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ENJOY THESE TOP EVENTS THIS SPRING AND SUMMER IN OHIO, KENTUCKY, INDIANA & WEST VIRGINIA

VISIT THESE EVENTS AND FESTIVALS FOR FUN

URBANAIR WAKE UP DOWNTOWN
May 2–4
Wake up in historic downtown Logan, Ohio, to find more than 100 Airstream Campers lining the streets. Enjoy camper tours, a “Pimp Your Blimp” camper decorating contest, food trucks and more, all intended to highlight the revitalized downtown. wakeupdowntown.com

Mayfest in Shipshewana, IndianaMayfest in Shipshewana, Indiana, will pull you in with a tug of good old-fashioned fun. Photo courtesy of Visit Shipshewana/LaGrange County CVB

MAYFEST
May 3–4
It’s time for some good old-fashioned fun in downtown Shipshewana, in the heart of Indiana’s Amish Country. Think band and choir concerts, activities for the kids, softball tournaments, food trucks and much more. Be there early for The Grand Mayfest parade on Saturday morning. visitshipshewana.org/events/mayfest

150th KENTUCKY DERBY
May 4
It’s the 150th running of the  “Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports.” The Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs in Louisville is a magnificent event that must be experienced at least once in a horse racing fan’s lifetime. The pageantry, the history, the thrill, the mint juleps and the hats—very little can surpass it. Also, check out the daily events happening at the track during the week leading up to the derby. kentuckyderby.com

BBQ & BARRELS
May 10–11
It all began as a humble International Bar-B-Q Festival. Over the past several decades, this annual event in downtown Owensboro, Kentucky, added concerts, car shows, pageants, road races and even a professional Mutton Eating Competition. In 2023, bourbon was included, and the rest is history. Well, you can make some history of your own at this excellent party. bbqandbarrels.com

LILAC FESTIVAL AND STREET FAIR
May 11
Celebrate the official flower of Defiance, Ohio, with live music, arts and crafts, and unique foods in downtown Defiance. The first 750 attendees will receive free lilacs. visitdefianceohio.com/lilac-festival-street-fair

WEST VIRGINIA STRAWBERRY FESTIVAL
May 11–19
With so much strawberry-ness that a seven-day week couldn’t contain it, the West Virginia Strawberry Festival in Buckhannon is eight days of fun: several parades, a diaper derby, road bowling, arts and crafts vendors, a full-blown carnival and more strawberry-inspired treats than you can imagine. wvstrawberryfestival.com

HONORING THE TRADITIONS POWWOW 2024
May 18
Experience the rich cultural heritage of a Native American powwow. Honoring the Traditions Powwow at Buffalo Creek Retreat in Seville, Ohio, will feature time-honored dances, songs, music and art. calendar.powwows.com/events/honoring-the-traditions-pow-wow

WEST VIRGINIA THREE RIVERS FESTIVAL
May 23–25
Meet us where the Monongahela, Tygart and West Fork rivers meet, specifically Palatine Park in downtown Fairmont. Three days of festival fun include carnival rides, plenty of food, a parade, a car show and fireworks. Don’t miss the Amateur Pepperoni Roll Bake-Off on Saturday. wvthreeriversfestival.com

Traditional Appalachian music at Vandalia Gathering in Charleston, West Virginia. Traditional Appalachian music is in the air at Vandalia Gathering in Charleston, West Virginia. Photo by Stephen Brightwell

VANDALIA GATHERING             
May 24–26
If you are looking for traditional Appalachian music, the Capitol Complex in Charleston, West Virginia, is the place to start. Friday evening sets the stage with a raucous concert. Saturday and Sunday carry forth with more fiddles, banjos, mandolins and guitars than you can shake a washboard at. Add contests, dance performances (both official and impromptu), crafts vendors and plenty of food. wvculture.org/vandalia-gathering-3

INDIANAPOLIS 500
May 26
Time to hit the Brickyard! For 200 laps, encompassing 500 miles, one skillful driver will finish the day with bragging rights and a cold bottle of milk. Once again, Indianapolis Motor Speedway will host “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.” indianapolismotorspeedway.com

MOUNTAIN MUSIC FESTIVAL
May 31–June 1
This festival is all about the Appalachian Mountains. In the heart of the New River Gorge National Park at the ACE Adventure Resort in West Virginia, you’ll hear the unique regional influence in the music and can experience the thrills the mountains provide through hiking, climbing, rafting and more. mountainmusicfestwv.com

CINCY FRINGE THEATRE FESTIVAL
May 31–June 15
It’s time to get your Fringe on, Cincinnati! We’re talking weird, unusual, unconventional theater productions, screenings, concerts, workshops and nightly parties hosted at pop-up venues throughout the Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighborhood. cincyfringe.com

BEXLEY HOUSE & GARDEN TOUR
June 2
Tour some of Bexley, Ohio’s fabulous century-old homes. From a remodel with a mid-century modern flair to a woodsy retreat balancing coziness and grandeur within, you’ll find beauty and inspiration along the tree-lined streets of this historic east Columbus suburb. bexleywomen.org

400 MILE SALE
June 6–9
From one end of Kentucky to the other, you’ll find 400 miles of yard sales, sidewalk sales and barn sales along scenic US Highway 68. 400mile.com

YAK FEST
June 14–15
Yak Fest, as in kayak, is an outdoor festival in St. Albans on the Coal River, the flatwater capital of West Virginia. But this party isn’t only about kayaking. There will be live music, food and craft beer, along with vendors emphasizing outdoor activities. yakfestwv.com

FestivALL in Charleston, West Virginia FestivALL brings ten days of fun all around Charleston, West Virginia. Photo courtesy of FestivALL Charleston

FESTIVALL                             
June 14–23
Each summer, Charleston, West Virginia, becomes a work of art. During this 10-day citywide celebration, festivalgoers can enjoy concerts, live performances, outdoor activities, incredible food and an all-around fun time. festivallcharleston.com

URBANA BLACK HERITAGE JUNETEENTH FESTIVAL
June 15
It’s all about community and family. Urbana, Ohio’s Black Heritage Juneteenth Festival will provide opportunities to hear legacy stories from local families, celebrate Black families over generations and support small businesses. Enjoy live music, food trucks, kid-friendly activities and a car show. urbanablkheritagefest.com

Celebrate the creativity of Appalachian women at the Mountain Grrl Experience in Pikeville, Kentucky. Celebrate the creativity of Appalachian women at the Mountain Grrl Experience in Pikeville, Kentucky; Photo by Dusty Layne and Larry Epling

MOUNTAIN GRRL EXPERIENCE
June 20–22
Calling all Mountain Grrl musicians! Held at various venues in Pikeville, Kentucky, this festival is all about celebrating the artistry and strength of Appalachian women. Revel in three days of musical performances, art displays, interactive workshops and educational programs. mountaingrrlexperience.com

MOUNTAIN STATE ART AND CRAFT FAIR
July 4–7
Appalachian culture is celebrated through juried art, food and music at the annual Mountain State Art and Craft Fair at the Cedar Lakes Conference Center in Ripley, West Virginia. Pottery, paintings, photography, woodworking, sculpture, leather, furniture and more will be featured. msacf.com

Ohio State Fair Everything you remember about your favorite state fair can be found at the Ohio State Fair; Photo courtesy of the Ohio State Fair.

OHIO STATE FAIR
July 24–August 4
Bring the family to this year’s Ohio State Fair at the Ohio Expo Center and state fairgrounds in Columbus for live entertainment, carnival rides, agricultural competitions, horse shows, sporting competitions, a fine arts show, a petting zoo and more. And don’t forget the fair’s classic midway with its amazing array of food vendors. ohiostatefair.com

GOODTIME QUILTERS GUILD QUILT SHOW
July 25–27
Join the Goodtime Quilters Guild for this 29th annual show. More than 150 quilts will be on display at the event at the Ohio Christian University Maxwell Center in Circleville, Ohio. There will be a silent auction, craft vendors, food, quilting demos, and knife and scissors sharpening. goodtimequilters.org/2024-quilt-show.html