent, sports tournaments, crafts, lost arts, and more will fill the festival grounds. Visit www.blissfieldchamber.org.
July 14-16: Wauseon Homecoming, downtown Wauseon. Visit www.wauseonchamber.com
July 14-16: Onsted Festival, downtown Onsted, Mich. Visit onstedareachamber.com.
July 14-16: Toledo Irish Festival, International Park, East Toledo. Irish singers, musicians, games, and food. Visit www.toledoirish.com.
July 14-15: Fostoria Glass and Heritage Festival, downtown Fostoria. Entertainment, food, kids games, and other traditional festival activities. Hours are Friday 5 to 11 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Call 888-736-3221 or 419-435-6037.
July 15-16: Oak Ridge Festival, Attica, Ohio, with arts, crafts, historical encampments, and music. Hours are Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit www.oakridgefestival.com.
July 15: BUGFEST! Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, 13229 West State Rt. 2, Oak Harbor. A variety of hands-on stations will be set up to learn about the amazing world of insects. Hours are noon to 4 p.m. Call 419-898-0960 or visit friendsofmageemarsh.org.
July 16: Mill Fest, Providence Metropark, Grand Rapids. A timeline of portable milling equipment from historical museums and private collections, steam and water power demonstrations in the Isaac Ludwig Mill, blacksmithing, tinsmithing, woodcarving, candle-making, other demonstrations, and canal boat rides. Call 419-407-9700.
July 21: Montpelier Bean Days, Montpelier. For more information, call 419-485-4416.
July 21: Archbold Carp Festival in the village s Ruihly Park. Free admission. Call 419-445-4726.
July 27-30: 30th Annual St. George s SummerFest, St. George Cathedral, 3754 Woodley Rd., Toledo. Thursday 5 to 10 p.m.; Friday 5 p.m. to midnight; Saturday 2 p.m. to midnight; Sunday 2 to 9 p.m. Middle Eastern food, children s activities, Middle Eastern dancing, 50/50 raffles, market place, coffee house (Turkish coffee), and more. Call 419-475-7054.
July 28-30: Stony Ridge Festival, Stony Ridge. Friday 4 p.m. to dark; Saturday 9 p.m. to dark; Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Flea markets, music, food, kids rides, and more. Visit pembervillelibrary.org/stonyridge/festival.htm
July 28-30: Hamler Summerfest, Hamler Summerfest Park, State Rt. 109, Hamler, old-fashioned German festival complete with polka dancing, food, and more. Call for information 419-592-1786.
July 29: Toledo Blues Festival, Promenade and Festival parks, downtown Toledo, 2 to 10 p.m. Food, beverages, and a mix of national blues artists. Call 419-249-5018.
July 29-30: Hancock Heritage Days, Riverbend Recreation Area, Findlay. Activities include a Civil War encampment, living history re-enactments, vintage baseball games, hands-on activities for children, artisans demonstrations, period music, appraisals of antiques, and food vendors. Hours are Saturday noon to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday noon to 5 p.m. Call 419-423-4433 or visit www.campvance.com.
Aug. 4-6: Columbia Gas Ribs on the River, Promenade and Festival Parks, downtown Toledo. Barbecue from local and regional vendors and restaurants plus music, soft drinks, and beer. Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Call CitiFest at 419-249-5018.
Aug. 7: Bull Thistle Festival in Normal Grove Park, Fayette. Visit www.villageoffayette.com.
Aug. 10-Aug. 13: Northwest Ohio Rib-Off, Lucas County Fairgrounds, Maumee. Thursday 4 to 9 p.m.; Friday 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Ribs plus children s activities and live music. Call United Health Services at 419-242-9587.
Aug. 11-13: Ohio South of the Border Festival, Perrysburg. Friday and Saturday 5 p.m. to midnight and Sunday 1 to 7 p.m. Ethnic foods, live entertainment, rides, dancing, and games. Call 419-874-4316.
Aug. 12: Metamora Park-O-Rama, Metamora Community Park. Barbecue and parade. Visit www.metamoraohio.org.
Aug. 12-13: River Raisin Jazz Festival V, St. Mary s Park, Monroe, Mich. Free jazz music on the banks of the historic River Raisin, featuring national and regional acts, food, playground for children, downtown art fair, and shopping. Visit www.monroeinfo.com.
Aug. 12: Lake Township Friendship Day, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friendship Park, 27975 Cummings Rd., Lake Township, featuring local and nationally recognized artists work, which is on display and for sale to the general public. Call the Lake Township Friendship Committee at 419-837-5743.
Aug. 16-19: Pemberville Free Fair. Parades, nightly entertainment, contests, quilt show, amusements, and more. This year, the fair honors local soldiers and veterans in a salute to the military. Festivities begin Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. with a kiddie parade. A grand parade will be held Saturday at 1 p.m. A 5-mile race with more than 500 runners is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Friday. Displays of commercial exhibitors, animals, needlework, quilts, produce, and flowers also are planned. Visit www.pembervillefair.org.
Aug. 17-19: Bucyrus Bratwurst Festival, downtown Bucyrus. Call 419-562-BRAT, 419-562-0720, or toll free 866-562-0720.
Aug. 18-19: Taste of Maumee/Maumee Summer Fair. On Friday from 5 to 11 p.m., 13 area restaurants will serve food, and a street concert is planned for the 21 and over crowd. Saturday morning, a parade will start at 10 a.m. Other features include arts and craft booths, entertainment, a kids fun zone, and classic car show. Visit maumeesummerfair.com.
Aug. 20: 32nd annual Birmingham Ethnic Festival, noon to 9 p.m., Consaul Street between Front and Milford. Hungarian and ethnic foods, arts and crafts exhibits, cultural displays, and a variety of music, dance, and entertainment. Visit www.BirminghamEthnicFestival.org.
Aug. 25-27: German-American Festival, Oak Shade Grove, Oregon. Friday 5 p.m. to midnight; Saturday noon to midnight; Sunday noon to 9 p.m. Traditional and modern German music, German-American foods and baked goods, entertainment, children s Hummel look-alike contest, live glockenspiel, soccer games, free parking, children s rides, and more. Visit www.gafsociety.org.
Aug. 26-27: 27th Annual Lenawee County Heritage Festival, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Antique Tractor and Steam Engine Association Property, 7600 Forrister Rd., Adrian, Mich. Live entertainment, car show, living-history camp, Native American living history and dance, lost arts demonstration, sawmill and threshing demonstrations, crafts, flea market, food, and more. Adults, $2; children under 12 admitted free. Call 517-403-0028.
Sept. 2: Historic Port Clinton Perch, Peach, Polka and Pierogi Fest, Port Clinton. Visit historicportclinton.com.
Sept. 2-4: Milan Melon Festival, Town Square, Milan, Ohio. A million-dollar automobile display is planned on Saturday, and a parade is set for Sunday at 2 p.m. Monday features a 10K run for all ages, plus a children s pedal tractor pull. Also planned are three days of arts and crafts displays, rides, free entertainment, and food. Call 419-499-2766 or 419-668-5231.
Sept. 3: RiverFest and Pandemonium VI Fireworks, 5 to10:30 p.m., Promenade and Festival Parks, downtown. The riverfront celebration will feature music, food vendors, and one of the largest fireworks shows in northwest Ohio. Visit www.CitiFest.org.
Sept. 8-10: Greek-American Festival, Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Toledo. Hours are Friday and Saturday 4 p.m. to midnight and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. The festival is a celebration of the Orthodox faith and Greek culture and includes entertainment and food. Visitwww.toledogreekfest.com.
Sept. 8-10: Black Swamp Arts Festival, Main Street downtown Bowling Green. Friday 5 p.m. to midnight; Saturday 10 a.m. to midnight; Sunday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Featuring 100 juried fine art displays from artists across the country Saturday and Sunday. Main stage and food court will be open on Friday. Visit www.blackswamparts.org.
Sept. 9: Treasure Island Day and Butterfly Festival, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Kelleys Island. Search for treasures in an island-wide event with more than 20 unique yard sales as islanders mark the monarch butterflies stopover as they head south for the winter. Call 419-746-2360.
Sept. 9 : Grub N Suds Motorcycle Festival, Elmore. Call 419-862-3552 for more information.
Sept. 9-10: Historical Weekend, Put-in-Bay, South Bass Island. An annual celebration to mark the victory of the American fleet led by Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry over the British fleet on Lake Erie during the War of 1812. Visit www.put-in-bay.com.
Sept. 10: 49th Annual Sylvania Arts and Crafts Festival,9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Starlite Plaza, Sylvania. More than 400 fine artists and craftsmen plus a variety of foods available for purchase. Visit www.sylvaniachamber.org.
Sept. 15-17: Clyde Country Fair, downtown Clyde. A street go-kart race will be held Sunday. Also on tap are free nightly entertainment, rides, crafts, and food. A chicken barbecue and car show is set for Sunday, and a parade will begin at 1 p.m. Saturday. Call 419-547-8693.
Sept. 16: Harrison Rally Day, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., downtown Perrysburg. Marketplace, juried fine arts, nonjuried fine arts and craft booths, food court, parade, children s activities, boat rides on the Maumee River, youth bands, and live entertainment all day. Call the Perrysburg Convention and Visitors Bureau at 419-874-9147.
Sept. 19-23: Annual Apple Butter Making, Sauder Village, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The scent of apples and spices mixed with wood fires and falling leaves signals a change of season. Guests can watch as cider is boiled down, thinly sliced apples are added, and they are cooked in copper kettles over an open fire. There will be plenty of other extra apple-related activities going on throughout the historic village as well as apple treats for sale in the Bakery, Sweet Shoppe and Barn Restaurant. Located at 22611 State Rt. 2 Archbold. Call 1-800-590-9755 or visit www.saudervillage.org.
Sept. 22-24: Clinton Fall Festival, Clinton, Mich. Arts and crafts, entertainment, food, and more. Call 517-456-7396.
Sept. 22-24: Port Clinton Area Harvest Festival, Port Clinton. Call 419-734-1805 for more information.
Sept. 22-24: Luckey Fall Festival, Luckey, Ohio. Antique tractor pull, car show, flea market, food, and entertainment.
Sept. 23: Roche de Boeuf Festival, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., downtown Waterville. Live entertainment, car show, crafts, lost arts, demonstrations, and food. Call 419-878-5188.
Sept. 23: Lake Erie Waterfowlers Festival, Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, 13229 West State Rt. 2, Oak Harbor. Duck calling, retriever trials, live waterfowl exhibit, wagon rides, fishing pond, decoy contest, and vendors. Hours 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 419-898-0960 or visitwww.friendsofmageemarsh.org.
Sept. 30-Oct. 1: 4th Annual They Walked Here Before Us: A Woodland Indian Celebration, Buttonwood Park, Perrysburg. Opens 9 a.m. Native American gathering with singing, dancing, arts, crafts, foods, vendors, and more. Also a children s tent, wildlife tent, Woodland Indian Village, double ballfield, and more. Call 419-381-7042 and 419-698-9575.
Oct. 7-8: Hayes Civil War Encampment, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. More than 700 Civil War re-enactors will re-create life during the war between the states, including battle re-enactments. Event admission is $3. Hayes Presidential Center, corner Hayes and Buckland avenues, Fremont, Ohio. 800-998-PRES or www.rbhayes.org.
Oct. 7-8: MacQueen Orchard s 25th Annual Apple Butter Festival & Craft Show, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., MacQueen s Orchard, Holland. Apple-butter making, pick your own apples, cider making, craft show, pony, horse and wagon, and kiddie rides. Also food, live entertainment, and apple pie contest. Visit macqueenorchards.com.
Oct. 7-8: Autumn Fest, Elmore.
Oct. 8: Black Swamp Festival, Pearson Metropark, Oregon. A celebration of the history of the Great Black Swamp with activities, crafts, music, and food. An evening lantern tour is set for Oct. 7. Call 419-407-9700.
Oct. 8: Grand Rapids Applebutter Festival, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., downtown Grand Rapids. Apple-butter making, farm exhibits, military and colonial life re-enactments, pioneer demonstrations, juried crafts and collectibles, and fall foods. Visit applebutterfest.org.
Oct. 13-15: Oak Harbor Apple Festival, downtown Oak Harbor. Main events on Saturday include announcement of the royalty court, grand parade at 2 p.m., talent show, and an adult dance. Sunday s schedule includes more family entertainment, local youth talent, car show, and adult 5K run. Rides, games, and food fill the downtown streets all weekend. Visit www.oakharborohio.net.
Oct. 14: Lighthouse Festival, Marblehead Lighthouse State Park. Call the Marblehead Chamber 419-798-9777 or visitwww.marbleheadpeninsula.com. Also, the Keeper s House Open House, Wolcott House, Marblehead. Music, bean soup, corn bread and more. A variety of activities for the whole family. For more information visitwww.thekeepershouse.org.
Oct. 14: Fall Festival, Lakeside, Ohio. Call the Lakeside Association at 1-866-952-5374.
Oct. 14-15: Harvest Happenings, Osborn Park, 2910 Perkins Ave., Huron, Ohio. A fall festival with Firelands Pioneer Power Antique Engine and Tractor Show, homemade food, folk arts and craft vendors, hayrides, classic car show, petting zoo, nature programs, and family-friendly activities. Visit www.eriemetroparks.org.
Oct. 14-15: 13th Annual Appleumpkin and Antique Street Fair Festival, downtown Tecumseh, Mich. Arts and crafts, antique fair, music, make-it-take-it booth, scarecrows, and free trolley rides to Kapnick Orchard s Festival. Call 517-424-6003.
Oct. 14: Fostoria Rail Festival, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in downtown Fostoria. Events include a soup cook-off, historic train information, games for the kids, train swap meet, showing of Polar Express movie, safety demonstration, and wheels-to-rails car and bike show. Visit www.fostoriatrains.com.
Oct. 22: Milan Historical Museum s Settlers Weekend, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Milan, Ohio. All the museum buildings are free and open to the public. Music, antique power displays, hands-on demonstrations of old-time crafts, kiddie tractor pull, horse-drawn carriage rides, and more. Visit www.milanhistory.org.
Oct. 28: Pemberville s Autumn Fest on the River, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., downtown Pemberville. Sponsored by the Pemberville Freedom Area Historical Society. Historical re-enactments, living historians, specialty foods, and artisan demonstrations. Call 419-287-3274.
Oct. 28: Tombstone Derby Family Halloween Celebration, Elmore. Call 419-862-3552 for more information.
Nov. 25: Pemberville s Christmas In The Village, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Carriage rides, holiday open houses, strolling musicians. Call 419-287-3274.
Nov. 25: Olde Fashioned Christmas, Oak Harbor. Call the Oak Harbor Chamber 419-898-0479 or visit www.oakharborohio.net.
Nov. 26: Wooden Feather Day, noon to 4 p.m., Magee Marsh Wildlife Area, Oak Harbor. A day to vote for your favorite wooden feather. Enjoy homemade cookies fireside. Call 419-898-0960 or visit friendsofmageemarsh.org.