Sure, the kids may be going back to school soon, but summer does not end until Sept. 23. So get grandma and grandpa a weekend gig babysitting if you have to (you can miss a soccer game) — and enjoy some of the most beautiful weather and fun events the region has to offer. No kids at home? The lake is your oyster. Enjoy!
Light Up KI | Sept. 1-4
Kelleys Island, Ohio
Houses, business and boats will be lit up throughout the island, creating a sparkly backdrop for a weekend of classic Kelleys Island fun, including the new "Lake Erie Love" sign located right across the street from the West Bay Inn.
Milan Melon Festival | Sept. 1-4
A Labor Day tradition since 1958, this festival features watermelon sorbet and cantaloupe ice cream plus a slew of kitschy fun events, including the cutest baby contest, queen contest and watermelon rock garden (we're not quite sure what that is either). But the watermelon really gets on a roll on Monday when you'll find the watermelon wobble and watermelon drop.
Westfield Grape & Wine Festival | Sept. 2
Westfield, New York
Immerse yourself in a celebration of grape growing and harvesting while indulging in a wide selection of award-winning wines. This family-friendly festival is held at two locations — the Westfield Farmers’ and Artisans’ Market and the Grape Discovery Center. In addition to the vino, you'll find a bounce house obstacle course, face painting, live music, hay wagon rides and more.
Thunder on the Strip | Sept. 7-10
The largest motorcycle rally in Northeast Ohio offers entertainment all day and night. Catch the daredevil Harley-Davidson Contraband Stunt Team. The Founder’s Parade is Sept. 9, and work your way around the bars and dives to earn a Thunder Bar Hop T-shirt.
18th Annual Toledo Lighthouse Waterfront Festival | Sept. 9-10
Maumee Bay State Park in Toledo, Ohio
Come for boat rides around the lighthouse, nautical arts and crafts, beach glass experts, live entertainment, kids fun, fest foods and more.
FireFish Festival | Sept. 16
There’s only one way to recognize community art: by setting fire to a crafted fish under the September full moon. The daylong FireFish Festival is home to unique art installations, food, live music and performances. The day concludes with a parade at dusk, this year featuring handcrafted lanterns, guiding the group to the “burn circle.”
3rd Thursdays | Sept. 21
Explore downtown Vermilion as it is turned into a Norman Rockwell setting reminiscent of a New England town nestled into the coast of Lake Erie. Enjoy an exciting array of free musical entertainment, from country, jazz and rock to island, Russian folk, Irish, pop and much more while browsing the shops, boutiques and restaurants of this quaint historic area.
Amherstburg Uncommon Festival | Sept. 15-17
Come dressed in your favorite wizardry or steampunk cosplay and enjoy the exciting and unexpected sights that fill this three-day event, including Dr. Vol Houligan's Traveling Variety Show, interactive performances and workshops by the Vaudevillians.
Shake, Rattle & Stroll | Oct. 1-31
It's a whole month of “skelefun" in Vermilion — and you’re invited! Local businesses adopt silly skeletons that you’ll find in windows, stores or storefronts, all dressed up, ready to surprise and make you laugh. You'll have a great time shopping and strolling around town to see how creative Vermilion business owners can be.
Norfolk County Fair and Horse Show | Oct. 3-9
Celebrating all that is local to Norfolk County, including agriculture displays and demonstrations, horse shows, competitions, midway rides and games, five nights of Motorsport action on the track, shopping, live music, shows and entertainment and delicious fair food.
Oktoberfest | Oct. 7-8
DeRivera Park in Put-in-Bay Ohio
It's not too late to get to the islands, especially to take in this annual festival with German food, hot spiced wine and cold beer. The food line-up includes brats, potato pancakes, apple dumplings, pierogi, cabbage and noodles, chicken paprikash and wonderful desserts. Live polka and German music from the Phil Yan Polka Band will entertain both days. Souvenir apparel and beer glasses will be made available for sale. Purchase a two-day pass for a discount — and even more fun.
Lakeside-Marblehead Lighthouse Festival | Oct. 14
Lakeside, Ohio and the Marblehead Peninsula
This free, peninsula-wide event includes fun for the whole family, including tours of the Marblehead Lighthouse and the Wolcott Keeper’s House, live entertainment, children’s games and crafts, a pumpkin-decorating contest, over 100 arts & crafts vendors, a farmers’ market, hayrides and much more in Lakeside Chautauqua and the village of Marblehead.
Windsor Craft Beer Festival | Oct. 14
Local and craft beers from across the province will be served in a festival that celebrates a much loved libation. The party will be held right in Walkerville, a town created by Hiram Walker, who then named it after himself (wouldn't you?). While Hiram Walker is famous for distilling whiskey, many don’t know he also started brewing beer in 1885.
Ashtabula Covered Bridge Festival | Oct. 14-15
Take a self-guided driving tour of 19 covered bridges. Along the tour, you'll stop at the longest covered bridge in the country (Smolen Gulf) and the shortest one open to traffic (West Liberty Street). Visit the main festival site in downtown Jefferson (11 E. Jefferson St.) for great food vendors, crafters, demonstrators, live entertainment, kids' activities, a parade, antique cars and engines, festival souvenirs and more.
Fall Fest 2022 | Oct.14-15 and 21-22
Peek'n Peak Resort in Clymer, New York
One weekend isn't enough for this fabulous fall festival, boasting brilliant foliage, a juried craft show with more than 100 vendors, a farmers' market, pumpkin cannon, children's games, live entertainment, pony rides, ski lift rides, classic car cruise-in and an annual snowsports equipment swap.
Apple Peak: A Harvest Gathering | Oct. 21
Quarry Hill Orchards in Berlin Heights, Ohio
Celebrate the peak of harvest with apple picking, wagon rides, food tucks, local wine, a vendors market, live music, a honey demo, hiking, an apple butter demo, face and pumpkin painting and more.
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