Favorite

It's Festival Time! 

Kick back and take in the wonders of the celebration season

JUNE

WEST SIDE MARKET

CENTENNIAL KICKOFF

June 2 (Rain Date June 23)

1979 West 25th St.

216-664-3387, westsidemarket.org/centennial

The West Side Market has been a part of Cleveland culture for 100 years — and it doesn't look a day over 70. Come celebrate this momentous milestone starting at 6 p.m. The multi-cultural celebration will feature the usual fabulous fare, as well as a neighborhood fireworks display and an ice cream social.

36th ANNUAL COLUMBIA ANTIQUE ENGINE SHOW & FLEA MARKET

June 2-3

Columbia Park, 25540 Royalton Rd.,

Columbia Station

440-236-9053, columbiastation.com

LaGrange Engine Club parades antique and contemporary trains, tractors, and autos — and will even be auctioning off pieces for your collection or practical use. To see what's worth bidding on, take in the tractor pull. If you're in the market for something smaller and more miscellaneous, a flea market and craft tables offer unexpected treasures.

WEAPONS OF MASS CREATION

June 8-10

Gordon Square Arts District, Detroit Ave.

216-707-5033, wmcfest.com

It's basically what it sounds like. For three days in June, 1,000-plus attendees will descend on Cleveland to create and be inspired. With 20 speakers, 20 designers, and nearly 30 bands, there won't be any shortage of creativity. For the third year, this grassroots movement will gather entrepreneurs, musicians, artists, students, and fans together to learn, become inspired, collaborate, network, and celebrate. An all-access three day pass is $60 and is available on their website.

ZIPPITYZOODOO, ZOOLIN ROUGE

June 8

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo,

3900 Wildlife Way

216-635-3324, clevelandzoosociety.org

Zip down to the zoo for this zany benefit. The Cleveland Zoological Society sponsors the 39th annual event, which is expected to raise $250,000 in support of the zoo's conservation education mission. The Paris-themed party will feature the Wild Side silent auction, which offers many exclusive zoo experience packages, including an overnight at the zoo, private tour of African Elephant Crossing, and a dinner with zoo director Steve Taylor. Guests will spend the night enjoying cocktails and hors d'oeuvres as they dance under the stars to the sounds of the Jerry Bruno Orchestra. Tickets start at $250; visit the website above to make a reservation.

THE RIVERFRONT IRISH FESTIVAL

June 8-10

Falls River Square, Cuyahoga Falls

330-554-3083, riverfrontirishfest.com

The Irish are very popular — especially among themselves. Luckily, everyone at the Cuyahoga Falls Riverfront Fest has a little bit of Irish in them. Billed as the Midwest's largest free Irish fest, the celebration features three stages of music. The lineup includes Brigid's Cross, New Barleycorn, Callahan & O'Connor, and any other band that sounds remotely Irish (including plenty of pipe ensembles). Ramble from stage to stage until you find the Market Place, where you can load up on traditional Irish and American fare and catch some traditional jigs by the MacConmara Dance Academy. If you need to work off a few pounds, try running the 5K and one-mile Fun Run at 8 a.m. Saturday. There's a traditional Mass on Sunday, where all of your weekend sins will be forgiven. Admission is free.

PARADE THE CIRCLE

& CIRCLE VILLAGE

June 9

Wade Oval, 10820 East Blvd.

216-707-5033, universitycircle.org

Outside of The Music Man, most community marches bore us to tears, with one big exception — Parade the Circle. For more than two decades, Clevelanders have greeted the arrival of summer with a parade of giant puppets, stilt-walkers, colorful costume characters, one-of-a-kind performance ensembles, and awesomely constructed floats, all marching through University Circle. Before and after the parade (which steps off at noon), visit Circle Village's tents and booths featuring more than 30museums, schools, churches, and community organizations. Make a puppet, create a green-themed craft, or take part in numerous other activities. Oh yeah, it's free.

JONATHAN HALE PIONEER FESTIVAL

June 9-10

Hale Farm and Village

2686 Oak Hill Road, Bath

330-666-3711, wrhs.org

With the abundant amount of technology readily available to us today, sometimes a reminder of what life was like before your iPhone becomes necessary. Learn how the pioneers managed as you observe firsthand cooking demonstrations on a wood stove, household chores, tending livestock, and other practices that helped the Ohio communities we love and know grow and flourish!

CHEF JAM

June 10

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,

1 Key Plaza, rockhall.com

Cleveland rocks! Well, at least the chefs do. The annual who's-who of Cleveland's culinary scene will be returning to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this summer. Chefs will be dishing up specialties inspired by their rock icons — and dressing like them too. There will be live music performed by Ivan Neville and Dumpstaphunk and other special guests. Tickets are $65 and can be purchased on the website.

FESTIVAL OF THE FISH

June 15-17

Victory Park, SR 60, Vermilion

440-967-4477, vermilionohio.com

The 46th annual Festival of the Fish is all about pageantry (and, um, fish ... we think). This stately Vermilion celebration is one of the largest honoring Lake Erie culture on a grand scale, with parades, races, contests, food, and live entertainment. There will be a lot more live music acts this year, with everything from country to classic rock. There's a Festival of the Fish Pageant on Friday, where "young girls vie for the coveted title of princess or queen," says spokeswoman Sandy Grisel. Saturday kicks offwith a 5K run and one-mile walk, while nature engineers build spires in the Sand Castle Contest at Main Street Beach. It's all free.

AVON HERITAGE

DUCT TAPE FESTIVAL

June 15-17

Veteran's Memorial Park,

37001 Detroit Rd., Avon

866-818-1116, avonducttapefestival.com

Duct tape is a lot like the Force. With its light and dark sides, it holds the universe together. Avon (home to Duck-brand duct tape) celebrates this cohesive power every summer with the awesomely bizarre Avon Heritage Duct Tape Festival. This year's theme: "On Safari With Duct Tape." Celebrate Dad's favorite accessory Father's Day weekend with a three-day celebration hosted in the Duct Tape Capital of the World. It includes lots of traditional festival stuff (food, games, even a parade), but with crazy duct-tape displays (including sculptures and fashions).

OHIO SCOTTISH GAMES

June 21-23

Lorain County Fairgrounds, 23000Fairgrounds Rd., Wellington

440-835-9794, ohioscottishgames.com

There can be only one Ohio Scottish Games! Gather your friends, equip them with kilts, travel over rolling hills and glens, and watch countless competitions — ranging from pipe bands to crazy Scottish athletics like caber tossing and the hammer throw. See lads and lassies test their form in the Highland Dancing and Choreography Competitions, stepping the Sailor's Hornpipe, the Highland Fling, and (OMG!) the Sword Dance. Have a beer and watch the piping and drumming competitions. Then enjoy music throughout the day, with one of the most successful Celtic festival performers, Charlie Zahm, and Celtic rock and roll from Brother. Tickets are $13 for adults, $8 for kids ages 12-17; littler ones get in free.

LORAIN INTERNATIONAL BAZAAR

June 22-24

Black River Landing, Downtown Lorain

440-204-2269, loraininternational.com

For one weekend in June, Lorain County becomes the U.N. of northern Ohio festivals, serving up international foods and worldwide entertainment. The Lorain International Bazaar will cook up all types of global gastronomy — 40 food vendors serving Greek, Chinese, Dutch, Vietnamese, Mexican, Polish, German, Portuguese, British, American, and (of course) Hungarian food. The festival will also feature ethnic souvenirs and crafts, covered areas to sit and dine, children's activities, and more. Tickets are $2 for adults, free for children 12 & under.

GAY PRIDE PARADE

June 23

Voinovich Bicentennial Park,

Downtown Cleveland

216-226-0004, clevelandpride.org

With Cleveland slated to host the Gay Games in 2014, gay pride is building like never before. The 24th annual downtown parade starts at noon and features colorful floats and costumes, live music, a beer garden, children's pavilion, numerous vendors, and organizations from the Cleveland GLBT community. It's free and all are welcome to attend.

COLUMBIA HOMECOMING

FESTIVAL

June 29-July 1

Columbia Park, 25540 Royalton Rd.,

Columbia Station

440-236-9053, columbiastation.com

This small-town homecoming celebration packs a lot of magical moments into three days of festivities, but you can't miss the parade on Sunday or Saturday's fireworks — which will be some of the few happening in the region now that the PC police are worried about "noise pollution" and "fire safety" and nobody has any "money" to "pay for them."

JULY

ITALIAN-AMERICAN

COUNCIL FESTIVAL

July 13-15

Lock 3, 200 South Main St., Akron

it-am.org

As powerful as the Illuminati and as fun as the Freemasons, the Italian-American Council is expanding its influence with classes, cuisine, and contests. The tastes and smells of Italy will mix with the piquant aroma of downtown Akron at the 65th annual Italian-American celebration. Dabble in wine tastings, cooking classes, bocce tournaments, car shows, and plenty of people-watching. It's free.

MUSIC IN THE VALLEY

July 14-15

Hale Farm and Village

2686 Oak Hill Rd., Bath

330-666-3711, wrhs.org

There's no better way to listen to some folk music and spontaneous "jam" sessions than on the scenic grounds of Hale Farm & Village. Folknet and WKSU present the 38th Annual Music in the Valley Celebration, where you can relax in the shade or peruse the area at your leisure and catch all the acts. Tix are $10 for adults and $5 for kids.

TASTE OF TREMONT

July 15

Professor Ave.

tasteoftremont.com

The annual street festival in the heart of Tremont's restaurant district showcases the best of Tremont cuisine begining at noon. Among the festivities are art exhibits, a beer garden, dance performances, church tours, and live music. Admission is free, but you'll have to pay for food and drink as you go.

BAZAAR AT THE AQUARIUM

July 19

The Greater Cleveland Aquarium,

2000 Sycamore St., 216-241-7550

greaterclevelandaquarium.com

Those endlessly fun and attractive folks at Scene host a night of local shopping and sharking at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium, the region's fishiest new downtown destination. You can keep your money local and have a blast by visiting over 20 independent artisans and area shopkeepers who will be selling art objects and crafts of all sorts among the glassed-in schools and reefs. An on-site bar will keep you buzzed if watching octopi change colors isn't trippy enough for you. The event runs from 7 to 11 p.m.

PAINESVILLE PARTY IN THE PARK

July 20-22

Painesville Veterans Park

parkpartyinfo.com

Ohio's largest free music festival is back for its 32nd year with more than 30 musical acts on three stages, plus activities and events for the whole family all day — plus delicious alcoholic beverages!

IRISH CULTURAL FEST

July 20-22

Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds

164 Eastland Rd.,

Berea, clevelandirish.org

The 30th annual Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival features wall-to-wall Celtic fare — from Irish coffee and homemade scones to flouncing kilts and pipes and drums. There's even a bevy of Irish dogs to meet. Weekend entertainment includes "The Voice of Ireland" Tommy Fleming and a host of other Irish talent, including locals Brigid's Cross, Homeland, Michael Crawley, and the Detroit group the Kreellers. The God Squad activities heat up on Sunday with a Mass that offers more than a message: For every festivalgoer arriving before 11:30 a.m., the festival committee will donate $1.50 to St. Patrick's Bridge Avenue Food Bank — just one of the local charities that will benefit from this popular weekend-long event. Admission is $10; kids 10 and under are free.

BROOKSTOCK: A CELEBRATION OF

MUSIC & NATURE

July 21

Brookside Reservation

216-206-1000, clemetparks.com

BrookStock is a haven for tree-huggers of all kinds. Billed as a "Celebration of Music & Nature," BrookStock takes the concept of '60s-era nature parties to Brookside Valley, where music, arts, animals, and vendors mingle with Mother Nature. Pull up a tent, lawn chairs, or blanket, and listen to music by the 730 Club Band (at 2 p.m.), Brittany Reilly Band (at 3:30 p.m.), the Latin Crew (at 5:30 p.m.), and the D.C. Band (at 6:30 p.m.). Jugglers entertain kids, adventurers check out live animals, and everyone eats ice cream and burgers. To savor the natural experience, we suggest you buy a shirt from EarthWords for $5 and create your own unique BrookStock tie-dye T-shirt instant souvenir! Admission is free.

VEGGIE U FOOD & WINE

CELEBRATION

July 21

12304 SR 13, Milan

419-499-7500, veggieufoodandwine.com

Foodies, unite! Sample culinary masterpieces with superb wine pairings, watch food demonstrations, and try fare from the Hodge Podge food truck showcased on the Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race. Featured celebrity guests include Amanda Freitag, Robert Irvine, and Johnny Iuzzini The event benefits Veggie U, a non-profit children's education program that teaches the importance of nutrition and sustainable agriculture. Tickets cost $150.

BURNING RIVER FEST:

CHRISTMAS IN JULY

July 21-22

Coast Guard Station, Whiskey Island

216-771-4404, burningriverfest.org

Whiskey Island has seen its share of Cleveland history. The tiny parcel of land was once home to more than a dozen saloons that serviced the city's working-class Irish. After its neighboring river famously caught fire in 1969, Uncle Sam instituted Earth Day. Cleveland has a day to mark the event too, but we do it with a big-ass party with music, good eats, and Great Lakes Brewing Company's Christmas Ale. Entertainment includes homegrown artists, and proceeds benefit the Burning River Foundation. Admission is $10, and kids under 12 get in free.

HALE FARM COUNTRY FAIR

July 21-22

2686 Oak Hill Rd., Bath

330-666-3711, wrhs.org

For those partial to old-fashioned farms and the people who make them go, the Hale Farm Country Fair — featuring the Annual Antique Farm Equipment Show — is a no-miss event. You'll enjoy traditional farm equipment, tractors, homemade ice cream, eight-track players, Solid Gold dancers, and other conventions more than a century old.

CLEVELAND WINE FESTIVAL

July 27-28

Voinovich Bicentennial Park,

Downtown Cleveland

847-382-3270, clevelandwinefestival.com

Pour yourself a glass at the fifth-annual Cleveland Wine Festival, which offers a selection of 270 international, domestic, and Ohio wines and fine food from fancy local bistros. "The relaxed setting takes the fear and mystery out of learning about wine," says organizer Scott Janess. The festival's main stage will showcase live entertainment throughout the event, which is all about dining on classy cuisine, sniffing corks, and sipping Chardonnay, Riesling, Zinfandel, Pinot, Cabernet, and everything in between — just like the ancient Romans used to do. Tickets are $28 advance, $35 at the door; designated drivers are $10.

GENEVA'S DOWNTOWN

SIDEWALK SALES

July 27-28

Downtown Geneva

440-466-4675, visitgenevaoh.com

Whether you call yourself a bargain hunter (we're being polite) or junk-picker (honest), you've never witnessed the marriage of "torn" and "frayed" played out with more poetry than when flea markets and Geneva-on-the-Lake come together. In this unlikely Lake Erie oyster, you will find outdoor sales abounding throughout the season. That they unroll along the leather-clad, Harley-humming strip makes it all that much better. And where there are bikers, there's cold beer and hot fries at every turn. You won't go hungry. Most of the events are free, but contact venues for specifics.

AUGUST

TWILIGHT AT THE ZOO

Aug. 3

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo,

3900 Wildlife Way

216-661-6500, clevelandzoosociety.org

It's the annual music festival and fund-raiser presented by your friends at Scene — complete with complimentary food, drink, and dancing under the stars from 7 p.m. till midnight. There will be music by 18 bands playing Motown, rock, salsa, swing, country, and blues. Tickets are $70 if you snag them before the end of June, but $75 if you wait till July.

VINTAGE OHIO

Aug. 3-4

Lake Metroparks Farmpark,

8800 Chardon Rd., Kirtland

800-227-6972, visitvintageohio.com

Living in Northeast Ohio has its challenges. Our river caught fire, our biggest city went into default, and there's the (ahem) Browns. But are you listening, New York? Hey, California? Ohio's got wine! That fact is never more regally celebrated than at the annual Vintage Ohio, where more than 20 wineries will show off the fruit of their vines this year. In addition to the vino, the event features live entertainment on three stages. Area restaurants will sell burgers, kabobs, shawarma, gyros, custards, and even fried cheese from Antone's (mmm ... fried cheese). Admission is $25-$45; kids get in for $3.

SUMMER BEACH PARTY

Aug. 4

Huntington Beach, off Lake Rd.,

between Columbia and

Crocker-Bassett Rds., Bay Village

216-635-3200

clemetparks.com/events/summerbeach.asp

A day at the beach is just a day at the beach — unless you stretch it into night and add a steel drum band. Then you've got a bona fide party! Throw in some sandcastles and volleyball, and you're practically going Gidget. There's fishing and kayak demonstrations too. Live animals will be along for the fun; so will a dive-team exhibit. Calypso Gypsies Steel Drum Trio will provide the sounds, Big Show caterers will be hawking snacks, and those trusty Girl Scouts will be selling goodies. The event is free, but space is limited, and registration is required for some activities. Try not to get too much sand in your skivvies.

CUYAHOGA COUNTY FAIR

Aug. 6-12

Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds,

164 Eastland Rd., Berea

440-243-0090, cuyfair.com

This venerable event began back in 1893 and continues to be a summer staple for Northeast Ohioans. Live music will keep feet stompin', while 20 flashing midway rides dazzle the kids and the demolition derby makes a metal mess out of a bunch of cars. And did someone say food? In addition to such irresistible fair standards as funnel cakes and corn dogs, more than 100 food stations boast tempting ethnic fare like chicken paprikash, cabbage and noodles, and gyros. Arts and crafts, kids' activities, square dancing, harness racing, produce and animal shows, motocross, the Hall of Flowers, a haunted house — and what would a fair be without the boom of fireworks? The Cuyahoga County Fair has it all and then some. Admission is $7, with discounts for children and seniors.

ASHTABULA COUNTY FAIR

Aug. 7-12

Ashtabula County Fairgrounds,

North Poplar St., Jefferson

440-576-7626, ashtabulafair.com

Get out your pocket tees and John Deere hats — this fair has the ability to redden the necks of even sushi-eating, Chardonnay-sipping urbanites. Trucks? They got trucks: There's a truck show, a truck and tractor pull, and a rough-truck contest (with both kinds — your stock and your modified). Don't cotton to trucks? Then dig some tractor: They got stock tractors, garden tractors, and modified tractors. Then there's your motocross, your demolition derby, Granpa Cratchet's Show, all manner of critters, and a hypnotist to boot. There's plenty of fun for the li'l shavers too, with a midway chock-full of thrill rides and contests of the bubble-blowing and watermelon-eating sorts. Admission is $7; kids under 4 are free.

MIDWEST REGGAE FEST

Aug. 10-12

Wendy Park, just west

of Downtown Cleveland

midwestreggaefest.com

The Midwest Reggae Fest has become one of the longest-running (21 years!) and best-attended reggae festivals in the U.S., with a lineup that includes national and international talent. After five years at Nelson Ledges, the action shifts to bucolic Wendy Park on the shores of Lake Erie. Tickets are $40 for the day, $100 for the weekend.

NORTH RIDGEVILLE

CORN FESTIVAL

Aug. 10-12

North Ridgeville

440-218-9802, nrcornfest.org

It's Lorain County's venerable celebration of maize, complete with arts and crafts, rides, games, food, and a parade — most of it wonderfully, eerily centered around corn. It's free.

CIVIL WAR REENACTMENT

Aug. 11

Hale Farm and Village

2686 Oak Hill Rd., Bath

330-666-3711, wrhs.org

Put yourself in the shoes of a Civil War soldier for a weekend of battle reenactments, soldier tents, Founding Father look-alikes, and historic souvenirs to remember the two-day, one-of-a-kind experience. General admission rates apply. Civil War Two-Day Pass available: $15 for adults; $7.50 for children.Western Reserve Historical Society members are always FREE!

JEWISH FOOD

AND CULTURAL FESTIVAL

Aug. 12

Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage

2929 Richmond Rd., Beachwood

216-593-0575, maltzmuseum.org

This annual celebration of Jewish food, music, dance, and other cultural activities includes free admission to all museum galleries. Come for a fun-filled day of food, guided tours, and plenty of Jewish entertainment. Food tickets are available for 50 cents each.

NATIONAL HAMBURGER FESTIVAL

Aug. 18-19

Lock 3, 200 South Main St., Akron

hamburgerfestival.com

The burger nation — 25,000 strong and counting! — will unite in Akron under a banner of buns, patties, lettuce, bacon, tomato, onion, pickles, and cheese. Restaurants will vie for bragging rights in the National Burger Cook-Off's five categories, as 20 eateries serve more than 50 different varieties. The competitive spirit will continue with the Miss Hamburger Pageant, the Baby Burger Contest, and the Ohio Burger Cook-Off for backyard grillers. Plus, the illustrious Ohio Hamburger Eating Championship is always a highlight. Tickets are $5.

THE GREAT GEAUGA COUNTY FAIR

Aug. 30-Sep. 3

Geauga County Fairgrounds

14373 North Cheshire St., Burton

440-834-1846, geaugafair.com

Ohio's oldest county fair is one fair you won't want to miss! Let yourself be transported back to when times were simpler, to a place where pigs befriend spiders and food comes on sticks. The fair offers midway rides, more than 2,000 animals, vendors, exhibits, fair food, demolition derbys, games, and live music!

OKTOBERFEST

Aug. 31-Sep. 3

Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds,

164 Eastland Rd., Berea

clevelandoktoberfest.com

What do wiener dog races, microbrew competitions, and sauerkraut balls have in common? We're not entirely sure, but you can find them all at Oktoberfest! There's also beer, brats, and a microbrew competition, along with the Oktoberfest 5K Bier Run to help you sweat off all the extra calories. Well, you might have to run a bit farther on your own to burn all of it off. Admission is $10, kids under 12 get in free.

SEPTEMBER & BEYOND

MADE IN OHIO CRAFT FESTIVAL

Sep. 1

Hale Farm and Village,

2686 Oak Hill Rd., Bath

330-666-3711, madeinohiofestival.com

End your Summer season on a positive "stroke" with home-grown arts, crafts, and foods at Hale Farm and Village. The Made in Ohio festival features more than 85 Ohio artisans, local restaurants, and all that Hale Farm has to offer. The $5 fee includes admission to the festival as well as the grounds and buildings at Hale Farm.

CLEVELAND NATIONAL AIR SHOW

Sep. 1-3

Burke Lakefront Airport,

Downtown Cleveland

216-781-0747, clevelandairshow.com

If it's Labor Day weekend, it must be time for the annual Cleveland National Air Show, featuring the U.S. Army Golden Knights, U.S. Navy Blue Angels, aeronautical exhibits, kids' activities, and tours. There will be plenty of attractions in addition to the air show, and kids five and under get in free.

YANKEE PEDDLER FESTIVAL

Sep. 8-9, 15-16, 22-23

Clay's Park Resort, 13190 Patterson St. NW,

North Lawrence

800-860-4386, clayspark.com

This popular annual event recreates the world of Ohio from 1776-1825. Handcrafts by 350 exhibitors are complemented by Colonial cooking and entertainment. After your colonialized day, you can enjoy the campground's heated indoor swimming pool, sauna, basketball and tennis courts, a sports bar and grill, and much, much more.

CLEVELAND BROWNS

SEASON OPENER

Sep. 9

Cleveland Browns Stadium,

1085 Alfred Lerner Way

440-891-5001, clevelandbrowns.com

A veritable holy day among the faithful, the annual season opener is as much about the partying as it is the football. This year's first victim is the Philadelphia Eagles. It's the first time they've faced the Browns in the season opener since 1969, and it's the 13th time in 14 years the Browns have opened their season in Cleveland. And all 13 of those years, the tailgating has been way better than the team, so be sure to keep your priorities in order.

DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL

Sep. 15

Nautica Entertainment Complex,

2000 Sycamore St., the Flats

216-221-1389

clevelanddragonboatfestival.com

Put 20 rowers, one drummer, and a badass steersman in a 40-foot boat alongside a bunch of other boats just like it on the Cuyahoga River, and you've got one fierce event. Dragon boats have been around for more than 2,000 years in China, but they get only one day of celebration each year in Cleveland. The Dragon Boat Festival focuses on fun and teamwork for rowers of all ages. (Teams participate to raise money for the Gathering Place.) If you want to enter, it's $850 per team of 21 or more, but you can watch for free.

OHIO MART

Oct. 4-7

Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens,

714 N. Portage Path, Akron

330-836-5533, stanhywet.org

Come mingle with the masses at the 45th annual Ohio Mart. The outdoor show of fine arts and crafts features more than 125 artisans and craftspeople for you to enjoy against the backdrop of the historic grounds of Akron's Stan Hywet Hall.

SEASON-LONG FUN

OLD FIREHOUSE CRAFT FAIRS

May 2-Sep. 8

Saturdays and select Sundays

The Landing Festival Marketplace,

Lake Rd., Geneva-on-the-Lake

440-466-9300, oldfirehousewinery.com

Enjoy a leisurely weekend on the lake and browse the fair's selection of unique crafts and jewelry while you take in the scenery. This craft fair also has the benefit of having a winery on site, so make sure you stop in and have a Merlot — or two — and enjoy yourself.

ROCKIN' ON THE RIVER

May 25-Aug. 31

Falls River Square, Cuyahoga Falls

330-730-7591, rockinontheriver.com

AC/DC, Van Halen, Meatloaf, and even the Eagles are congregating in Cuyahoga Falls this summer to blast crowds with their big hits. Well, it's actually their cover-band counterparts playing the biggest weekly party on the Cuyahoga. But that's pretty awesome too. As Northeast Ohio's longest-running and highest-attended outdoor concert series, Rockin' on the River will feature 13 Friday-night concerts this summer, hosting the nation's top classic-rock tribute bands. Bring your family, feast on fair food, check out vendors selling shirts and jewelry, get an airbrush tattoo, then kick back with a Bud and howl "Free Bird!" during Vicious Cycle's set. (It's OK, they're a Skynyrd tribute band.) Admission is free.

2012 SUMMER EXCITEMENT

May 29-Sept.15

Playhouse Square District,

Downtown Cleveland

216-640-8657, playhousesquare.org

The Playhouse Square District will be a flurry of outdoor activity this summer as they present more than 70 free events during the fleeting warm months. Summer Excitement 2012 at Playhouse Square's goal is to build a thriving downtown neighborhood and will feature a variety of lunchtime and after-work events like exercise classes, cornhole tournaments, and an outdoor concert series. Don't forget they're all free.

WOW! WADE OVAL WEDNESDAYS

June 13-Aug. 29

University Circle, 1 Wade Oval Dr.

216-707-5033, universitycircle.org

Wade Oval makes an outdoor gala out of every Wednesday this summer. More than 10,000 visitors will leave life's baggage at home this summer and bring their families, friends, and blankets to dance, unwind, and enjoy the music. Surrounded by the Cleveland Botanical Garden, Cleveland Museum of Art, and Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Wade Oval isthe perfectgreen space for a little music.It's particularly ideal for Latin & World Beat Orchestra music on June 13, and Wild Horses will be rocking the crowd with party music on July 11. There will be 11 concerts in all, along with occasional movie events after the music (on July 25 and August 15), where you can munch on popcorn and yell out your favorite lines Best of all, it's free.

FESTIVAL SEASON

AT NELSON LEDGES

12001 Nelson Ledges Rd., Garrettsville

440-548-2716, nlqp.com

Nelson Ledges Quarry Park is a Northeast Ohio institution. You'll find heaven on earth here, played out during summer weekends filled with camping, music, icy cold ones from the cooler, and a crystal-clear quarry for swimming. Most of the festivals are multi-day events. Ticket prices depend on when you get there and how long you stay. A weekend pass includes camping, swimming, and music, music, music. The 2012 season is filled with hippie-happy festivals. Here's a sample platter: Spring Hookah is lined up for Memorial Day weekend, Classic Fest will highlight June, and July will feature Gratefulfest.

BEREA FAIRGROUNDS

FLEA MARKETS

Most Saturdays and

Sundays through October

Berea Fairgrounds,

164 Eastland Rd., Berea

440-752-3013, cuyfair.com

If you're an old-timer weeping nostalgic tears at the mere thought of the defunct Memphis Triple Flea Market, prepare to inflate with joy. Well, inflate with something — perhaps untold mountains of fabulous flea-type acquisitions from the fairgrounds, where many of the Memphis Triple vendors are rumored to have taken up shop in recent times. This is the real deal, where commerce meets streetwise in the most organic sense.

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