Festival season is upon us! From foodie favorites to community festivals, holiday celebrations to summer fairs, Cincinnati comes alive during the summer. With rides, games, prizes and funnel cake, summer festivals are guaranteed fun for the entire family. From May through August, each weekend brings another opportunity for festival fun — and we hope you make it a very festive summer!
Our guide to the best summer festivals in Cincinnati features 29 can’t-miss fests and events for your family!
May 4-6 at Fountain Square
Enjoy dance, culture, kids’ activities – and lots of authentic Latin American cuisine.
May 11-13 at Coney Island
The Appalachian Festival is one of Cincinnati’s most popular annual festivals, drawing approximately 10,000 people over the three-day event each Mother’s Day weekend. An additional 1,500 school children take part in “Education Day” on the first day of the festival.
Asian Food Fest
May 12-13 in Washington Park
This vibrant community festival celebrates culture and cuisine from Asian countries including Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, China, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia. While food is definitely the heart of this festival, this year will also feature live entertainment, local craft and Asian beer, fun family activities, and more. Admission to the festival is free, and vendors will be offering a mouthwatering tour of Asian foods, in the form of small plates priced from $2-$6.
Buckeye BBQ Fest
May 18 and 19 at The Square at Union Centre
The 2017 Buckeye BBQ Fest will feature two nights of non-stop Blues from 11 top Blues Bands, adult beverages, 16 BBQ vendors, 10 dessert vendors, a Classic Car Show and more. On Saturday, there will be a Kids Zone with inflatable bouncy rides and a petting zoo from noon until 7 p.m.
Taste of Cincinnati
May 26-28 at Fountain Square
Taste of Cincinnati is held every Memorial Day weekend in downtown Cincinnati, and is now the nation’s longest running culinary arts festival. This three-day festival signals the start of summer in Cincy!
May 31 – June 3 at the Frontier Days Grounds on Victor Stier Drive in Downtown Milford
Games, rides, food, a parade and more – don’t miss the festival voted ‘Best of the East’ by Cincy Magazine 2013, 2014 and 2015!
June 1-3 at Harvest Home Park
CincItalia offers a fun, festival atmosphere celebrating all things Italian: a wide selection of great food, wine, and beer… lively music to sing and dance to…cooking demonstrations…culture & travel talks…games and rides for kids… raffles and games for adults, including a Main Award with a grand prize of $7,500!
June 1-3 at Our Lord the King Parish in Mt. Lookout
Enjoy magicians, balloon artists, great food and drink, and games of chance throughout the weekend. All You Can Ride bracelets will be available Saturday and Sunday. Be sure to stop under the KidsFest tent too: where you’ll find a variety of exciting games and prizes for all ages and great “Kid/Family” raffle packages.
A “Taste of Lebanon” Festival
June 2-3 at St Anthony of Padua Maronite Church
Taste delicious and freshly prepared Mediterranean cuisine, like Kibbee, Tabouleh, Baklawa, Grape Leaves, Falafel and much more! Vegetarian options are available. Enjoy live entertainment, shopping and games. This family friendly event is free admission, free parking, and fun for all ages!
St. Gertrude Parish Festival
June 8-10 at St. Gertrude Parish in Madeira
Over 60 fun booths and rides; festival fare; live entertainment; a super-sized auction booth; plus lots of raffles, including a “reverse” raffle to win a full year’s tuition!
Sayler Park Sustains
June 9 from 12-10 pm at Nelson Sayler Memorial Park
Sayler Park Sustains educates and empowers festival-goers to bring DIY sustainable practices into their daily lives. The festival was born out of love for the neighborhood, and its unique agricultural heritage, and features free music and activities for kids, food trucks, local beer, vendors and raffles.
CTFA Street Food Festival
June 15 from 11 am – 10 pm at Summit Park
Features live music, kid-friendly activities and, of course, lots of great food from Cincy’s top food trucks!
Tusculum Street Fest
June 16 from 2-10 pm on Eastern Avenue between Delta and Stanley Avenues
This year’s event will feature live music, great local food, craft beer, kid’s activities, and much more!
Panegyri Greek Festival
June 22-24 at Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
Authentic Greek cuisine, pastries, music, dancing, raffles, games and amusement rides. Admission is $2/person over 12. Free parking at and shuttle from St. Xavier High School.
June 23 in Downtown Cincinnati/Sawyer Point
The Cincinnati Pride Festival presented by Pure Romance is a family-friendly, fun event that takes place at Sawyer Point Park on the fourth Saturday in June. Thanks to the generous support from the festival’s sponsors, it is FREE for everyone! Food, drinks, vendors and entertainment fill your Saturday afternoon with fun.
Northside 4th of July Parade and Festival
July 3rd and 4th in Downtown Northside
A free, music-filled festival in the Heart of Northside with the most colorful parade in town!
Red, Rhythm and Boom
July 3 from 4-10 pm at Mason Municipal Campus
The fun begins at 4 pm with access to carnival and kid zone activities such as a zipline, extreme air trampolines, interactive inflatables, a climbing wall, bounce houses, strolling entertainment and more! Stage entertainment will kick off at 6 pm with a skydiving exhibit presented by Start Skydiving and continue throughout the night until a fireworks display presented by Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks at 10 pm. Grammy-nominated band The Fray is this year’s featured artist.
Red, White and Blue Ash
July 4 at Summit Park
Head to Summit Park on July 4th for an amazing day of family fun, great music and fantastic fireworks!
St. Thomas More JulyFest
July 13-18 at St. Thomas More (800 Ohio Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45245)
St. Thomas More’s annual festival includes food, drink, games and entertainment. JulyFest and Stratus Helicopters have teamed again up to present “The Great JulyFest Golf Ball Drop – Chapter 3”! Stratus Helicopters will be conducting the incredible golf ball drop on Sunday, July 9th, AND they will be running a booth all 3 days at the St. Thomas More JulyFest providing info on Stratus Helicopter services to all festival patrons!
Bastille Day Summer Festival
July 14 in Downtown Montgomery
Montgomery celebrates our sister city, Neiully-Plaisance, France with this annual fundraising street festival that helps to fund the many activities we do as a sister city. Bastille Day has a kid’s area with games and pony rides, two stages of live entertainment, 15+ food vendors, domestic and craft brews, wines and more in a festive setting. The City closes down Montgomery Road at Cooper to Remington on a Saturday mid-July and runs a fun-packed day from noon to 11 pm.
Crazy Cardboard Regatta
July 14 at Voice of America MetroPark
BOATS! BOATS! BOATS! Cardboard boats, that is. The MetroParks of Butler County presents the 8th Annual Crazy Cardboard Regatta on Saturday, July 14th. Do you think you’ve got what it takes? Then sign your team up to build your own cardboard boat and join the amazing race around the lake! Sea legs aren’t quite ready; you say? No problem! Vendors, entertainment, activities, and more await you upon shore. So, come on out for some summer family fun, and don’t forget to keep calm and boat on!
Macy’s Kids, Cultures, Critters and Crafts Festival
July 18 at the Cincinnati Zoo A day of fun for kids at the Cincinnati Zoo for just $1? This is perhaps our #1 event of the summer!
Immaculate Heart of Mary Festival
July 20-22 at IHM (7820 Beechmont Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45255)
Festival features kids’ activities, food and a great musical lineup!
Greater Anderson Days
July 27-29 at Beech Acres Park
Since 1999, Greater Anderson Days has become THE place to be for both businesses and festival goers. This popular event hosts thousands of people over the three-day weekend, and features live music, games, rides, delicious food, “Anderson’s Got Talent” competition, and an amazing fireworks display by Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks, courtesy of the Beechmont Automotive Group. The fireworks display is a perfect finale to this grand community weekend!
SMOY Fest 2018
July 27-29 at St. Margaret of York Church in Loveland
This year the fun begins on Friday, July 27th at 6 pm and last until 10 pm Sunday, July 29th. Come on down and enjoy an evening of great food, drinks, gambling, awesome rides, and rockin entertainment! Fun for the entire family.
Glier’s Goetta Fest
Aug. 2-5 at Newport on the Levee
A weekend stuffed from top to bottom with live entertainment, family-focused goetta games, and super inventive food, what makes it all so grand is the gathering of the goetta-lovin’ community who travels from all corners of the country, to decorate with festivity and joy Northern Kentucky’s Newport on the Levee at the breathtaking Ohio Riverfront.
Ohio River Paddlefest
Aug. 4 at Gilday Riverside Park
Paddlefest starts at Schmidt Recreation Complex in Cincinnati’s East End and takes out at the Gilday Riverside Park. Enjoy the FREE parking, easy boat drop off & pick up and the speedy shuttle bus ride back to your vehicle. Food trucks, vendors and exhibits will be at the “Finish Line Festival!”
Cardboard Boat Regatta
Aug. 18 in New Richmond, OH
New Richmond, Ohio, America’s Cardboard Boat Racing Capital will celebrate the 26th Annual International Regatta this year! These unique water craft are powered & crewed by 1-10 unique people, ranging in age from 6-86 years young coming from places formerly unknown in Cardboard River Boat Racing including, Honolulu, Finland, Montana, Colorado, Lexington, Falicity, Mason, Landon, West Chester, Lebanon, Loveland, Columbus, Lancaster, Athens & even some as far away as Bridgetown over on the “sun in your eyes” side of Cincinnati.
Clifton Gorge Music & Arts Festival
Aug. 24 and 25
A fun way to end the summer, the annual Clifton Gorge Music & Arts Festival will be held August 24th and 25th, 2017 in the Village of Clifton alongside the iconic Clifton Gorge. The event features live music, displays of arts and crafts, as well as vendors for shopping and eating, activities for the kids, plus a beer tent. Free admission and parking!