From sun-soaked celebrations to music-filled nights, mark your calendar for an array of festivals and fun along the shores of Lake Erie.

July 5-7
Summer Music Festival | Ellicottville, N.Y.
The music of Queen (courtesy of Freddie Mercury doppelgänger Marc Martel and his cover band) is even better when sitting slope side at Holiday Valley Resort. The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra rounds out the weekend.

July 12-14
Huron River Fest | Huron, Ohio
Kick off a weekend of rides, a 5k run/walk, parade, fireworks and full lineup of entertainment. The Midway opens Friday at 5 p.m. Remember to nab a ticket to the fire department barbecue fundraiser. 

July 13
Middle Bass Music Festival | Middle Bass Island, Ohio
Coast over to the Big Dipper-shaped Middle Bass Island  — a nature refuge, home to historic Lonz Winery and a free annual music fest hosted by the Lake Erie Islands Conservancy. The day-and-night-long event will showcase the North Coast Goats, Tall Paul & Western Drawl, Colin Dussault’s Blues Project and Dry Reef.

July 19-20
The Summer Market | Lorain, Ohio
Explore a treasure trove of décor, jewelry, vintage finds and a robust farmers market at the annual Summer Market at Black River Landing. This is maker mecca. Just add food trucks, cocktails and music. Clear your trunk in advance to take home all-the-things.

July 19-21
Kelleys Island Fest | Kelleys Island, Ohio
Dance in the streets at the island’s biggest event, this year with a parrot head theme nod to Jimmy Buffett and all the food-and-drink vendors you expect. Cheeseburger in paradise, anyone? Cue up Saturday morning with a parade and Armed Forces band, “fest” the day away until fireworks at dusk.

July 21
Le Tour de Norfolk | Delhi, Ontario
Pedal across postcard-worthy backroads, through quaint villages and past orchards in a region known as Ontario’s Garden. Choose your distance: 40, 75, 100 or 160 km for endurance riders. Plenty of stops along the way. With this year’s new start and finish line at Delhi German Home, you might find energy for a game of bowling afterward — or ice cream in the hall.

July 22-28
Discover Presque Isle | Erie, Pa.
Escape to this beachy peninsula and notable nature preserve for a weeklong celebration of the 7-mile stretch of sand and surf. There’s no cost to get in on the beaches, bonfires, music, self-guided tours, hikes, live music and arts and crafts. 

“When you are there, you feel like you are not in the city,” says Christine Temple of VisitErie. 

 Look up:  Presque Isle is home to more than 330 different bird species as one of America’s birding flyways. Pick up a birding passport. 

 Look down:  Resident woodland creatures scurry about — beavers, amphibians, turtles. 

 Look all around:  “All the fun takes place throughout the park and, if you’ve never been, it’s a great way to get a feeling for why this is such a special place,” Temple says.

July 26-28
Wine & Walleye Festival | Ashtabula Harbor, Ohio
Taste Ohio’s wine country and savor one of Lake Erie’s favorite catches at the Wine & Walleye Festival, showcasing bottles from local grape producers and a fish fry prepared by the local Fraternal Order of Police. A Friday Street Faire encourages exploring downtown purveyors. Make your way to the all-day beer tent and end with a dock party. Entertainment, a VIP wine garden, fireworks show, lighted boat parade and Lettie G. Howard sails and tours cap off a fest you can do your way. Looking to stay a while? Check in at Ashtabula’s Michael Cahill Bed & Breakfast, The Lakehouse Inn or any number of nearby hotels.

July 27
Queen City Jazz Festival Buffalo
Swing by Lafayette Square for a bopping, belt-it-out free day and night of jazz and vendors. This summer marks 20 years for the event. No better place for it than Buffalo, where Duke Ellington toured 19 times and jazz greats like Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday took the stage at The Colored Musicians Club. It’s the world’s longest continuously operating African American musicians’ organization.


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Summer Fun Guide: Marvelous in May

From sun-soaked celebrations to music-filled nights, mark your calendar for an array of festivals and fun along the shores of Lake Erie.

Summer Fun Guide: Joyful Times in June

From sun-soaked celebrations to music-filled nights, mark your calendar for an array of festivals and fun along the shores of Lake Erie.