Youth dancers performing at the Cincinnati Celtic Festival (photo courtesy of the Cincinnati Celtic Festival)
Travel

Celebrate Culture and Heritage at 10 Ohio Festivals

Learn about cultures from across the globe at these festivals featuring food, music and activities for families. 

Guinness Cincinnati Celtic Festival | July 12-14 
Downtown Cincinnati celebrates the culture of the Emerald Isle as this annual festival returns to the riverfront. This free event put on by the local Irish pub Red Leprechaun spans a full weekend filled with music, authentic cuisine, games, competitions and a traditional Mass. Two stages host a variety of live music and dance acts. Traditional fare from shepherd’s pie to fish and chips is on the menu and can be enjoyed while watching the Celtic Idol and Reddest Hair contests, which take place on Saturday.

Live music performance at the Dublin Irish Festival (photo courtesy of the Dublin Irish Festival)Dublin Irish Festival | Aug. 2-4
Anyone looking to get in touch with their Irish heritage (or wish they had some) will find what they are looking for during the annual Dublin Irish Festival. Held at Dublin’s Coffman Park, an estimated 100,000 guests attend for the three-day event each year. Enjoy live music and performances across seven different stages, sample plenty of Irish eats and take part in whiskey tastings. Guests can also watch traditional highland games, try their hand at darts, participate in a 5K and shop from more than 90 vendors.

Cleveland Puerto Rican Parade and Cultural Festival | Aug. 3-4 
Since the 1960s, Cleveland residents of Puerto Rican Heritage have hosted a parade highlighting their culture, and that tradition has continued in the years since, becoming the Cleveland Puerto Rican Parade and Cultural Festival. This free event at MetroHealth Hospital’s Quad Park kicks off on Aug. 3 with live performances and food vendors dishing out Puerto Rican fare and continues Sunday with the parade. The parade begins at 11 a.m. with both floats and cars as well as people in elaborate and colorful costumes.

Costumed guests at Dayton's Germanfest Picnic (photo courtesy of Germanfest Picnic)Germanfest Picnic | Aug. 9-11
Grab your lederhosen and head to Dayton’s beloved Germanfest Picnic. This three-day celebration of German traditions is held in the St. Anne’s Hill historic district, one of the city’s first German neighborhoods. Attendees are invited to dress the part while indulging in delights such as schnitzel and bratwurst and sipping on draft beer. Enjoy live music, check out the German fashion show featuring some of the best authentic garb on Saturday afternoon and attend the Polka Mass on Sunday morning.

Festival Latino | Aug. 9-10
After receiving overwhelming support during its inaugural year in 1996, Festival Latino has been celebrating Latino culture in Columbus ever since. The festival, which is presented by CAPA, returns to Genoa Park with performances from musicians such as Brenda Starr and Tony Vega. Information tents and workshops allow attendees to learn more about Latino culture and family activities keep younger visitors engaged. In between activities, be sure to stop by vendor tents and sample delicious Latino fare.

Costumed Dancers at Festival of India in Sylvania (photo courtesy of Festival of India)Festival of India | Aug. 11
Join around 5,000 attendees in celebrating the 34th year of the Festival of India in Sylvania. This free event brings the Desi culture to Ohio in an experience the entire family will enjoy. Partake in scrumptious Desi delights such as samosas and pulav while watching traditional dances by performers in striking, colorful dress. The festival, which is held at Centennial Terrace, also offers authentic shopping opportunities, a climbing wall, kids activities and henna tattoo artists.

Guests gathered at the Feast of the Assumption in Cleveland's Little Italy Neighborhood (photo courtesy of Feast of the Assumption)Feast of the Assumption | Aug. 15-18
Visit Cleveland for a four-day celebration marking the Feast of the Assumption, which acknowledges the assumption of the Virgin Mary into Heaven. Over the course of the feast, Mayfield Road in the city’s Little Italy neighborhood transforms into a festival space full of food, inflatables, games and activities. Feast on some of the most authentic Italian fare in the region against a backdrop of live music. A solemn daytime procession and the celebration of multiple Mass services are also held to mark the religious nature of the event.

Dancers performing at the Greater Dayton Lebanese Festival (photo courtesy of the Greater Dayton Lebanese Festival)Greater Dayton Lebanese Festival | Aug. 23-25
Marking its 31st year, the Greater Dayton Lebanese Festival sets up along Nutt Road for a three-day celebration that runs Aug. 23 through 25. This free festival aims to honor and celebrate the traditions of Lebanese culture while educating the public about this nation along the Mediterranean Sea. Sample tasty cuisine, such as za’atar and shawarma and enjoy traditional Lebanese music and dance performances. There will also be a Mass celebrated at The Maronite Church that uses a mixture of English, Arabic and Syriac dialects.

Live dance performance at the Hungarian Festival in Parma (photo courtesy of the Hungarian Festival)Hungarian Festival | Sept. 1
Ohio’s largest and most authentic Hungarian festival returns to Parma for its 68th year on Labor Day. Head to the city’s German Central Park for a day full of music, food, folk dancing and more. Little ones will love the live animal show and there will be plenty of vendors to shop from while enjoying genuine Hungarian dishes. Folk dance lessons will be provided so that families can partake in the fun together.