The Go-To Guide: Central Ohio Fairs and Festivals

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent
Franklin County Fair

Editor's note: For the most up-to-date version of this list, go to

For many families, the abundance of special events is one of the best parts about living around Columbus.

Fairs and festivals become plentiful this time of year, and most have offerings for children. We've compiled a list of some of the more popular family-friendly warm-weather events that Central Ohio has to offer.

Because of the number of options, we've generally limited the listings to multiday events, with a few notable exceptions. Those below also had been finalized by our press time.

To suggest an event we should consider adding to our list, send an email to

May 20-21

Delaware Arts Festival

North Sandusky Street between William Street and Central Avenue, Delaware;

The 44th annual event features numerous vendors as well as entertainment and children's activities.

May 27-28

Asian Festival

Franklin Park, 1755 E. Broad St. (Near East Side);

The Dragonboat races, an annual part of the Asian Festival since 2010, occur May 21 at West Bank Park, 181 Washington Blvd., Columbus.

May 27-29

Utica Sertoma Ice Cream Festival

On the grounds of Velvet Ice Cream and the Energy Cooperative, 11324 and 11339 Mount Vernon Road, Utica;

The three-day festival kicks off with a parade in town, starting and ending near Utica High School, at Maple Avenue and Jefferson Street.

June 1-4

Nelsonville Music Festival

Robbins Crossing historic village on the campus of Hocking College, 3301 Hocking Parkway, Nelsonville;

This family-friendly annual event features a children's area with numerous hands-on activities in addition to a concert lineup of local and national acts.

June 9-11

Columbus Arts Festival

Scioto Mile (Downtown);

A wide array of artists and craft vendors are complemented by offerings for kids, including hands-on art stations and a Children's Gallery.

June 16-17

Columbus Pride Festival

Bicentennial Park, 233 Civic Center Drive, and Genoa Park, 303 W. Broad St. (Downtown);

The two-day festival supporting the LGBTQ community includes a Saturday parade. Last year, a family area with activities was open Friday night and Saturday; details on this year's event had not been announced as of mid-April.

June 16-18

Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival

Creekside Park & Plaza, 117 Mill St., Gahanna;

The event, in its 19th year, boasts an extensive musical lineup as well as a Family Fun Zone at Veterans Memorial Park (73 W. Johnstown Road) with children's activities, music education and rides.

June 17-24

Pickaway County Fair

Pickaway County Fairgrounds, 415 Lancaster Pike, Circleville;

June 23-25


Goodale Park, 120 W. Goodale St. (Victorian Village);

The Community Festival, as it is formally known, offers a weekend full of music—some of it geared to children—as well as kids' activities.

June 23-24

Powell Festival

Village Green Park, 47 Hall St., Powell;

This city event touts family-friendly entertainment as well as rides, games, kids' activities and fireworks.

July 8-15

Madison County Fair

Madison County Fairgrounds, 205 Elm St., London;

July 8-9

Westerville Music & Arts Festival

Heritage Park, 60 N. Cleveland Ave., Westerville;

This annual event showcases artwork from Westerville students and offers music and children's activities interspersed with traditional vendors and crafters.

July 15-22

Franklin County Fair

Franklin County Fairgrounds, 4100 Columbia St., Hilliard;

July 19-29

Lancaster Festival

Multiple venues, Lancaster;

This event showcases arts and music, including a few big-name acts and often a family-friendly concert as well.

July 21-23

Jazz & Rib Fest

Scioto Mile (Downtown);

The festival showcases hot ribs, cool jazz and some children's activities.

July 23-29

Union County Fair

Union County Fairgrounds, 845 N. Main St., Marysville;

July 26 to Aug. 6

Ohio State Fair

Ohio Expo Center & State Fair, 717 E. 17th Ave.;

July 28-29

Canal Winchester Blues & Ribfest

Historic Downtown Canal Winchester (centered around High and Waterloo streets);

This street celebration, as it's billed, offers music, food and children's activities.

Aug. 4-6

Dublin Irish Festival

Coffman Park, 5200 Emerald Parkway, Dublin;

This event, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, has numerous options to entertain kids, including special performances and stories, crafts, Kids Highland Games, play areas and inflatables.

Aug. 5-12

The Hartford Fair

Hartford Fairgrounds, 14028 Fairgrounds Road, Croton;

Aug. 12-13

Festival Latino

Genoa Park, 303 W. Broad St. (Downtown);

Ohio's largest Hispanic/Latino event has a lineup of artistic and musical performances as well as children's activities.

Aug. 18-19

Reynoldsburg Tomato Festival

Huber Park, 1520 Davidson Drive, Reynoldsburg;

In addition to tomato-themed events, other offerings include arts and crafts, music and children's activities.

Aug. 30 to Sept. 2

Sweet Corn Festival

Historic Lions Park, 2900 Chautauqua Blvd., Millersport;

Around 200,000 ears of corn are served here each year, but contests, games, concerts and rides also are part of the fun.

Sept. 1-4

Greek Festival

The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 555 N. High St. (Arena District);

This longstanding local tradition, celebrating its 45th anniversary, gives visitors a look at Greek food and culture. Children's activities are available.

Sept. 2-4

Canal Winchester Labor Day Festival

Historic Downtown Canal Winchester (centered around High Street);

The event, which dates to 1920, serves up food, entertainment, games, rides and two parades, including one for kids.

Sept. 2 to Oct. 29

Ohio Renaissance Festival

10542 E. State Route 73, Waynesville;

Travel back in time to a 16th century English village at this festival, which is open on Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day.

Sept. 4

Upper Arlington Labor Day Arts Festival

Northam Park, 2070 Northam Road, Upper Arlington;

This city event includes various vendors, plus entertainment for adults and children as well as arts activities.

Sept. 9

Old Hilliardfest

Centered around Main Street in Old Hilliard;

This art and street fair also offers music and games and rides for kids.

Sept. 16-17

Arts in the Alley Music and Arts Festival

Town Center, Grove City;

A parade at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 16 kicks off the event, which offers arts and crafts vendors, entertainment and a Kids Fun Street.

Sept. 16-23

Delaware County Fair

Delaware County Fairgrounds, 236 Pennsylvania Ave., Delaware;

The Little Brown Jug, part of harness racing's triple crown, takes place in conjunction with this event. The All-Horse Parade will take place at 3 p.m. Sept. 10.

Sept. 22-24

Columbus Oktoberfest

Ohio Expo Center & State Fair, 717 E. 17th Ave.;

This celebration of all things German features PNC Kinderplatz, with crafts, entertainment and inflatables. A children's parade steps off at 4 p.m. Sept. 24.

Sept. 24

The New Albany Classic Invitational Grand Prix & Family Day

4584 Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road, New Albany;

This fundraiser for the Center for Family Safety and Healing, held at the estate of Les and Abigail Wexner, will celebrate its 20th anniversary. Part equestrian showcase, part family festival, event highlights include a signature concert, children's activities, inflatables and rides.

Oct. 6-8

Columbus Italian Festival

St. John the Baptist church, 720 Hamlet St. (Italian Village);

The festival, which began in 1980, offers a taste of Italian food and culture with entertainment and children's rides. A parade and marching band competition gets underway at 1 p.m. Oct. 8.

Oct. 8-14

Fairfield County Fair

Fairfield County Fairgrounds, 157 E. Fair Ave., Lancaster;

Oct. 18-21

Circleville Pumpkin Show

Covers more than nine city blocks around the Pumpkin Show office, 159 E. Franklin St., Circleville;

This pumpkin-focused extravaganza offers seven parades in addition to vendors, contests, rides and entertainment.

Nov. 11-12

Columbus International Festival

Celeste Center at the Ohio Expo Center & State Fair, 717 E. 17th Ave.;

This multicultural event includes food, music and other performances and children's activities.

Nov. 17 to Jan. 7, 2018

Ohio Chinese Lantern Festival

Ohio Department of Natural Resources Park at the Ohio Expo Center & State Fair, 717 E. 17th Ave.;

This traveling exhibit, which made its Buckeye State debut last year, is returning to Columbus, according to the Ohio Expo Center & State Fair calendar. The focus on Chinese culture includes lantern displays, performances and vendors.