With festivals dedicated to sauerkraut, skunks and even Dean Martin, here are our most interesting summer fests across Ohio

Jack McLaughlin

We all know about the Columbus Arts Festival and ComFest. The Food Truck Festival is a blast as well, and Stonewall Columbus Pride is a Columbus cornerstone. 

But if you’re ready for a summer roadtrip–with the wind in your hair and the music on way too loud—we’ve put together some of the weirdest and most interesting summer festivals to attend around the Buckeye State this summer.

Hell is Ohio Fest

Inspired by the iconic Hell is Real billboard, this festival, held June 17-18 at Swine City Brewing Co. in Fairfield, features two full days of music and plenty of beer.

Avon Heritage Duck Tape Festival

No, it’s not a typo. Duck Tape is actually a brand of tape headquartered in Avon, which is located just west of Cleveland. The free festival, which will be held June 16-18 this year, is for the most part fairly straight-laced, although tape-related activities are on the docket.


Pickle Fest

This event is kind of a big dill for pickle lovers. Sorry, we had to. The event–which as you may have already guessed features all things pickles, live music and even a handful of local restaurants jumping on for the fun—is held in Miamisburg on June 25. Northeast Ohio also boasts its own, the Cleveland Pickle Fest, on Sept. 4.

Dean Martin Festival

Well, if you really like Dean Martin, this is the festival for you, we guess? This long-standing event–which will be held on June 17-18 in Steubenville, Martin’s hometown–will feature Dean Martin impersonators, a meatball eating contest and a Dean Martin walking tour.


We’re not entirely sure if live skunks are involved, but if you’re willing to take the chance, Skunkfest–one of the smaller annual festivals on our list–will be held this year on Sept. 10 in North Ridgeville, rain or shine.

Ohio River Sternwheel Festival

While some of these may sound funnier than they seem actually fun to attend, this one is has a fairly wide appeal. And for good reason. Held in the Southern Ohio river city of Marietta from Sept. 9-11, this festival will feature food, vendors and a chance to check out 35 iconic boats in action.

Ohio Sauerkraut Festival

The last and quite honestly maybe the least (full disclosure: I’m not a fan of sauerkraut) on our list is the Ohio Sauerkraut Festival, which is held every year in Waynesville. While this one is technically in the fall–it will take place Oct. 8-9–it’s definitely worth the drive if you happen to be a fan.

Want to read more? Check out our print publication, (614) Magazine. Learn where you can find a free copy of our new June issue here!

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