If you are traveling through Ohio this summer…
And you are looking for a fun day of events for the family or a weekend of food and music with friends, swing by these festivals. From cool jazz and hot ribs to ice cream and fun festivities, these annual festivals are sure to feed your body and your soul.
Jazz and Rib Fest: Columbus
1979 was the first year that Music in the Air presented Jazz in July a series that celebrated jazz through music, film and visual arts performances. It was held at a variety of locations throughout the City of Columbus’ parks and facilities. The activities in the first year included a Jazz Film Festival and art exhibit. Lunchtime performances were presented by the Jazz Arts Group weekly at the Cultural Arts Center in the courtyard. This was the start of what would become the annual Jazz & Rib Fest and Columbus’ largest free outdoor music festival. The tradition continues today with and has become one of the town’s most anticipated annual festivals.
Taste of Cincinnati: Cincinnati
The Taste of Cincinnati is held annually over Memorial Day weekend in downtown Cincinnati. The festival started the same year as the Jazz and Rib Fest and has gone on to be the nation’s longest running culinary arts festival. In the beginning, the festival was a one-day celebration in Piatt Park and had roughly 5,000 attendees. As the event expanded to a three-day celebration the city began to expand the scope. In 2007, it was moved to Fifth Street to be closer to downtown’s big hotel chains, the renovated Fountain Square, and to be near accessible parking. In recent years the attendee list has grown to 500,000, making the festival one of the largest in the nation. In addition to the 40 restaurants that participate there are also live musical performances throughout the celebration.
Utica Sertoma Ice Cream Festival: Utica
If you are looking for a fun, family-oriented festival check out this annual ice cream fest. This weekend-long event is filled with entertainment for the entire family. With more than 90 artisans and crafters from Ohio and nearby states exhibiting their wares, pony rides, a car show, a motorcycle show and more, there is something to excite and entertain the whole family. Highlights of the weekend include an ice cream eating contest and a kiddie tractor pull on Sunday. There is also a variety of food tents from which you can sample local fare and entertainment from local and regional bands.