Top 5 Festivals This Week: Sept 5-11

September is the unofficial festival month in Cincinnati, and five great ones line up on the very first week. So get ready to check the following items off of your bucket list: Eat a giant roasted turkey leg, toast a beer stein, and meet a cowboy.

1. Ohio Renaissance Festival
Renaissance-era folk may not have actually eaten enormous turkey legs or “steak-on-a-stake,” but these delicacies are all part of the fun at the Ohio Renaissance Festival. Get your 16th century fix on the festival’s 30-acre recreated village with more than 150 costumed characters (including Queen Elizabeth herself) and daily shows, arts and crafts, and of course, food. Sept 3–Oct 16, State Route 73, Harveysburg,

2. MainStrasse Village Oktoberfest
You may have heard of a little festival called Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati (Sept 16–18,, but it’s not the only stein-toasting game in town. Covington’s historic MainStrasse village hosts its very own Oktoberfest with food and drink, live music, and arts and crafts. 6th Street Promenade, Covington, Sept 9–11,

3. ReelAbilities Traveling Film Festival
The Mayerson JCC is bringing nine extraordinary films to Cincinnati audiences. Mayerson plays host to the ReelAbilities film festival, which will be shown at the center and at other locations across the city. ReelAbilities is devoted to promoting awareness about people with different disabilities through award-winning film. A special opening night celebration at Mayerson will feature Shooting Beauty, a film that depicts one fashion photographer’s encounter with people living with significant disabilities. Sept 10–22, 8485 Ridge Rd.,

4. Fire Fest
If you were searching for a world-qualifying chili competition, then search no more. The All-Ohio Regional Chili Cook-Off ( is the main event for the Fire Museum of Greater Cincinnati’s Fire Fest, a celebration of firefighters and the spicy dish they are known to love. Also on the itinerary: Pie-eating contests, face painting, antique fire trucks, firefighter demos, and appearances by the Reds’ “Gapper” and Sluggo the Clown. Sept 10, 315 Court St., downtown, (513) 621-5553,

5. Old West Festival
How many festivals boast a permanent Dodge City-style boomtown? Not many, we reckon. The Old West Fest town sets the scene of the 1870s-era Wild West, complete with a saloon, covered wagons, a steam locomotive, and daily gun fight reenactments, plus crafts, food, live music, and kids’ activities. Sept 10–Oct 9, 1449 Greenbush Cobb Rd., Williamsburg,

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