If you are looking for interesting, family-oriented events or festivals, there is a seemingly endless supply beginning in the fall throughout Ohio. Where I live in Southwest Ohio is no exception and here are three with a longstanding history of tradition, entertainment and good food.
If you love good food and crafts, the annual Pork Festival held in the small town of Eaton in Preble County is the place to be. It is always held on the third full weekend in September, and although it officially opens Saturday morning for breakfast, for many the kick-off is the Saturday morning parade which starts at 10 or 10:30. The parade winds through Eaton and features many local high school marching bands, old vehicles and various local organizations. The parade ends at the Preble County Fairgrounds.
Several family friendly activities are held both days including pig races, music entertainment and square dancing. Most come for the great food — especially the grilled pork chops — and to buy from the nearly 500 arts & crafts vendors on hand both days.
Admission and parking are free. For more information, visit http://porkfestival.org/.
This eight weekend long event is held in a 30-acre permanent 16th Century England village located in Harveysburg. The celebration begins Labor Day weekend and continues through October. Event is held on Saturdays and Sundays and opens at 10:30 a.m. and last until 6 p.m.
With 11 stages filled with storytelling, sword fighting, or authentic full-armored jousting — everything is designed to pull you back to an earlier time. As you walk through the village, you are greeted throughout the day with ‘street’ entertainers like jugglers and comedians. But one of the biggest draws of the event is the more than 100 artisans on hand each year displaying their skills in jewelry making, glassblowing, blacksmithing and stone carving. You will not want to leave without one of their beautiful pieces of work.
Although, you can choose from a wide variety of food and beverages, you cannot consider yourself a true Renaissance person unless you eat a Giant Turkey Legg before you leave.
Admission is $20 for adults, $10 for children 5-12. Discounts are available online at www.renfestival.com.
Lebanon Horse Drawn Carriage Parade & Christmas Festival
Step back on time with this Old Fashioned Christmas celebration. Held annually in Lebanon on the first Saturday in December this festival boasts two parades featuring Horse Drawn Carriages — one in early afternoon and a candlelit parade later that same day. Parades include more than 100 decorated carriages pulled by draft horses like Clydesdales and Percherons.
Children will enjoy visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus and the entire family will enjoy the free afternoon carriage rides. Festival includes plenty of street vendors, live entertainment and great food. And for those who love antiques, Lebanon and the surrounding area are renowned for antique shops and dealers.
Make a full day of it by taking a 10-mile trip north to Waynesville when the village hosts its annual Christmas in the Village beginning Friday evening, ending on Sunday. Waynesville’s event includes a parade, costumed characters and carolers walking the streets entertaining visitors, and like Lebanon, the village is known for antique and craft shops.