Festivals have always been a favorite of my family. What better way to get a taste of the hometown flavor of a place than at one of their festivals? I know that’s true of the midwest festivals that take place in my backyard - Wilmington, Ohio.
The first one to hit the calendar in the new year is the Southern Ohio Indoor Music Festival. It takes place in March and November and is the only indoor Bluegrass music festival in the area. Are you ready for some foot tapping? It’s two straight days filled with live music. It may be in my backyard, but I truly love this fantastic event.
Next up in May is the Snappin’ Asparagus & Strawberry Festival. You guessed it right. It’s all about two tasty foods, asparagus and strawberries. Pick your own and enjoy entertainment down home on the Branstrator Farm.
June brings about the Banana Split Festival! It’s the only one in the nation. Celebrating the invention of the banana split by hometown business owner Ernest Hazard in 1907 gives us something to hang our hat on. It’s all about the fab ’50′s with live music, classic cars, the Banana Split Master’s Contest, great food, things to buy and the make-your-own banana split booth. Get your sugar rush that’s tasty and fun all at the same time.
Next up is the can’t miss Summer Solstice Lavender Festival in mid-June. It’s calm, it’s relaxing, it’s a one-of-a-kind experience. Have you ever hand-picked lavender from the field? Here’s your opportunity. Artisans, special workshops relaxing music and lavender food are all part of a visit.
I don’t know if you consider a county fair a festival, but our locals sure do. July rolls in the Clinton County Fair, eight days of music, rides, concessions, games, and a chance to get up-close-and-personal with all kinds of live animals. City folks just love our fair.
August brings a wealth of artisans to the county with the Wilmington Art & Pottery Festival. Held indoors, there are no rain outs for this event. Come rain or shine and take home that special object you can’t live without.
Corn is the name of the game in early September when the Clinton County Corn Festival celebrates this tasty vegetable. Try corn chowder, corn ice cream, corn meal pie and more. Live music and entertainment go on for three days with antiques, collectibles, crafts and commercial items available for sale. And then there’s the Corn Olympics where organizations pit their members against each other in the outhouse race, the tricycle obstacle race and more hilarious contests.
Late September is a Bavarian hoot with the Oktoberfest Festival taking place in downtown Wilmington. It offers all the activities you would expect at a German infused event, but it’s the heart of the festival that sets it apart. Party with the locals.
Anybody up for the Pumpkin Chuckin’ Festival in October at Bonnybrook Farms? It’s a lot of fun and caters to families. How far will your pumpkin go?
The weekend after Thanksgiving is the Hometown Holidazzle Illuminated Parade & Festival. Nothing is prettier than the parade entries all lit up as they come down Main Street. Santa will be on hand for the kids and there are activites all day long to get you warmed up for the night time parade.
What’s my favorite you might ask? I’ll never tell because choosing one would be too hard. I go to them all and enjoy every minute.
Written by Debbie Stamper, Clinton County Convention & Visitors Bureau