Reenactors at Pyrate Fest on Put In Bay (photo courtesy of Put In Bay Official Tourism Bureau)
Travel | Family Fun | History

Go Back in Time at 5 Living-History Festivals

Explore the Revolutionary war or the life of a pirate at these five festivals that transport visitors to the past. 

Pyrate Fest | June 28-30
Ahoy there, matey! This weekend-long celebration of the pirate life at Put-in Bay welcomes visitors to unleash their inner buccaneer with cannon firings, children's activities and a festival marketplace. For over a decade, summer travelers have dressed up as pirates and invaded this Lake Erie island’s downtown harbor. Put-in-Bay’s DeRiviera Park hosts many of the events, and kids even have the chance to meet a mermaid. It’s a pirate’s life for free, so come live like the swashbuckling sailors did.   

Reenactors at Revolution on the Tuscarawas in Bolivar (photo Courtesy of Fort Laurens Museum Facebook)

Revolution on the Tuscarawas | July 13-14
The war for American independence comes alive at Fort Laurens in Bolivar during Revolution on the Tuscarawas. Visitors are invited to the site of Ohio’s only Revolutionary War fort to witness a live reenactment complete with costumed rifleman and musket fire. There is also music as well as artillery, medicine-making and cooking demonstrations throughout the event. Children 12 and younger get in for free, making this an educational and affordable celebration of American independence that the whole family can enjoy.

Costumed reenactors at the Colonial Trade Fair in Loudonville (Courtesy of Wolf Creek GristMill)

Colonial Trade Fair | August 10-11
Wolf Creek Grist Mill takes a journey back in time each summer to centuries earlier, when Native Americans lived on the land that is now Loudonville. The fair allows visitors to see what life was like on the frontier with costumed reenactors showcasing how people cooked, camped and lived in the 18th century. This family-friendly event is free to the public and a great way to bring history to life for little ones during the summer months.

Reenactors at the Great Trail Festival (Courtesy of Great Trail Festival Facebook)

Great Trail Festival | August 24-25; August 31-Sept. 2
The history of early America beckons travelers to visit Malvern for the Great Trails Festival, which is the largest festival in Ohio that recreates the time of the French and Indian War. With kettle-cooked meals and clog dancing, attendees can participate in several unique experiences, including the Storybook Craft Village. This section of the festival offers visitors a chance to browse folk art, keepsakes and handcrafted gifts to take home. Afterwards, watch the buffalo graze or listen to the Scottish pipers play.

Girl petting animals at Yankee Peddler Festival

Yankee Peddler Festival | Sept. 7-8; 14-15; 21-22
Get a glimpse of what life was like 200 years ago at the Yankee Peddler Festival in Canal Fulton. This free event takes place over three weekends in September. Attendees are encouraged to visit the old-time vendors selling handmade goods. In addition to selling products, vendors provide trade demonstrations and dress in period-appropriate attire. Spread out across 75 acres at Clay’s Park Resort, the festival also offers a flavor of what meals were like from 1776 to 1825 with food cooked over open fire.