From early spring through late fall, Maumee Bay area communities invite visitors to sample some of their hometown hospitality and local flavor. Some of the fairs and festivals planned for 2009 include:
Start practicing your polka now. The annual Lagrange Street Polish Festival makes its return to the streets of North Toledo July 10-12. Hours are Friday from 5 to 11 p.m., Saturday noon to 11 p.m. and Sunday noon to 7 p.m. Polish music, pierogies and other delights, a children’s area and more. For more info, visit www.lagrangedevelopment.org or call 419-255-8406.
The Toledo Harbor Lighthouse 105 Year Festival will be held July 11 and 12 on the shores of Lake Erie at Maumee Bay State Park in Oregon. Hours are Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The festival includes island music, fireworks, sand castle-building, food, boat rides around the lighthouse, nautical arts and crafts, kids’ activities and more. Visit www.toledoharborlighthouse.org for more info.
The Ottawa County Fair will be held July 20 to 26 at the county fairgrounds, located three miles east of Oak Harbor, at 7870 SR 163. Highlights of the popular local fair include entertainment, tractor pulls, livestock exhibits, food and more. See a complete schedule of events at www.ottawacountyfair.org or call 419-898-1971.
Celebrate a rich Ohio heritage at the Lucas County Fair July 28 to Aug. 2 at the Lucas County Fairgrounds, 1406 Key Street in Maumee. The fair will include rides, concessions, entertainment, animals, tractor pulls, demolition derby and more. Among the highlights: Kids’ Day Tuesday; My Fair Lady Pageant and Jenkins Border Collies Wednesday; Draft Horse Pulls Thursday; Lawnmower Races and Demolition Derby Saturday; Rough Truck Challenge Sunday and more. Get more details at www.lucascountyfair.com.
If you enjoy treasure hunting at flea markets, you won’t want to miss The Stony Ridge Festival held annually along US 20/23 (Fremont Pike) just west of I-420/I-280. This year’s festival will be held July 24 to 26 in the community park.
The flea market, which features more than 200 vendor spaces, will be open from 4 p.m. to dark Friday; 9 a.m. to dark Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. The festival will also include food, rides, musical entertainment and more. Just a note: watch for yard/garage sales along Route 20 and the side streets near the festival. Info: Karen Nicely: 419-837-9816.
Ohio’s South of the Border Festival will be back again Perrysburg Aug. 7 to 8 just east of SR. 25 near I-475 (across from Levis Commons). Food, dancing, rides and games, plus raffles, kids’ games and more. Fee parking and shuttle from Perrysburg High School. Hours are Friday 5 p.m. to midnight and Saturday from 2 p.m. to midnight. 419-874-4529.
Mark your calendar for Aug. 12 to 15. Those are the dates for the 2009 Pemberville Free Fair, held in the village’s Memorial Park. The 84-year old event, one of the last free fairs in Ohio, includes two parades, contests, food, rides, parades, entertainment and more. Visit www.pembervillefair.org or call 419-287-4836 for a complete roster of events.
The 33rd Annual Birmingham Ethnic Festival is on tap for Sunday, Aug.16 from noon to 9 p.m. on Consaul Street in East Toledo’s Birmingham neighborhood. This family event features Hungarian and ethnic foods, arts and crafts exhibits, cultural displays, and a wide variety of music, dance and continuous entertainment. For more information, visit http://birminghamethnicfestival.org.
The Sandusky County Fair will be held Aug. 25 to 30 at the county fairgrounds, 901 Rawson Ave. in Fremont. This year’s fair will Joe Nichols in the Saturday Night Concert Aug. 29 at 8 p.m. Other events include a cheerleading competition Tuesday; FMX Championship Series Wednesday; Brews Brothers Demo Derby Thursday and Sunday; and an OSTPA Truck & Tractor Pull Friday. Visit sanduskycountyfair.com or call 419-332-5604 to pre-order tickets for live entertainment.
Northwest Ohio’s oldest ethnic festival, the German-American Festival, will be held this year Aug. 28-30 at 3624 Oak Shade Grove, in Oregon.
The festival features non-stop music and entertainment, German-American food and beer, baked goods, a children’s Hummel Look-Alike contest, contests and competitions, raffles, kids’ rides and much more.
Hours are Friday 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. (parade and opening ceremonies begin at 8 p.m.), Saturday 2 p.m. to 1 a.m.; Sunday noon to 8 p.m. with a German-language worship service at 10:30 a.m.
For more information, visit www.gafsociety.org/fest.htm.
The Sandusky County Restorers of Antique Power (S.C.R.A.P) will hold their 21st Antique Tractor and Engine Show Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 5-7 at White Star Park in Gibsonburg. Crafts, music, displays and demonstrations, tractor-pulling, flea market and more. Get more details at www.s-c-r-a-p-inc.org.
The Black Swamp Arts Festival returns to downtown Bowling Green Sept. 11-13. At the heart of the festival, running the length of downtown Main Street, are 100 juried fine art displays from artists across the country. The festival also includes music, festival foods and more. For more information, visit www.blackswamparts.org.
On that same weekend, Sept. 11-13, the Greek-American Festival will be held on the grounds at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral’s 740 N. Superior St., grounds off Summit Street near Cherry Street in downtown Toledo. The festival is a celebration of Greek food, music, dance and heritage. Hours are 4 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. More information is available at www.holytrinitytoledo.com.
The annual Millbury Ox Roast, set for Sept. 20 on Main Street in Millbury, will feature a car show, music and more.
The Luckey Fall Festival is a celebration of autumn in all its glory. This year’s festival will be held Sept. 25 to 27 between Krotzer Road (SR 582) and Gilbert Road on Adams Street in Luckey. The festival, fun for the whole family, includes an antique tractor pulls, a car show, flea market, food and entertainment. Visit luckeyfallfestival.com for more information.
The 31st Annual Oak Harbor Apple Festival will be held Oct. 10 and 11 in downtown Oak Harbor. The festival, which draws a large crowd of locals and visitors, includes a grand parade, entertainment, 5K Apple Run, youth football game and apple treats in many delicious forms. More information is available at www.oakharborhio.net.