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home | Locations | 9 of 14 Types of Ohio Recreational F . . .

9 of 14 Types of Ohio Recreational Facilities--Museums
Ivan Gillis
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Ohio Festivals

Celebration/talk festivity


ComFest (officially The Community Festival) is a large, free, non-corporate, music and arts annual festival currently held each June at Goodale Park in the Victorian Village area of Columbus, Ohio. The festival bills itself as "The Party with a Purpose". To accomplish this goal, the festival relies on community members to work together in the planning and operation of the festival serving on committees and work teams including clean-up and recycling, safety and first aid, entertainment, street fair, and the "World Peace Rocks Forever Committee".

The festival was first held in 1972 as a showcase for a collection of community organizations including the Columbus Free Press, Free Health Clinic, Food Co-op, Tenants Union, Crisis Hotline, and Recycling Center. The festival continues to provide a forum for alternative lifestyles and collective activity. Beer from The Columbus Brewing Company is sold in large, colorful mugs to fund the cost of the festival itself and to raise money for community projects and grants. All tips from the beer booths go to homeless shelters.

The 37th annual ComFest was held June 27-29, 2008. ComFest's "cause" for 2008 was The Ohio Healthy Families Act, which supports a grassroots campaign to put an initiative on the ballot for the fall general election, which would require employers to provide mandatory sick days for their employees. The featured local artists for 2008 were Happy Chichester and Shaun Booker. Guest national artists are Michelle Shocked and Black 47.


Culture, heritage and folk festivals

The annual Feast of the Assumption Festival (also locally referred to informally as The Feast) is a four-day Catholic street festival centered on Holy Rosary Church on Mayfield Road near its intersection with Murray Hill Road in Cleveland's Little Italy neighborhood. Held annually since 1898, the Feast occurs around August 15 in concordance with the observance of the Assumption of Mary.[1] It includes a procession of a statue of the Virgin through the streets leading to the church, as well as a nightly mass.

In addition to its religious nature, the Feast is also a general celebration of Cleveland's Italian cultural heritage in its largest Italian neighborhood, which has demographically remained relatively unchanged since its establishment in the 19th century. Highlights include live musical performances, carnival and casino games, carnival rides and fireworks. The Feast is also famous for its food, with numerous street booths operated by local restaurants and shops from around the neighborhood selling traditional Italian food and other items to the large crowds that come to the neighborhood from all over the Greater Cleveland area.

The Dublin Irish Festival is an annual music and cultural festival held in Dublin, Ohio. It takes place during the first weekend of August, and it attracts over 100,000 visitors to eight entertainment stages on 29 acres (120,000 m2) in and beyond Coffman Park. Activities include Irish and other Celtic music, genealogy, food and drink, dance, cultural exhibits, games, sports, arts and crafts, and children's activities. The Dublin Irish Festival Academy offers a variety of classes led by DIF performers highlighting Irish music and culture.

The event, produced and supported by the City of Dublin, is one of America's largest Irish festivals. The Columbus Feis, an internationally renowned Irish dance competition, occurs every year at the same time as the Irish Festival. The 2015 Dublin Irish Festival takes place July 31, August 1 & 2. The main attractions play at stages located throughout Coffman Park, including the Killian's Celtic Rock Stage, Scotts Miracle-Gro Dublin Stage, Chase Bank Trinity Stage, Giant Eagle Irish Thunder Stage, Allstate Dean Insurance Shamrock Stage, Celtic Music House, and the Cardinal Health Ceili Dance Tent.

Fine art and theatre festivals

The MasterWorks Festival is a month-long intensive summer training program for classical performing artists. Beginning in 2016, MasterWorks will be held in Cedarville, Ohio, USA, at Cedarville University. It was co-founded in 1997 by the artistic director of the Christian Performing Artists' Fellowship (CPAF), Dr. Patrick Kavanaugh and his wife Barbara, and by the trombonist James Kraft and his wife Mary Jeane.

MasterWorks Festival is operated on the campus of Cedarville University. It focuses on intense artistic training and deep spiritual growth. MasterWorks offers master classes for classical musicians, dancers and actors instructed by world-renowned performing artists. It has featured performers such as Midori Goto, Christopher Parkening, Rebecca Wright, Rachel Barton Pine, Jeanette Clift George, John Dalley, Lawrence Dutton, Ann Schein, David Kim, Alan Chow, Anne Martindale Williams, David Hardy, Doug Yeo, Christine Smith, Steve Hendrickson, John Nelson, Phil Smith, Paula Robison, Stephen Clapp and the Ying String Quartet.

The MasterWorks Festival runs several programs, the largest of which is the Orchestra Program for students ages 14 to 26. There are also unique Intensive Study Programs for Strings, Piano, Winds and Voice. In addition, there is a Theatre program, as well as a 3-day Choral program. Previously, the MasterWorks Festival had an Opera program, a Classical Guitar program, and a Ballet program. MasterWorks also hosts a summer intensive technical internship program, which assists in productions throughout the festival.

In 2004, MasterWorks expanded outside the US and MasterWorks Europe took place in London, England. Since then, other non-USA MasterWorks Festivals have taken place in Winchester, England, and in China. Plans for more MasterWorks Festivals around the globe are currentl in development.

Food, harvest and wild game festivals

A banana split is an ice cream-based dessert. In its classic form it is served in a long dish called a boat. A banana is cut in half lengthwise (hence the name) and laid in the dish. There are many variations, but the classic banana split is made with scoops of vanilla ice cream served between the split banana. In no particular order, pineapple, strawberry and chocolate sauces are spooned over the vanilla ice cream. It is garnished with crushed nuts, whipped cream, and maraschino cherry.

David Evans Strickler, a 23-year-old apprentice pharmacist at Tassel Pharmacy, located at 805 Ligonier Street in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, who enjoyed inventing sundaes at the store's soda fountain, invented the banana-based triple ice cream sundae in 1904. The sundae originally cost 10 cents, twice the price of other sundaes, and caught on with students of nearby Saint Vincent College. News of a new variety of sundae quickly spread by word-of-mouth and through correspondence and soon progressed far beyond Latrobe. A popular recipe published in 1907 called for a lengthwise split banana, two scoops of ice cream at each end and a spoon of whipped cream in between with maraschino cherry on a top, with one end covered with chopped mixed nuts and another with chopped mixed fruits.

Strickler went on to buy the pharmacy, naming it Strickler's Pharmacy, while keeping his office on a top floor.

The city of Latrobe celebrated the 100th anniversary of the invention of the banana split in 2004 and, in the same year, the National Ice Cream Retailers Association (NICRA) certified the city as its birthplace. It is the place of an annual Great American Banana Split Celebration and a keeper of the original soda fountain where the first now famous throughout the world confection was made.

The Great American Banana Split Celebration is held throughout the downtown Latrobe area in late August with food, fun and events for kids and adults to enjoy. In November 2014 the Latrobe Community Revitalization Program, after managing the event for 2 years, handed over the organization of the event to the Greater Latrobe-Laurel Valley Community Chamber of Commerce.

Wilmington, Ohio also claims an early connection. In 1907, restaurant owner Ernest Hazard wanted to attract students from Wilmington College during the slow days of winter. He staged an employee contest to come up with a new ice cream dish. When none of his workers were up to the task, he split a banana lengthwise, threw it into an elongated dish and created his own dessert. The town commemorates the event each June with its own Banana Split Festival.

Walgreens is credited with spreading the popularity of the banana split. The early drug stores operated by Charles Rudolph Walgreen in the Chicago area adopted the banana split as a signature dessert. Fountains in the stores proved to be drawing cards, attracting customers who might otherwise have been just as satisfied having their prescriptions filled at some other drug store in the neighborhood.

The Barnesville Pumpkin Festival is an annual festival in Barnesville, Ohio, dedicated to the growing and harvesting of pumpkins and other fall harvests. The festival, which has been held since 1964, is conducted by a locally appointed committee and attracts an average of 100,000 people during the 4 day event.

The Pumpkin Festival is held the last full week in September. The official ribbon cutting is held on Thursday, but the local citizens are encouraged to preview the festival on Wednesday.

The Barnesville Pumpkin Festival holds its annual weigh-in on the Wednesday preceding the event. The event has seen pumpkins with weights breaking and matching state and local records. The King Pumpkin contenders are too heavy to be weighed on a conventional scale, weighing in at over 650kg (1400 lbs), and thus a local funeral home scale is used. The official ribbon cutting is held the following day and is done by either the committee president, city mayor, parade marshal or other notable local figure. The Annual Pumpkin Auction is held on the last day, Sunday, where the local business compete bids to display the winning pumpkin and sell off the seeds as they see fit.

The Olney Friends School is famous for bringing over 700 loaves of pumpkin bread to sell from their booth, baked by the students.

The Festival of the Fish, held each June, is a three-day fish frying event, held in Vermilion, Ohio. The festival has many attractions, such as the Queen and Princess pageant, local talent concerts, parade, and concessions. The focus, however, is on fried fish which is usually served with French fries and coleslaw or a vegetable. The Festival of the Fish is one of the largest festivals in the area. The City of Vermilion celebrates The Festival of the Fish each Father's Day Weekend. Events include a Princess pageant, a Queen pageant, a pet parade, kids games located in a gazebo, a "Crazy Craft" race, a Father's Day Parade, fireworks, and a sand castle contest.

The Jackson County Apple Festival is an annual festival dedicated to the apple held in Jackson, Ohio, United States. The festival was created to promote Jackson County's leading agricultural product, which at the time was grown by over forty farms in the area.

The Apple Festival is held on the 3rd weekend in September. The festival starts at noon on Tuesday and ends on Saturday night.

The Fairborn, Ohio Sweet Corn Festival is an annual event that takes place in throughout the Midwest on the weekend before schools resume session during the summer months. The festivals sell a variety of merchandise, from corn on the cob and other food sold by vendors as well as stalls that sell anything from jewelry to CDs. Some of the vendors come from out of state to set up their stalls for the festival. The event also hosts live music performed by local bands and artists. Locations that have Sweet Corn Festivals include: West Point, Iowa, Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, Adel, Iowa, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Chatham, Illinois, and Hoopeston, Illinois.

The Hoopeston National Sweetcorn Festival l has been a continuous festival since 1938. The Hoopeston Jaycees have been the main sponsor for over 70 Years. The Festival includes many of the activities mentioned above, as well as a pageant called "The National Sweetheart Pageant" which is officially sanctioned by the Miss America Pageant. Eight contestants from the NSP have become Miss America! Citing a contract change within the Miss America Organization, contestants will no longer be able to participate in both pageants.

The festival does not charge for sweetcorn, but rather gives away more than 50 tons of corn each year. The corn is cooked on-sight at Cole Titterington Park in Hoopeston, just off Route 1 by the steam generated from a vintage steam engine that was once used in the fields surrounding Hoopeston.

Seasonal festivals

The annual Woollybear Festival is held every Fall in downtown Vermilion, Ohio, on Lake Erie. The one-day, family event, which began in 1973, features a woolly bear costume contest in which children, even pets, are dressed up as various renditions of the woolly bear caterpillar.

The festival is held every year around October 1 on a Sunday on which the Cleveland Browns have an away game. It is touted as the largest one-day festival in Ohio.

The festival is the brainchild of legendary Cleveland TV personality Dick Goddard, longtime weatherman at WJW-TV.[4][5] In much the same way Punxsutawney Phil is celebrated in the century-old tradition of Groundhog Day in which he predicts the end of winter, the Woolly Bear Caterpillar is similarly celebrated for its mythical association to winter forecasting.[2] After the caterpillars' eggs hatch in Fall, folklore suggests the severity of an upcoming winter can be gauged by observing the amount of black versus orange in the caterpillars' bands.

According to the festival's website:

In 1972 the newly elected officers of the Parent Teachers Association at the Firelands-Florence Township Elementary School in the tiny community of Birmingham in Erie County were looking around for a vehicle to raise funds. They heard about Goddard's idea of a Woollybear Festival. They contacted him and offered to stage the festival with his help.

The first Woollybear Festival was held in Birmingham and attracted perhaps 2,000 people. The parade was short—just the Firelands High School Band, some boy scouts and the local fire department, along with personalities from TV8—and they decided to go around the parade route twice, just to make it look longer.

Attracting 2,000 spectators in the first year, the number grew to an estimated 15,000 by the eighth festival and quickly overwhelmed the town of Birmingham. Of the 13 cities that expressed interest, organizers selected Vermilion as the new home.

The parade in 2006 involved over 20 marching bands, 2,000 marchers, hundreds of animals, and over 100,000 spectators.

The "Woollybear 500" is a race that starts off with the Chief of police and the Chief of fire selecting individual woollybears and racing against each other. The woollybears are obtained by the Vermilion Chamber and details of the training and skills of said woollybears are not divulged to the participants. The race is monitored by professionals from TV-8. No woollybears are harmed in the participation of these races.

Sports festivals

The IFBB Arnold Sports Festival, also known as the Arnold Schwarzenegger Sports Festival is an annual multi-sport event consisting of professional bodybuilding (Arnold Classic), strongman (Arnold Strongman Classic), fitness, figure and bikini weekend expo. It was established in 1989 and is named after Arnold Schwarzenegger. The main event is held annually around late February or early March in Columbus, Ohio, United States by the International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness (IFBB). It is the second most prestigious event in professional men's bodybuilding, physique, figure and bikini; as well as formerly the second most prestigious event in professional female bodybuilding.

Storytelling festivals


The Southern Ohio Storytelling Festival is an annual storytelling festival held Thursday through Saturday after Labor Day in Chillicothe, Ohio. Local, regional and nationally known storytellers are invited to perform their favorite stories for thousands of school children and storytelling enthusiasts. A board of community volunteers and local/regional storytellers makes up the 503(c) non-profit organization that is responsible for organizing and overseeing the festival.

The festival begins on Thursday evening with a "meet the storytellers" reception that is open to the public and includes a concert that previews each of the festival's storytellers. Thousands of students participate during the day on Friday. Students around the state of Ohio also participate through the videoconferencing network provided by the South Central Ohio Computer Association. Ghost stories were added in 2009 and have been held on Friday evenings in the historic Majestic Theatre.

Past performers include Bill Harley, Carmen Agra Deedy, Donald Davis, Barbara McBride-Smith, Elizabeth Ellis, Connie Regan-Blake, Sheila Kay Adams, Bobby Norfolk, Bil Lepp, Antonio Rocha, Len Cabral, Kate Long, Lyn Ford, Kevin Cordi, Bill Harley, Andy Offutt Irwin, Geraldine Buckley, Jackson Gillman, Alton Chung, Ilene Evans, Joseph Helfrich, Adele Browne, Willy Claflin, Kim Weitkamp, Granny Sue, Suzi Whaples, Adam Booth, Sheila Arnold, Rick Carson, Michael Kasony-O'Malley, Bill McKell, Sally Crandall, Jim Flanagan, Frank McGarvey, Cathy Jo Smith, Octavia Sexton, Stephen Hollen, Joe Herrington, Linda Goodman, Oba William King, Pam Pauley and Kevin Coleman. Participants are encouraged to share their own stories with an open microphone during Saturday's schedule.

Transportation festivals

Tall Stacks, formally known as the Tall Stacks Music, Arts, and Heritage Festival, is a festival held every three or four years in the Cincinnati, Ohio area, which celebrates the city's heritage of the riverboat. The sixth (and, to date final) edition was held on October 4 through October 8, 2006. The festival typically features a number of vintage and replica steamboats from across the eastern United States, which dock along the Ohio River shoreline in Cincinnati and across the river in Covington and Newport, Kentucky.

After the 2009 event was cancelled a festival was tentatively scheduled for 2010, but was not held due to the poor economy and lack of corporate sponsors. Organizers later set a date of October 3–7, 2012, which was subsequently also cancelled.


Other Sites of Interest


San Marcos Memories—disappearing North County San Diego, Ca


Lake San Marcos—Listing of Vendors and Other Items of Interest to LSM residents


Silly Service—38 years of Federal Civil Service Overview(A book in progress)













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