Verandah Concerts

102 Days + Nights of Summer: August 2018

Enjoy a Verandah Concert at the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums, take on Steel Vengeance at Cedar Point and witness the Battle of Ohio.

Whether you’re looking for small-town festivals or big-city events, great live music or outdoor fun, we have plenty of ideas to fill your calendar this summer. Select a month below and check out our suggestions for each day. If you’re looking for more Ohio happenings, visit our searchable event calendar at


8/1: Whether you go for the midway rides, festival fare, great entertainment or simply the memories of summers past, the Ohio State Fair knows how to deliver. Revisit your favorite attractions, and enjoy this year’s musical lineup featuring Cheap Trick, Reba McEntire, The Commodores and more. July 25–Aug. 5,

 8/2: Smale Riverfront Park, a 32-acre green space wedged between the Ohio River and downtown Cincinnati, is the Queen City’s favorite summer playground. The park offers an urban oasis for exercise and relaxation, plus events such as Family Fun Day with face painting, a balloon artist, lawn games and more.

8/3: Get a taste of the best that Marietta has to offer during First Fridays. Shops are open late and restaurants offer diverse menus, while musicians and artists from the area show off their talents. Locals and travelers alike relish the peaceful, friendly lifestyle of this historic riverfront town.

8/4: “Down the Rabbit Hole” we go with the Zac Brown Band. The Grammy Award-winning country music act known for hits such as “Chicken Fried” and “My Old Man” performs under the stars at Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park. American gospel and soul singer Leon Bridges is the evening’s special guest.

8/5: Antique airplanes meet classic cars during Wings-n-Wheels in Trumbull County. The Ernie Hall Aviation Museum hosts vintage vehicles and aircraft, along with music, food, aviation memorabilia, exhibits and a tribute to local veteran and aeronautical pioneer, Ernest C. Hall.

8/6: Cedar Point parted ways with its classic wooden roller coaster Mean Streak in 2016, but a new record-breaking monster has taken its place: Steel Vengeance, a steel-on-wood hybrid coaster, treats riders to a 90-degree initial drop and almost 30 seconds of airtime (the most of any on Earth).
Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors
8/7: A sensory feast filled with immersive installations and groundbreaking paintings, “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” travels to the Cleveland Museum of Art. Explore the groundbreaking work of the legendary Japanese artist, including seven of her “Infinity Mirror Rooms.” July 7–Sept. 30,

8/8: Violinist Lindsey Stirling merges classical music with the infectious energy of dance and electronica music on her studio albums and during live shows that have sold more than half a million headlining tickets worldwide. The Billboard chart-topping artist takes the stage at Columbus’ outdoor music venue Express Live.

8/9: Sometimes the best adventure is in your own backyard. That’s the case at the Rivers, Trails and Ales Festival, which takes advantage of Marietta’s location at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers. Whether you paddle, hike or bike, local craft beers serve as a pleasant recharge. Aug. 9–12,

8/10: A rainbow spreads across the sky above Marysville during the All Ohio Balloon Festival, but it’s not just colorful orbs taking flight. This year, the balloons also take the shape of Darth Vader, Yoda, Uncle Sam and other unique creations. Aug. 9–11,

8/11: Paul Thorn delivers a mix of country, blues and Southern rock alongside the sweet gospel sounds of the five-time Grammy Award-winning Blind Boys of Alabama at Dayton’s Levitt Pavilion. The new amphitheater offers 30 free concerts this summer, featuring a lineup of local, national and international musicians.

8/12: Painting, pottery, ceramics, fiber art, metalwork, jewelry, photography and more are all fair game at the Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival. This juried event in Cambridge features nearly 100 artists from across the country, plus demonstrations and visual-art performances. Aug. 10–12,
8/13: Consider this the seventh-inning stretch of summer. As the season winds down, Ohio’s Major League Baseball teams once again face off head to head. This time, the Cleveland Indians travel to Great American Ball Park to challenge the Cincinnati Reds on their home field. Aug. 13–15,

8/14:When an Amish widow decides to teach a weekend quilting class, she doesn’t expect a biker, a Marine and a quarrelsome couple to be in the mix of pupils. Laugh along to the Broadway-style musical “Half-Stitched” at the Ohio Star Theater. July 11–Aug. 29,

8/15: Music isn’t the only attraction at Nelsonville Parade of the Hills, featuring Sail On: Beach Boys Tribute Band and Ohio’s own Elvis tribute artist Dwight Icenhower. Parades, queen contests, a pie contest and auction, the Ohio State Fiddling Contest and more round out the schedule. Aug. 15–18,
National Tractor Pulling Championships
8/16: Gear up for the 52nd National Tractor Pulling Championships. Bowling Green transforms into Pulltown USA for this popular event that brings a heavyweight daily lineup, ranging from four-wheel-drive trucks to super farm tractors to modified minis. Aug. 16–18,
8/17: Roll up hungry to The Columbus Food Truck Festival. More than 50 food trucks, trailers and carts from Ohio and Nashville converge at the Scioto Mile to showcase their grub, from tacos to cupcakes. Aug. 17–18,
8/18: Some gravestones in Mound Cemetery date back two centuries, and many have been so worn down by the elements their inscriptions are barely legible. Discover the symbolism, both apparent and hidden, found on these gravestones during The Castle Historic House Museum’s Cemetery Tours.

8/19: Perrysburg’s Levis Commons is already known for great shopping, dining and entertainment. But the outdoor shopping center’s annual Levis Commons Fine Art Fair brings more than 130 artists and artisans working in a range of mediums to town for a two-day juried art fair. Aug. 18–19,

8/20: Harness racing, fine arts, horseshoe pitching and a High School Marching Band Spectacular are just the start to the fun at the Great Darke County Fair. Come for the packed schedule of events and stay for the music, including a Sunday concert by Big & Rich with special guest Tracy Lawrence. Aug. 17–25,

8/21: Spanning 2 acres, the new children’s garden at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is inspiring from the ground up. All ages can enjoy the hands-on activities at the Nature Play Zone. Wade through the Sandstone Creek and reach for the treetops on the Canopy Walk.

8/22: On select Wednesdays each summer, the former home of President Rutherford B. Hayes hosts Verandah Concerts, as visitors relax on Spiegel Grove’s shady, tree-filled lawn. For this season’s final performance, the North Coast Big Band plays tunes from the World War II era.

8/23: “Shattered (Turn The Car Around),” “That Was a Crazy Game of Poker” and “Hey Girl” are a few songs you can expect when O.A.R. takes the stage. The rock band performs at Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica, a covered riverside venue that uses the city of Cleveland’s skyline as a breathtaking backdrop.

8/24: Enjoy live entertainment, art displays and activities for the kids at Greene County’s Clifton Gorge Music & Arts Festival. While you’re there, check out the Historic Clifton Mill, one of the largest water-powered gristmills still in existence. Aug. 24–25,

8/25: Raise a stein at northwest Ohio’s annual German-American Festival. Known as the Toledo area’s largest and oldest ethnic festival, you don’t have to be German to embrace the heritage with authentic food, beer, music and, of course, dancing. Prost! Aug. 24–26,

8/26: Experience colonial America during the Great Trail Arts & Crafts Festival in Carroll County. Spanning two weekends, the festival is a celebration of American folk art and contemporary and country crafting, and you just might find the perfect gift for loved ones back home. Aug. 25–26, Sept. 1–3,

8/27: Coney Island has come a long way since 1886, when it was a 400-acre apple orchard on the banks of the Ohio River. It’s now a favorite summer destination for thrill rides and fun, and adults and children alike can soar on the updated Python roller coaster, one of the park’s most popular attractions.

8/28: If your garden didn’t work out last year, now’s the time to work on your green thumb. The Toledo Zoo & Aquarium’s Garden Tour Series brings you face to face with a horticulturalist who can offer insight into a variety of landscape issues that affect gardens and how to improve them.

8/29: The SamJam Bluegrass Festival returns to the Pike County Fairgrounds. Enjoy Grammy winners and local favorites alike, including Rhonda Vincent & The Rage, Dailey & Vincent, Lonesome River Band and Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. Aug. 29–Sept. 2,

8/30: The Great Geauga County Fair stretches back to 1823, making it Ohio’s oldest continuous county fair. The agricultural event looks a bit different these days, with more than 2,000 farm animals, rides, games and live music along with chicken-flying, frog-jumping and rooster-crowing contests. Aug. 30–Sept. 3,

8/31: If the flaky layers of spanakopita and the tender souvlaki cooked over an open flame aren’t enough to get you to the 46th annual Greek Fest at Columbus’ Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, the folk dancers, Hellenic Singers, cooking lessons and authentic shopping will. Aug. 31–Sept. 3,

Photo Credits: Infinity Mirrors: Courtesy of Cleveland Museum of Art; National Tractor Pulling Championships: Courtesy of National Tractor Pulling Championships