Nine Festivals That Define Summer in Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands

May 22, 2018

Discover nine exciting festivals that define summer in Ohio’s Lake Erie Shores & Islands.

1. Port Clinton Walleye Festival (May 24-28, 2018)
The 38th Annual Main Street Port Clinton Walleye Festival takes place at Waterworks Park on the shores of Lake Erie. A wide variety of activities, including free live concerts, a kids fishing derby, parade, educational programs and activities, Walleye 5K Run and Walk, carnival rides, more than 130 vendors from around the nation, and more all help make this event one of Ohio’s premier outdoor weekend celebrations. This is the perfect summer kick-off! For a complete schedule, visit walleyefestival.com.

2. Vermilion Festival of the Fish (June 15-17, 2018)
Visit downtown Vermilion this June for the 51st Annual Festival of the Fish. Featuring FREE daily entertainment, FREE admission, kids' games, a food and marketplace, sand castle building contest and more! Plus, there are fireworks on Friday, June 15, and a parade on Sunday June 17. Learn more online at vermilionchamber.net.

3. Pyrate Fest X: X Marks the Spot (June 22-24, 2018)
Arrr mateys! Bring out your inner pirate this summer at Put-in-Bay’s annual Pyrate Fest. This all-inclusive, family-friendly event is designed to bring free entertainment, education, and adventure to the island. This year’s 10th annual event will feature parades, a costume contest, living re-enactment, 5K run/walk, and more. With free admission, this is the perfect family event! More swashbuckling details can be found at visitputinbay.com.

4. Portage River Festival (June 24, 2018)
Summer isn’t complete without a stop in Elmore for the Portage River Festival. This annual event includes a flea market, craft show, food vendors, cupcake baking contest, car show, 5K run/walk, the one-of-a-kind redneck lawn mower pulling contest, and more.

5. Toast of Ohio Wine Festival (June 30, 2018)
Wine-lovers rejoice, the 14th annual Toast of Ohio Wine Festival will once again be held in downtown Sandusky this summer. Featuring several Ohio wineries, gourmet food, live musical entertainment, an art show, and more, this event has something for every wine enthusiast. Uncork more information online at toastofohio.com.

6. Island Fest (July 13-14, 2018)
As if you needed another reason to head to Kelleys Island in the summer, Island Fest 2018 is back and bigger and better than ever before. The theme for Island Fest 2018 is Dog Days of Summer! Featuring great fun for the whole family, Island Fest will feature Ohio Artisans, local crafters, food vendors, a beer tent, and evening street dances. Saturday kicks off with an exciting parade in addition to afternoon live entertainment and fireworks at dusk. Discover more at kelleysislandchamber.com.

7. Huron River Fest (July 13-15, 2018)
People flock to the Huron Boat Basin every summer for the Huron River Fest. This family-friendly event is billed as “a tradition of summertime fun” and with its rich lineup of live entertainment, food and drink offerings, games, midway-style rides and more, it’s easy to see why. The highlights of this annual event are the huge fireworks display on Friday night and the Duck Race on Sunday afternoon. Learn more online at huronriverfest.com.

8. Berlin Heights Basket Festival (August 3-4, 2018)
The Berlin Heights Basket Festival is a family celebration honoring the local tradition of basket making. The festival includes a queen's, prince, princess, and baby contests, kiddie tractor pull, flower show, the Charger Marching Band, Grand Parade at 1:30 pm on Saturday, youth and adult contests and activities, open market, food and craft vendors, and fireworks. Learn more at basketfestival.com.

9. Milan Melon Festival (September 1-3, 2018)
The quaint community of Milan is known for several things, including the birthplace of inventor Thomas Edison and the Milan Melon Festival that brings people from around the area to the town square each year. This celebration features rides, games, contests, antique car show, and live musical entertainment. The Grand Parade, which winds its way around and through the town square, will be held on Sunday afternoon. The famous muskmelon ice cream and watermelon sherbet are the must-have treats. All this and more can all be found in charming Milan, Ohio. Find out more at milanmelonfest.com.

Tagged: events on lake erie, festivals in ohio, festivals on lake erie, ohio festivals