Nothing marks the end of summer and the beginning of fall like these great festivals. Here’s your guide to events that will be sure to give you your fill of food, drink and fun.
WHAT: Berlin Heights Basket Festival
WHEN: 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, Aug 4 & 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday, Aug 5
WHERE: Center St., Berlin Heights (SR 61, south of SR 2, and north of SR 113)
The Berlin Heights Basket Festival is a family-friendly celebration of 154 years of basket-making tradition. The festival features basket-making demonstrations, a flower show, two parades, food vendors, an open market, a kiddie tractor pull, a baby contest, eating contests, the Edison Charger Band, crafts and a 5K race. Live entertainment will feature Sandtown, Blue Steel, Branded, New Decade and others. The Queen's Parade is on Saturday and the Big Old Parade is on Sunday (both start at 1:30 p.m.). 5K Race and Fun Race will be held Sunday morning. The Queen's Contest is held on the Saturday before (July 28) at Edison High School, SR 113, east of Milan. Admission is free. For more information, visit basketfestival.com.
WHAT: Erie County Fair
WHEN: Tuesday-Sunday, Aug 7-12
WHERE: Erie County Fairgrounds, 3110 Columbus Ave., Sandusky
COST: $7/person, $20/season pass, $5/ride pass
INFO: 419-625-1000 or eriefair.com
Pack up the kids and head to the Erie County Fair. Don't miss the fair's queen pageants, the livestock auction or the demolition derby, and enjoy a variety of food, games, rides and live music.
WHAT: Huron Rotary Festival
WHEN: 5-11 p.m. Friday, Aug.7; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8 and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 9
WHERE: Huron Boat Basin, 330 N. Main St., Huron
INFO: 419-625-1000 or huronrotary.gov
Enjoy a weekend of great food, art, and music along the scenic Huron River. A well-rounded variety of food and music provides entertainment for the entire family. For more info call 419-625-1000 or go to huronrotary.org.
WHAT: Toast of Ohio Wine Festival
WHEN: 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 11
WHERE: Sandusky Bay Pavilion, 605 E. Water St., Sandusky
COST: $5/person (includes a wine glass and two wine tasting tickets); additional wine tastings and food tickets available for purchase
INFO: (419) 626-6111
This fantastic event features 11 Ohio wineries, gourmet food, live musical entertainment and an art show. For ages 21 and older.
WHAT: Gospel Fest
WHEN: 11 a.m-5 p.m. Saturday, Aug 11
WHERE: Shoreline Park, 411 E. Water St., Sandusky
INFO: Rev. Porter at (419) 503-5860.
The day kicks off with a luncheon and includes song and worship in a untraditional way. A mission of gospelfest is to collect donations to outfit all church children with supplies for the coming school year. For more info call Rev. Porter at (419) 503-5860.
WHAT: Huron County Fair
WHEN: Monday-Saturday, Aug 13-18
WHERE: Huron County Fairgrounds, 940 Fair Road, Norwalk
COST: Membership Tickets: $22 thru Aug 13; Season Tickets (does not include rides): $22 thru Aug 12 & $25 Aug 13-18; Gate Admission: $7 (refunded when leaving if under 30 minutes); Rides with membership, season, 4-H or concession tickets: $5; Kids under 36” tall are free
INFO: 419-668-0516 or huroncountyfair.com
On Tuesday admission, not including rides, will be free until 3 p.m., on Wednesday, Veterans Day, admission is 1 penny for all vets and on Thursday admission for senior citizens age 60 and over is 1 penny. For more info go to huroncountyfair.com.
WHAT: Marblehead International Days & 56th Annual Halupki Festival
WHEN: 5-10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 17; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 18 & 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19
WHERE: Downtown Marblehead & Holy Assumption Russian Orthodox Church, 114 E. Main St., Marblehead
Enjoy a full weekend of activities celebrating Marblehead's Old World heritage, including live entertainment, polka fest, main street bazaar, fine art demos and the 56th Annual Halupki Festival on Sunday. The Halupki Festival starts with Divine Liturgy at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, followed by entertainment and Halupki and ham dinners served from 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. International Ala Carte will feature halupki, pirohi, kolbasi and more starting at 2:30 p.m. Polka from 12-6 p.m. with church tours, craft vendors, a pierogi toss and fun for kids.
WHAT: 2012 Sandusky County Fair
WHEN: Tuesday-Sunday, Aug 21-26
WHERE: Sandusky County Fairgrounds, 901 Rawson Ave., Fremont
INFO: 419-334-4877 sanduskycountyfair.com
There’s plenty to do and see at the Sandusky County Fair. Check out the animals, enjoy the delicious food and see exhibits from several local groups, including 4-H, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts and more. For the kids, there will be rides, animal shows and a petting zoo. There will be standard fair favorites as well, like the demolition derby and tractor pull.
WHAT: Key West Days
WHEN: Friday & Saturday, Aug 24 & 25
WHERE: Downtown Put-in-Bay
Island entertainers who perform on Put-in-Bay in the summer and Key West in the winter will participate in the annual "Key West Days at Put-in-Bay." Key West held its first "Put-in-Bay Days" in February of 2005 with a huge turnout of northerners seeking to escape the winter cold. Check out the putinbay.com entertainment page for schedules and look for island legends like Mike "Mad Dog" Adams, Pete & Wayne, Ray Fogg and Pat Dailey!
WHAT: 20th Annual Lions Perch Festival
WHEN: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 25
WHERE: James Park, Marblehead
The day will begin with the parade at 10 a.m. Tours of the LaFarge North America quarry operations will be available again in 2012. Every hour on the hour, from noon until 3 p.m., a bus will leave James Park for a 45-minute guided tour. Other festival activities from 1-4 p.m. include Key Motion Band, magic by Mike Hemmilgarn, car cruise-in, children's activities hosted by Scout Troop 331, vendors and more. And of course there will be food featuring Lake Erie Perch sandwiches. Oh, and look for the Sight Princess cans around the peninsula so you can vote for your favorite candidate.
WHAT: 8th Annual Perch, Peach, Pierogi and Polka Festival
WHEN: 5-11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1 and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2
WHERE: Port Clinton Knights of Columbus, 109 E. Perry St., Port Clinton
COST: $3/adult, free for ages 18 and under
INFO: 419-373-3743 or 419-341-4776
Experience the delicious food and drinks along with award-winning bands for your dancing entertainment.
WHAT: 54th Annual Milan Melon Festival
WHEN: 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 2 and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 3
WHERE: Milan Village Square, Church and S. Main Sts., Milan
INFO: 419-499-2498 milanmelonfestival.org
This celebration features rides, games, contests, antique car show, and live musical entertainment. The Grand Parade is on Sunday afternoon. The famous muskmelon ice cream and watermelon sherbet are the must-have treats. It's all found in charming Milan, Ohio. For more info go to milanmelonfestival.org.
WHAT: Historical Weekend
WHEN: Friday-Sunday, Sept. 7-9
WHERE: Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial, 93 Delaware Ave., Put-In-Bay
COST: $3/Adult; kids 15 and under are free
INFO: 419-499-2498 portclintonchamber.com or visitputinbay.com
The 199th Anniversary of the Battle of Lake Erie is a celebration of history, art and music and also a celebration of Perry's naval victory and nearly two centuries of peace shared by the United States, Canada and Great Britain. There will be a War of 1812 Military encampment all weekend and 1,200 Boy Scouts camping on the memorial's east lawn for the annual camporee. Fireworks Saturday at dark. For more info go to portclintonchamber.com or visitputinbay.com.
WHAT: Butterfly Festival
WHEN: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 8
WHERE: Kelleys Island Historical Museum, 222-224 Division St., Kelleys Island
At this festival, Monarch butterflies will be banded on their migration to Mexico. Enjoy a bake sale, hot food, rummage sale and a drawing for annual quilt raffle. Call for more information.
WHAT: Pioneer Days
WHEN: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday & Sunday, Sept. 8 & 9
WHERE: Historic Lyme Village, 5001 SR 4, Bellevue
COST: $5/adult, $3/child (ages 6-12)
INFO: 419-483-4949 or lymevillage.org
Travel back in time as history comes alive. Experience various aspects of life in the 1700s and 1800s. Visit with Abe and Mary Lincoln, Ben and Deborah Franklin, Ulysses S. Grant and General and Mrs. "Stonewall" Jackson. More than 150 re-enactors, crafters, sutlers and musicians make this event something truly special. Don't be alarmed if the Civil War cannon goes off!
WHAT: The 39th Annual New Years Bash at the Bay
WHEN: Friday & Saturday, Sept. 14-15
WHERE: Downtown Put-in-Bay
Put-in-Bay welcomes you to enjoy holiday festivities, including the very popular Monte Carlo casino style gambling in downtown Put-in-Bay on Delaware Avenue from 6 pm to 11 p.m. on Saturday night. The boats in the Put-in-Bay harbor decorate for this fun and festive occasion.
WHEN: Saturday, Sept 15
WHERE: Cedar Point's Soak City Parking Lot, 1 Cedar Point Dr. (off US 6), Sandusky
Enjoy some of the biggest names in Christian music as they rock the stage during PointFest. Cedar Point admission is required with a PointFest ticket. Please bring lawn chairs and blankets for your comfort. Concert is held rain or shine. For more info or to buy tickets go to cedarpoint.com.
WHAT: Annual Brewery Festival: Milan Brew-Haha
WHEN: 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 15
WHERE: Milan Historical Museum, 10 N. Edison Dr., Milan
COST: $10/non-museum members
INFO: 419-499-2698 or milanhistory.org
Toast the brewing history of Milan at the 4th Annual Brew-Haha. Tastings, appetizers, raffles, merchandise and music!
WHAT: Halfway to St. Patty's Day
WHEN: Saturday, Sept. 22
INFO: 419-285-2832 or visitputinbay.com
Celebrate the halfway mark to St. Patrick's Day with a parade at 1:30 p.m., featuring a Drum and Bagpipe Marching Band. Island restaurants serve Irish food and beverage.
WHAT: Port Clinton Harvest Festival
WHEN: 5-11:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 28; 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29 and 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30
WHERE: Madison St., Downtown Port Clinton
Enjoy great food, entertainment, craft vendors and a farmers’ market at this end of summer festival.
WHAT: Woollybear Festival
WHEN: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 30
WHERE: Victory Park, Ohio & Main Sts., Vermilion
INFO: 440-967-4477 or vermilionohionews.com
Woollybear Sunday is the largest one-day family festival in the state of Ohio, featuring one of Ohio's longest parades, games, booths, a 5K run, Woollybear costumes and much, much more! Don't miss Vermilion's largest festival held in historic downtown Harbour Town Vermilion. Parade steps off at 1:30 p.m.; booths close at 6:00 p.m. Vermilion's Woollybear Parade lasts approximately two hours.