Cleveland Food Festivals
Pick a weekend in Cleveland, and visitors can find a chance to boogie with bagpipers, drift downriver on dragonboats, “mangia” manicotti and more. With such an appreciation and celebration of the 117 different ethnicities that make up our region, it’s not just Cleveland, Ohio… it’s more like Cleveland, World.
May – September: Throughout the summer months, Cleveland’s gourmet cuisine on wheels comes together for Walnut Wednesdays. Nearly a dozen of the area’s most popular food trucks gather in downtown’s NineTwelve District for delicious food, live music and an enjoyable mid-day break.
May 11: The Kamm’s Corners neighborhood recently introduced a new type of ethnic celebration to Cleveland. The Hooley (an Irish slang term for “party”) brings together the community for day of music, pipes and drummers, Irish dancers and food vendors galore. The inaugural year brought out more the 15,000 attendees for a block party like none other.
May 25 – 28: Each year on Memorial Day weekend, families head to the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in the Tremont Neighborhood for delicious traditional dishes such as moussaka and hours of Greek music and dancing at the Tremont Greek Festival.
May18 – 19: In honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month the region’s Asian community hosts the annual Cleveland Asian Festival, a weekend of fun for the entire family. With cultural performances, martial arts demonstrations, children’s activities, authentic Asian cuisine, trolley tours and fun competitions, this festival is quickly becoming a “not-to-be-missed” summer activity.
May 24 – 27: Get the bib ready for some lip-smacking, finger-licking fun at the Berea National Rib Cook-Off at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds. Rib masters battle it out to provide some of the tastiest ribs in town with other events for kids, themed nights and a slew of favorite local bands.
May 24 – 27: Taste all of the delicious barbeque goodness provided when grill pros go head-to-head to earn best ribs in the land during the Marc’s Annual Great American Rib Cook-off and Music Festivalat Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica.
June 8: A free community arts celebration, Parade the Circle incorporates the drama and artistry of handmade colorful floats (no motorized vehicles, though), giant puppets, bright costumes, handmade masks, stilt-walkers, dancers and musicians. Held in University Circle, the nation’s most concentrated square mile of arts and cultural institutions, the event draws more than 60,000 people every year.
June 14 – 16: Attendees choose from more than 200 wine samples from around the world while learning about new and exciting varieties from the experts at the Cleveland Wine Festival, located at Voinovich Park in downtown Cleveland. Some of the region’s best restaurants and caterers are on-hand selling their signature dishes.
June 20 – 22: At the 35th Annual Ohio Scottish Games on the Lorain County Fairgrounds, traditional musicians compete head to head in solo piping and drumming, pipe bans, harping fiddling and highland dancing. As a one-day escape to the highlands, visitors are immersed in traditional Scottish culture with massed bagpipe bands, along with art displays and traditional food. The weekend also features Clan Village where heritage clans and societies gather to assist the general public with family, genealogy and membership questions pertaining to their clan/society.
June 28 – 30: The community of Lorain located west of Cleveland, hosts a week-long annual International Festival and Bazaar to celebrate various nationalities and cultures. Along with authentic music, live performances and costumes, a three-day bazaar features more than 40 food vendors and craft booths with products from native lands.
July 11: A not-to-be-missed summer event great for the whole family is the Taste of Tremont. For the past ten years, this art and culinary-centric neighborhood throws a massive street fair to showcase all the best that Tremont has to taste.
July19 – 21: The Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival seeks to preserve, memorialize and document Irish history and traditions. The festival includes more than 20 performers on nine stages, a multitude of exhibits and Irish vendors. From traditional Celtic dancers, pipe bands and harpists to massive rock bands, the festival truly exemplifies the spirit of the Irish community.
July: Help Cleveland celebrate environmental awareness with great music, incredible food and a frothy pint of Great Lakes Brewing Company beer during the Great Lakes Burning River Festival. Held at the historic Coast Guard Station on Whiskey Island, this festival features educational exhibitors who raise awareness of environmental issues affecting the region.
August 2- 3: Vintage Ohio Wine Festival, an annual wine festival held at Lake Farmpark, features the latest and greatest offerings by some of Ohio’s best vineyards. Besides all the wonderful wine, visitors can enjoy the fabulous food offered by participating restaurants with menu items ranging from $3-$10. Also experience great music, entertainment, crafters, exhibitors and cooking demonstrations.
August 15 – 18: Cleveland’s Little Italy neighborhood is famous for its annual four-day festival, Feast of the Assumption. The throughout the weekend, affectionately called “The Feast,” the streets are shut down and all the family-owned Italian eateries bring their menu to the streets where more than 100,000 people visit just to get a taste.
August 17 – 18: During The National Hamburger Festival, at Lock 3 Park in downtown Akron, burger fans in goggles bob for foam hamburger patties in a kiddie pool full of ketchup. This delicious weekend celebration features many fan favorites, such as burger cook-off events, Hamburger Eating competition, the Miss Hamburger Pageant and more.
August 30 – Sept. 2: The Cleveland Labor Day Oktoberfest honors German culture with a beer-stein holding contest, a nationally-recognized marionette company, wiener dog races and more. The scale of Europeans foods, microbrews, exhibits and vendors participating in the festival is of Germanic proportions. The festival takes place at the Cuyahoga County fairgrounds all weekend long.
August: The City of Cleveland has hosted the Puerto Rican Parade and Latino festival for more than 40 years. The activities highlight the Latino community’s rich music, foods, folklore and splendor. Stunning floats and costumes line the city streets for a spectacular conclusion to the weekend-long festival.
Sept. 7 – 8: Shaker Square, home to the ever-popular North Union Farmers Market, once again becomes the place to be for “all things garlic” in the region during the Cleveland Garlic Festival. Attendees, armed with breath mints, enjoy garlic-themed food (everything from ice cream to oysters) prepared by local chefs, an onsite celebrity chef Grill-Off, live music, cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, taste and grow tents for children and more.
October: Visitors can enjoy an entire week dedicated to beer! Cleveland Beer Week showcases local breweries, restaurants, bars, taverns, grocers and specialty beverage stores. From music and activities to ale tastings and brewmaster meet-and-greets, all events offer unique specials for and raise awareness of craft brews.
Nov. 8- 10: Foodies who desire to learn the latest techniques from top chefs, shop for the holidays, sample outstanding food and taste fantastic wines should take a trip to The Fabulous Food Show, a consumer culinary show at the I-X Center. Take a trip down the aisles and aisles of cooking products and savory samples mixed in with a dash of cooking demos and the zest of celebrity chef appearances.
December 31: For more than 15 years thousands have gathered in Port Clinton for the “Madness at Midnight” Walleye Drop. Located approximately an hour and a half outside of Cleveland, the town of Port Clinton is home to a hearty population of walleye capital in the Lake Erie waters nearby. To celebrate such a distinction the town uses a massive crane to lower a fiberglass walleye replica, approximately 30 times larger than the average walleye, at the stroke of midnight.