Cincinnati is the perfect place to pursue a fun-filled festival. Whether you’re looking for a musical moment, some fantastic food, or a unique new experience, look no further than these festivals to make the end of your summer a season to remember. There’s something for everyone, from punk rockers to art connoisseurs.
The fourth largest park in Cincy is hosting this 20-year tradition for music lovers of all kinds. Admission to this festival is completely free, and it features local food and adult beverages—proceeds collected from food and drink sales will benefit Ault Park. Also, feel free to bring the kids—entertainment opportunities like Cincinnati Circus and Beech Acres will be in attendance from 6 to 8 pm. With band Floyd and the Walkmen performing, this fest won’t be one to let pass by.
August 18, Ault Park, 5090 Observatory Ave., Mt. Lookout
A lineup of new and notable jazz artists will take the stage for this fun and funky festival. You can add to the experience by bringing the whole family and watching from the riverfront park for a one-of-a-kind view.
September 2 & 3, Smale Riverfront Park, 166 W. Mehring Way, downtown
This live punk rock festival, spread across three stages, will feature headlining emo band Descendants, as well as performances from Bayside, The Wonder Years, Crimson Apple, and more. The “Dunk a Punk” Dunk Tank is the evening’s entertainment, in which fans can dunk their favorite artists. Proceeds from the tank will be donated to charity and the local Greenhaus Coffee company.
September 10, Riverbend Music Center, 6295 Kellogg Ave., Anderson Twp.
The Annual NKY Music Fest has all the makings of a perfect festival—live music, good food, and drinks in Devou Park. Best of all, admission is free.
September 10–12, Devou Park, 1201 Park Dr., Covington
Food & Wine Festivals
Spoken word artists, jazz musicians, and other entertaining acts will perform while you enjoy all the high-quality wine, beer, and food that your heart desires. While attendance is free, it’s first come, first served, so make sure you plan in advance for the best seat in the house.
August 13 & 14, 322 Elm St., Ludlow
Nicknamed “The Biggest Little Fair in Ohio,” it’s estimated that 15,000–18,000 folks will be in attendance this year, so make sure you add it to your agenda. For true festival connoisseurs, this is the quintessential Cincinnati staple, offering rides and games, flower and art shows, a mile run, commercial and artisan vendors, and a huge parade (accepting sign ups through August 23).
September 8–11, 3961 N. Bend Rd., Cheviot
This festival features art vendors, food, live music, and the main event: wine. It’s three days long, and includes bluegrass music and unique opportunities for anyone seeking a relaxing evening.
September 9–11, Vinoklet Winery & Restaurant, 11069 Colerain Ave., Colerain Twp.
For ages 21 and up, NightLight 513 has hosted four classic movie nights so far, with four more to go. They’ll be showing Fight Club on August 12, Bridesmaids on September 16, The Dark Knight on September 23, and Hocus Pocus on October 14. Accompanying the films will be tons of local food trucks, craft beer, wine, and pre-show music from a NightLight DJ. Movies begin around sundown and end at 11 p.m, and you can purchase tickets here.
705 E. Pete Rose Way, downtown. Find the full schedule here.
Browse the work of more than 80 independent and local artists, chat with artists about their creations, and connect with other Ohio art lovers—you might even find a new piece that catches your eye. This event has multiple locations throughout Cincinnati and occurs monthly through October, so go at your convenience and enjoy all it has to offer.
Find locations and dates here.