The arts and culinary scene in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky heat up every summer with these summer festivals. From Pride parades to food fests to music festivals, plan your summer around these 13 festivals in the Cincy Region.
13 Summer Festivals in Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky
For more than a decade, artists and production companies from around the world have converged downtown for the Cincinnati Fringe Festival, providing a wide variety of live performances across multiple venues. Performances push the envelope on convention, style, and content—whether the medium is theater, music, film, visual art, dance, or poetry—and encompass the offbeat, quirky, and peculiar: the “fringe” of artistic expression.
One of the area's largest fine arts and crafts festivals, Summerfair is held at Coney Island each year and features a wide range of work, from paintings and fiber arts to ceramics, metalwork, and woodwork. Attendees will also enjoy live music, dancing, a children's area, and food.
The annual NKY Pride event in Mainstrasse Village features vendors, performers, family-friendly activities, and food & drink.
The Cincinnati Concours d’Elegance is a nationally recognized car show that highlights some of the most spectacular automobiles and motorcycles of all time. More than 200 cars and motorcycles are displayed in the formal gardens of historic Ault Park, with a classic pavilion overlooking the show field, hosting an automotive art show and brunch. You can cool off with a cold brew from the craft beer garden or participate in several special weekend events.
Dance to the tunes of Irish and Scottish bands while enjoying classic Celtic food from a variety of vendors, then indulge in a whiskey and scotch tasting tent. The family-friendly Guinness Cincinnati Celtic Festival is located in downtown Cincinnati on Freedom Way and admission is free.
Celebrate the end of slavery in America with Cincinnati Juneteenth Festival's diverse, family-friendly activities including traditional storytelling, dancing, sack races, live music, flag parade & peace march, and folk crafts. Festival goers can also watch living history performances, enjoy food from local vendors, and kids will love the opportunity to ride a horse, meet a goat, have their faces painted and so much more. Admission is free to the event held at Eden Park.
Enjoy soul-satisfying blues music from Local and national acts at Cincy Blues Fest. This annual summer music festival takes place at the Schmidlapp Event Lawn in Smale Riverfront Park during Cincy Blues Fest. Food and drinks are available for purchase from Moerlein Lager House.
You may or may not be familiar with Cincinnati’s renowned goetta (that’s “get-uh”), but spend a day at Glier’s Goettafest—the largest goetta festival in the world—and you’ll become well acquainted with the concoction, a mixture of sausage, oats, and spices. All food vendors are required to incorporate it into their offerings, so expect things like goetta calzones, goetta brownies, and bacon-goetta nachos. The Newport on the Levee event also includes carnival games, beer, fireworks, live bands, and free admission!
Celebrate Cincinnati Pride at the annual Cincinnati Pride Parade & Festival at Sawyer Point. This festival features performances by local and national acts, food, and drinks. This event is family-friendly, fun, and free!
One of America's largest paddling events, Ohio River Paddlefest involves 2,000 paddlers traveling nine miles down the Ohio River. Along the course, participants will explore historic Mill Creek, paddle under seven bridges, view the Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky skylines, and enjoy the pre-event Paddler's Party on Friday night with exhibits from local parks, outdoor outfitters, adventure experts, and environmentally-minded organizations. Even if you're not paddling, celebrate with those that are at the Finish Line Festival at Gilday Riverside Park with craft beer, food trucks, vendors, and exhibits.
The Black Family Reunion is one of Cincinnati's largest family-focused events spanning three days of weekend fun throughout the region at various venues including Sawyer Point. Activities include a city-wide parade, games, health screenings, job fair, kid's area, live blues, R&B, jazz, and more.
The region's biggest end-of-summer celebration kicks off at noon on the Sunday before Labor Day with live music and family-friendly activities along the riverfront at Sawyer Point. The day culminates in the Western & Southern/WEBN Fireworks extravaganza, with rockets shot off barges in the Ohio River and coordinated to music by local radio station WEBN.
Cincinnati Music Festival presented by P&G is one of the largest R&B events in the country and takes place at Paul Brown Stadium. During the festival, don't miss the Black Music Walk of Fame - a one-of-a-kind, free attraction where you can learn about Cincinnati's music scene.
Start planning your Cincy summer adventure now!