Women laying on a towel, crab, bird and kayak illustration (photo by iStock)

On the Water: 5 Great Summer Events

The days of summer are hot! Cool off with these events that make a splash on our state's rivers and lakes.

40th Annual Walleye Festival
This Memorial Day weekend, Port Clinton’s annual festival returns with family activities. From May 27 to 31, the festival at Waterworks Park kicks off summer with free live concerts, a parade, educational programs for kids to learn about fishing and a kids fishing derby. An array of food vendors, carnival rides and games round out the fun. portclintonchamber.com

Ohio River Paddlefest
Make waves on Aug. 7 as you travel 9 miles using kayaks, canoes and paddleboards at Cincinnati's Ohio River Paddlefest, the largest paddling event in the nation. (A 4.5-mile half-paddle is also available!) Celebrate with live music, exhibitors and food trucks during both the Outdoors for All Expo on Aug. 6 and the Finish Line Festival immediately following the paddle. ohioriverpaddlefest.org

Cleveland Race Week 
Cleveland Race Week, based at Edgewater Yacht Club on Lake Erie, reels in over 1,800 participants with its multiple race courses and large variety of classes and divisions. Founded in 1980, the Lake Erie sailing regatta runs June 18 to 27. After canceling last summer, the race week is finally embracing its 40th anniversary. clevelandraceweek.com

Celina Lake Festival
Centered around Mercer County’s Grand Lake St. Marys, the Celina Lake Festival provides waterside fun from July 23 to 25. This year, events include live music, rides, fireworks on Friday and the grand parade on Saturday complete with firetrucks and high school bands. The classic car show and cruise-in is a weekend favorite. celinalakefest.com

2021 Better Half Tour
From May to October, the Better Half Tour hosts five bass-fishing tournaments, and this summer, four are hooked on northeast Ohio. The mixed-doubles circuit requires one female and one male per team to compete for prizes. Whether you’re a participant or spectator, enjoy the events at Lake Milton, Mosquito Lake, Berlin Lake and Portage Lakes, as well as New York’s Chautauqua Lake. betterhalftour.com