It just isn’t summer without festivals – the rides, the games, the funnel cakes! From Memorial Day to Labor Day, there’s guaranteed to be an event made just for you. Jot down the date of your “can’t miss” festival from our list here!
Attend an Outdoor Music Festival
Downtown Dayton comes to life July 24-26 with the sights and sounds of Ireland, Scotland and Wales at the annual Dayton Celtic Festival. Families can enjoy live musical and dance performances, cultural demonstrations, children’s activities and authentic cuisine.
Enjoy the Arts
Art enthusiasts should mark their calendars for August 9, when one of the most popular Dayton-area art festivals returns for its 27th year! Art on the Commons features fine arts and crafts by 100 talented artists from around the country. Works for display and sale include jewelry, ceramics, paintings, photography, metals, watercolor, sculpture, glass, fibers and wood creations. Entertainment is scheduled throughout the day and concessions are also available. The festival is slated for 11 am – 5 pm at Kettering’s Lincoln Park Civic Commons.
A Cultural Celebration
On June 18, Fraze Pavilion is transformed into an Austrian village for Spass Nacht (or “Fun Night”) in honor of Kettering’s sister city inSteyr, Austria. Grab your lederhosen and join the fun at this annual festival complete with authentic food, beverages, polka music and live entertainment. The festivities will take place throughout Lincoln Park beginning at 5:30 pm.
Church Festival Fun
Kettering’s Ascension Church Festival is always a local favorite with a lineup of games, rides and entertainment. Be sure to pick up a souvenir t-shirt while you’re there, which is designed by the winner of an annual contest held for Ascension church members in the eighth grade and under. This year’s festival takes place June 26-27.
Did you know that the banana split has its roots in Wilmington, OH? The Banana Split Festival on June 12-13 features game, rides, crafts, free concerts, entertainment, a classic car show and of course, a banana split eating contest!
Dayton’s Montgomery County Fair is a must for local families with fair rides, games and concessions. What makes this event truly special though, are the myriad 4H shows and the generations of families competing. This year’s fair takes place September 2-7 at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds.
If you’re up for a road trip, consider heading up 1-71 to the Ohio State Fair, which takes place July 29-August 9 and is easily Ohio’s biggest fair of the year.
Bradford Train Museum’s annual Railroad Festival has locomotive lovers in mind with
train-related movies, food vendors, a kiddie train ride, railroad artifacts and a telegraph school at BF Tower. Admission is $5 with children 12 and under free.
Fourth of July Fireworks
Wish the USA a “Happy Birthday” at Dayton Lights in Flight Fireworks. The festivities start at 5 pm, and include a kids’ area with games and prizes, musical performances and vendors. The festival takes place on Main Street in Downtown Dayton and is free to the public.
The Quintessential Summer Fest
Troy’s Strawberry Festival celebrates everything strawberry. From June 6-7, head to downtown Troy for family friendly events and entertainment – and every strawberry-inspired food you can imagine: strawberry salsa, chocolate covered strawberries, strawberry barbecue sauce and strawberry donuts!
There’s a summer full of fun just waiting to happen! Interested in even more family-friendly events? Check out our Daily Calendar at the end of the magazine or click on the “calendar” tab of the Dayton Parent homepage.