'Tis the season for summer festivals -- here's your guide to them all

Posted at 10:41 AM, Jun 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-23 11:23:12-04

CINCINNATI -- Summertime in Cincinnati means one thing: festivals and lots of them.

That's why we created this list of summer festivals, with events that run through Labor Day.

Check it out, and come back for updates on new events throughout the season.

Northside Music Festival

The Northside Music Festival is promising something a little different from years past. Open Mike Eagle will introduce hip-hop to the lineup for the festival's ninth year. Fifteen other bands, ranging from punk to pop, will also perform at Northside Tavern.

7 p.m.-close June 24-25. Northside Tavern, 4163 Hamilton Ave. Free admission.

OTR Beerfest

What better way to enjoy summer than with a cold can of beer? The OTR Beerfest boasts more than 200 varieties of canned beers to try at Washington Park. There also will be food and live music. 

6-10 p.m. June 24-25. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St. Free admission; $5 drinking wristbands; drink tokens: 3 for $5.

Panegyri Greek Festival

Since 1975, members of Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church have invited people from across the Tri-State to share their heritage during the Panegyri Greek Festival. This year is no different. Greek cuisine, drinks, dance and music will be on display during the three-day event.  

5-11 p.m. June 24; 3-11 p.m. June 25; 1-8 p.m. June 26. 7000 Winton Road, Finneytown. $2 or free for those 12 and under. For more information visit the festival's website. 


For 15 years the Cheviot Westwood Community Association has transformed Harrison Avenue into a celebration of all things Westside for WestFest. The beer, local food and live music typically draw an estimated 30,000 Westsiders, and a few Eastsiders, too.

1 p.m.-midnight June 25; 1-10 p.m. June 26. 3000 block of Harrison Ave., Cheviot. Free admission.

Cincinnati Pride Parade and Festival

The Cincinnati Pride festival and parade caps off a weeklong celebration of the LGBTQ community. This year's parade begins at 11 a.m. Saturday on Seventh Street, Downtown. After the parade, there's a daylong festival at Sawyer Point featuring live music, DJs, comedy, food and the annual Cincinnati drag showcase.

11 a.m.-9 p.m. June 25. Parade starts at Seventh and Central, Downtown; festival is at Sawyer Point, 705 E. Pete Rose Way. Free admission. For more information visit the event's page on Facebook.

Red, White & Blue Ash

Celebrate the Fourth of July at one of the largest patriotic parties in the Tri-State. Red, White & Blue Ash promises a day of music, entertainment, food, drinks and family fun capped off with a spectacular fireworks display.

4-10:35 p.m. July 4. Summit Park, 4335 Glendale Milford Road, Blue Ash. Free

2016 Northside 4th of July Rock 'n Roll Carnival

You also can celebrate Independence Day with four days of food, music and beer at Northside's Rock 'n Roll Carnival in Hoffner Park. More than 40 bands are scheduled to perform.

July 1-4. Hoffner Park, 1618 Blue Rock St., Northside. Free admission. For band schedules and more information visitthe event's page on Facebook.

Bacon, Bourbon & Brew Festival

This festival brings together the three best aspects of our region's history by serving creative bacon dishes, local beer and a splash of bourbon. There also will be live music and games.

5-11 p.m. July 8; noon-11 p.m. July 9-10. Riverboat Row, Newport. Free admission. For more information visit the event’s page on Facebook.

Fifty West Punch Out Beer Festival and Boxing Event

Fifty West Brewing Co. is offering a slightly different take on the traditional beer festival. Ten fighters from eight local breweries will go toe-to-toe in a professional boxing ring. Don't worry, there also will be more than 50 local brews on tap as well.

4 p.m. to midnight July 9. Fifty West Production Works, 7668 Wooster Pike. $15 in advance; $20 at the door. For more information visit the event's page on Facebook.  

Bad Ass Beer Fest

This festival's name sort of says it all. Bad Tom Smith Brewing will bring together more than 15 regional breweries and 11 bands to rock the French House. Bonus: The festival doubles as a charity fundraiser for the National MS Society, Ohio Valley Chapter.

4-11 p.m. July 15-16. 3012 Section Road. $50-$75.

Cincinnati Music Festival

One of the longest-running music festivals in Cincinnati returns to Paul Brown Stadium this year with a lineup that includes New Edition, Leela James and more. This year, festival organizers ar adding a third night to the R&B festival called Throw Back Thursday.

July 21-23. Paul Brown Stadium, Downtown. $55-$500.

Glier’s Goettafest

Glier's proves there is definitely room for two goettafests in the Queen City. The second summer celebration of the regional favorite also offers live music, games, beers and other culinary treats.

5-11 p.m. Aug. 6-7; noon-11 p.m. Aug. 8; noon-9 p.m. Aug. 9. Riverboat Row, Newport on the Levee. Free

Cincinnati Craft Breweries’ Volksfest

Did you know "volk" in German means "people"? The folks at Listermann Brewing Co. do. That is why they are hosting Volksfest, a beer festival for the people featuring more than 20 other local breweries. Visitors can expect to see unique brews and old favorites during the two-day event.  

5 p.m.-midnight Aug. 5; noon-11 p.m. Aug. 6. Listermann Brewing Co., 1621 Dana Ave. Free admission. For more information visit the event's page on Facebook.

Buckle Up Country Music Festival

The two-day country music festival returns for its second year under new ownership and at a new venue, Summit Park in Blue Ash. Columbus-based PromoWest already has booked headliners Brad Paisley and Chase Rice, with more acts to come. And bonus for WCPO Insiders: You can buy one ticket and get one free when purchasing a two-day general admission pass.   


Aug. 5-6. Summit Park, 4335 Glendale Milford Road, Blue Ash. $99 early-bird two-day general admission tickets; $299 for two-day VIP ticket; $850 for two-day ultimate VIP ticket.

Great Inland Seafood Festival

Chow down on fresh seafood along the banks of the Ohio River at the Great Inland Seafood Festival in Newport. The festival will offer whole Maine lobsters for $15 and other seafood-inspired dishes.

5-11 p.m. Aug. 11-12; noon-11 p.m. Aug. 13; noon-9 p.m. Aug. 14. Riverboat Row, Newport on the Levee. Free admission. 

Cincy Brew Ha-Ha

Don't laugh so hard you spill your beer at Cincy Brew Ha-Ha, an annual festival that brings together brews and comedians. Last year's headliners included Adam Ferrara, David Koechner and Brandon T. Jackson. The list of 2016 performers is still in the works.

5 p.m. to midnight Aug. 25-26; 4 p.m.-midnight, Aug 27. Sawyer Point Park. Free admission.


The unofficial end to summer in Cincinnati takes place Sept. 4. Western & Southern is scheduled to sponsor the annual WEBN fireworks display once again to cap off a day of festivities along the riverfront.

Sept. 4. Sawyer Point & Yeatman's Cove. Free admission.