It’s that time of year again where I reflect on the year’s festivals and try to rank my experiences in some kind of order.
This year, I’ve attended less festivals (30) than previous years, but my festival selection was much more meticulous. I also traveled greater distances in order to attend them, bringing me to festivals in the states of Ohio, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
All of this made the ranking process even more difficult since many of the festivals this year were so interesting and unique.
Here, festival fans, are…
My Favorite Festivals of 2019
10.) Bigfoot BBQ UFO Festival – Dayton, Pennsylvania
Why it’s one of my favorites: While this festival was smaller compared to others I’ve attended this year, I love the unique theme combination (Bigfoot, UFO’s and BBQ!) as well as the dedication and love to put this festival together.
The vendors, the experts and the organizers made it a great family friendly festival. There were also festival goers who shared their own personal encounters, which made it personal.
Read the Review at https://ohiofestivals.net/bigfoot-bbq-ufo-festival-dayton-pennsylvania/
9.) Burning Snowman Fest – Port Clinton, Ohio
Why it’s one of my favorites: When you have adults willing to celebrate outside during a winter day in Ohio, it’s gotta be something special and the Burning Snowman Fest is just that.
This Port Clinton festival had a welcoming feel which was probably a combination of both the community and the beer. There was also great music, delicious food and the promise of setting a constructed snowman sculpture on fire. Who doesn’t love that?
Read the Review at https://ohiofestivals.net/burning-snowman-fest/
8.) Love Fest – Chardon, Ohio
Why it’s one of my favorites: While this festival wasn’t huge, there was obviously a lot of love and attention spent on the festival decor, the selection of vendors, the activities and the music.
Anyone walking onto the festival grounds could easily pick up the hippie 60’s vibe and understand the festival theme immediately. That quality is something I love in a festival.
Read the Review at https://ohiofestivals.net/love-fest-chardon/
7.) Toledo Polish American Festival – Holland, Ohio
Why it’s one of my favorites: Along with a nice assortment of Polish T-shirts, pottery, jewelry and various gifts, the festival offered some delicious Polish and non-Polish good. There were also inflatables and pony rides for the kids, beer brewed specifically for the festival for the adults and some toe-tapping Polka entertainment for all.
Read the Review at https://ohiofestivals.net/toledo-polish-american-festival/
6.) Parade the Circle – Cleveland, Ohio
Why it’s one of my favorites: While the parade itself is pretty fantastic, this event is so much more.
Visitors can take advantage of musical entertainment, food vendors and tables held by area groups who offer information, games for the kids and various activities.
Read the Review at https://ohiofestivals.net/parade-the-circle-cleveland/
5.) La Fete de Marquette – Madison, Wisconsin
Why it’s one of my favorites: This family friendly community festival was a nice surprise as there were multiple music stages, a ton of great food to choose from and a vintage Ferris Wheel that actually caused my hands to sweat a bit while trying to convince my 3 year old that everything was okay.
In the end, I guess everything was okay, but we would both agree that the Ferris Wheel was a little frightening.
Read the Review at https://ohiofestivals.net/la-fete-de-marquette-madison/
4.) Glier’s Goettafest – Newport, Kentucky
Why it’s one of my favorites: Goetta is a rather unique food and very much loved in the Greater Cincinnati area. Loved so much that this festival offers it in fried rice, sandwiches, calzones, nachos and even cannoli (not to mention countless other dishes).
Add plenty of other foods, drink, games and activities, and you have yourself a rather memorable festival.
Read the Review at https://ohiofestivals.net/goettafest/
3.) Autumn Harvest Festival and WV Roadkill Cook-Off – Marlinton, West Virginia
Why it’s one of my favorites: I’ve been wanting to come to this festival for years and I finally made it. It takes place in the cute town of Marlinton, which is so picturesque in autumn – that alone is worth a visit.
The festival offered an impressive selection vendors, great food options, wonderful music entertainment and the famous Roadkill Cook-Off, where I got to sample a variety of dishes feature venison, bear and rabbit. Nothing too exotic this year, but it was still rather delicious.
Read the Review at https://ohiofestivals.net/roadkill-cookoff-marlinton/
2.) Hippie Fest – Ionia, Michigan
Why it’s one of my favorites: Of my picks this year, this festival is the biggest I’ve attended with a plethora of vendors, various stages of entertainment (included belly dancers who danced with live snakes), food options, cool photo-ops, attractions and more.
But it was the people – particularly the festival goers who dressed the part and expressed their inner hippie – who made this festival a fun one.
Read the Review at https://ohiofestivals.net/hippie-fest/
1.) Bastille Days – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Why it’s one of my favorites: This may have been my first French-influenced festival and it was wonderful to see all the French-inspired food, the outdoor cafes and the huge Eiffel Tower in the center of it all.
This festival had a lot of great things going for it, including the four stages of entertainment, the shaded bar islands scattered about the grounds, the open house at St. John’s Cathedral, and did I mention the French food?
Everything from bagettes to beignets were available and, thanks to the festival taking place in Wisconsin, it wasn’t difficult to also find some tasty cheese curds and delicious ice cream.
Read the Review at https://ohiofestivals.net/bastille-days-milwaukee/
I hope you have enjoyed my favorite festivals of 2019. What were your favorites? Feel free to write and let me know.