Don't miss all the fun at these best fests of the summer in the Cincinnati region.
Summer festivals in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky are a great way to experience the region while enjoying our arts, culinary and music scene. So get out your calendar and start planning your visit to these Cincinnati festivals! *Please check event websites for up-to-date details and COVID-19 protocols.
Cincy Fringe Festival
Pones Inc. at Cincinnati Fringe Festival (photo: Cincinnati Fringe Festival)
June 4-19, 2021
For more than a decade, artists and production companies from around the world have converged downtown for the Cincinnati Fringe Festival, putting on more than 200 live shows at multiple venues throughout Over-the-Rhine for the multi-day event. 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. The 2021 festival includes video on demand, live streaming and outdoor venues.
Summerfair (Photo: Coney Island)
June 4-6, 2021
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 wood works. Attendees will also enjoy live music, dancing, a children's area and food.
NKY Pride Festival
June 6, 2021
The annual NKY Pride
event in MainStrasse Village features vendors, performers, family-friendly activities, and food & drink. Adjustments have been made to keep guests safe, including all event programs happening outdoors with optimal set up for social distancing.
Cincinnati Concours d'Elegance
Cincinnati Concours d'Elegance (Photo: Gary Kessler)
June 11-13, 2021
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 take part in several special weekend events.
Celtic Fest Ohio
McGing Irish Dancers at the Cincinnati Celtic Festival (photo: @mcgingdancers)
June 19, 2021
Dance to the tunes of Irish bands and Scottish pipes and drums; enjoy tastings of Guinness, cider and mead; visit historical encampments; and shop pottery, jewelry and kilts all at Celtic Fest Ohio
held on the grounds of the Ohio Renaissance Festival. Make sure to also mark your calendars for the family-friendly Guinness Cincinnati Celtic Festival in downtown Cincinnati on Freedom Way (admission is free!).
Cincinnati Juneteenth Festival
Juneteenth Festival (photo: Juneteenth Festival)
June 19-20, 2021
Celebrate the end of slavery in America with Cincinnati Juneteenth Festival
's diverse, family-friendly activities including traditional story telling, 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
Cincy Blues Fest
Schmidlapp Event Lawn at Smale Riverfront Park (photo: Cincinnati Park Board)
July 17, 2021
Glier's Goettafest (photo: @hidekikealoha)
July 29-August 1 and August 5-8, 2021
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!
Cincinnati Pride Parade & Festival
Cincinnati Pride (photo: Noah Kling)
The 2021 Cincinnati Pride Parade & Festival celebrations will vary from the usual two-hour parade, live music, drag queen performances, Family Fun Zone, beer and spirits at Sawyer Point with community events throughout the summer. Click here to stay up-to-date with upcoming Pride events.
Ohio River Paddlefest
Paddlefest (photo: Meg Vogel)
August 7, 2021
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
Sawyer Point (photo: Adam Birkan)
August 20-22, 2021
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; live performances of blues, R&B, jazz, spoken word, gospel and poetry; games; health screenings; annual job fair; and a kids area.
Western & Southern/WEBN Fireworks (Photo: David Long)
September 5, 2021
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
Cincinnati Music Festival (photo: Louis Rideout)
2021 event postponed. The festival will be back July 21-23, 2022
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. Past performers include Mary J. Blige, Usher, John Legend, Fantasia and many more.
Bunbury Music Festival
Bunbury Music Festival (Photo: Chris Casella)
2021 EVENT CANCELED
Held along the Ohio riverfront at Sawyer Point Park and Yeatman’s Cove, Bunbury Music Festival hosts more than 50 alternative and indie acts throughout the three-day fest. Headliners for the 2020 event include Twenty One Pilots, Marshmello, The Avett Brothers with other artists including Kane Brown, Melanie Martinez, The Struts, Neon Trees and more. Forbes and USA Today have both dubbed it one of the best music festivals in the country. In between sets, check out dozens of food trucks and craft beer vendors for a wide sampling of local cuisine.
Cincy Brew Ha-Ha
Cincy Brew Ha-Ha (photo: Cincy Brew Ha-Ha)
2021 EVENT CANCELLED
Head to Sawyer Point
for Cincy Brew Ha-Ha
, America's largest beer and comedy festival featuring more than 100 beers and more than 80 comedians on four stages. Admission is free, beer and food available for purchase.
Written by: Baihley Grandison with additional reporting by Amber Potter and Emily Lloyd