July Events in Ohio
By Mary Kleffner

It’s officially summer, and there’s no better way to celebrate the warm weather and fun this season than at some of Ohio’s best festivals and events! From handmade cardboard boats and a harmonica championship to hot air balloon rides and fireworks – you’re sure to find entertainment for the whole family. Check out some events happening this month!


Crazy Cardboard Boat Regatta, July 14

Cheer on teams as they try to stay afloat at the annual Crazy Cardboard Boat Regatta in West Chester! At this annual event, competitors construct handmade boats from only cardboard, tape, and glue – and set sail! See who stays afloat the longest on the lake at Voice of America MetroPark and enjoy a variety of other lakefront activities including music and entertainment.

See a schedule of events here.

Cincinnati Music Festival, July 26-28

Held at Paul Brown Stadium, the Cincinnati Music Festival boasts some of the best and most entertaining R&B, jazz, and blues performers each year. This year catch headliners Charlie Wilson, Jill Scott, and MC Lyte – and stay for special guests like Common and The Roots. Spend a weekend in Cincinnati and enjoy not only live music, but delicious local cuisine and shopping!

Check out a full schedule of performers here.

The Ohio Challenge Balloon Festival, July 20-21

Watch as thirty participants race to win the coveted “Ohio Challenge Trophy” during the hot air balloon race at the Ohio Challenge Balloon Festival in Middletown! Other activities include hot air balloon rides, a car show, live music, and carnival rides. Be sure to stick around Friday and Saturday evening to watch hundreds of balloons light up the sky at the fan-favorite night balloon glow!

For more information, visit The Ohio Challenge website here.


Lilyfest, July 13-15

Lilyfest is held annually at the Bishop Educational Gardens in Rockbridge, and features flower gardens cared for by local experts. A juried art show featuring artwork by more than 70 artists will be displayed, and live music will be performed on multiple stages throughout the three-acre grounds.

Take a stroll through the Butterfly House and enjoy beautiful sculptures and gardens at Lilyfest! Find out more here.

Meigs Heritage Festival and Ohio State Harmonica Championship, July 21

Make your way to Chester, Ohio for the Meigs Heritage Festival and Ohio State Harmonica Championship! This festival starts off with a classic car show and includes a homemade pie contest, vendors, food, and more. Headlining the festival is the Ohio State Harmonica Championship, where some of the Midwest’s best harmonica players will compete in varying categories of music for a grand prize of $300!

Tune into this unique, free admission event! Click here for more information.


Red, White, and Boom!, July 3

Catch the largest fireworks display in Ohio at Columbus’ Red, White, and Boom! Celebrate this Independence Day and enjoy food, entertainment, and family-friendly activities all-day long. Be sure to get there early and secure a spot for the famous fireworks show!

Don’t miss out on this favorite event! Learn more about the festivities here.

Jazz and Rib Fest, July 20-22

Experience downtown Columbus’ beautiful Scioto Riverfront at the annual Jazz and Rib Fest. This weekend-long event features two stages with local, regional, and international jazz artists. This year, you can tune into headliners Arturo Sandoval and special guest Jane Monheit, the JuJu Exchange, Euge Groove, Peter White and more. Feast on the region’s best barbecue chicken and ribs while listening to some of the jazz industry’s biggest artists at this free admission event.

See the line-up and more here.

Ohio State Fair, July 25-August 5

A tradition since 1850, the Ohio State Fair at the Ohio Expo Center offers a variety of activities and entertainment for the whole family. From exotic animals, agricultural competitions and horse shows to carnival rides, classic fair food and over two-hundred vendors – the whole family will be entertained!

Find a full schedule of events and grab your tickets here.


Festival of Sail, July 12-15

Help celebrate Sandusky’s bicentennial on the shores of Lake Erie at the Festival of Sail! Climb aboard and sail on many “ships of yore,” and check out this year’s guest of honor – the World’s Largest Rubber Duck! Experience all the festival has to offer including live music, food, drink, and a variety of vendors.

Learn more here.

Celina Lake Festival, July 27-29

Dive into crafts, rides, food, and more at the Celina Lake Festival! Memorable attractions include the Amphicar “Splash In” (which is slated to bring the largest amount of these amphibious cars to-date,) a Beatles’ tribute band, and fireworks!

Don’t miss out on dozens of lakefront activities for the whole family! Find more information here.


FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby Championship Week, July 15-21

Catch the greatest Soap Box Derby racers from around the globe as they gather in Akron at the All-American Soap Box Derby Championships. Racers will reach speeds of up to 30 miles an hour as they compete for the title of World Champion. Explore the city and cheer on your favorite contestants at this week-long event!

Learn about all the Championship Week offers here.

Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival Balloon Classic, July 27-29

Watch in awe as 65 hot air balloons from across the United States take flight in North Canton to celebrate this year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement at the Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival Balloon Classic. Hot air balloon flights, fireworks, live music, and dozens of food vendors are just a few things this weekend offers! Bring the whole family and help celebrate the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s newest class of Hall of Fame Enshrinees.

Find more information here.

With so many events, you’ll stay busy this July! Spend time with the ones you love, try something new, and share your summer memories with us using #OhioFindItHere.

About the Author

Mary is the Public Relations Intern for TourismOhio, where she assists the public relations team in creating content that showcases all the excitement and fun available right here in Ohio. A graduate of Capital University, Mary studied Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations. She enjoys crafting, design, and spending time with friends and family.