Beginning in June with favorites such as the Northeast Ohio Polka Fest and Cleveland Wine Festival through all the Labor Day weekend celebrations such as Taste of Cleveland and Oktoberfest, there's no shortage of festivals during the summer months. Here are our picks for the new, the old and the cheesetastic.
/ THE UP-AND-COMER /
Weapons of Mass Creation Fest
Reinberger Auditorium, 5209 Detroit Ave.; Happy Dog, 5801 Detroit Ave.; Wall Eye Gallery, 5304 Detroit Ave., wmcfest.com
$10 per day admission for speakers, $5 a day admission for bands
Designers, artists and innovators can step out of the sun and bask in the creative glow that is Weapons of Mass Creation Fest. "It originally started off as kind of Cleveland's version of SXSW," says fest founder Jeff Finley. "It's a fest for those who live to create." Twenty handpicked speakers, artists and bands will share what they know in a weekend of networking, socializing and celebration of creativity.
/ THE HISTORICAL /
Lake County Remembers: A Civil War Encampment and Battle Reenactment
415 Riverside Drive, Painesville, 440-639-2945, lakehistory.org
Free, museum admission $3
Arts festivals sound too tame? To commemorate the Civil War sesquicentennial, that's 150 years, get your Yankee on at the Lake County Historical Society's Civil War Encampment and Battle Reenactment. Watch the drama unfold as re-enactors go old-school to bring the war between the states back to life. Vehicles are banned from the grounds to ensure historical accuracy, but don't worry, you can keep your iPhone.
/ THE CULTURAL /
Cleveland Irish Cultural Festival
164 Eastland Road, Berea, 440-243-0090, clevelandirish.org
$10, children under 10 are free
It's St. Patrick's Day in July for all of Cleveland. The Guinness will be flowing freely as local favorites New Barleycorn and Brigid's Cross hit the stage. Plus, your wee ones will enjoy the inflatables, crafts and storytellers in the Tir Na nOg children's area, and the family can indulge in Irish food and drink. And if the spirits get you in a bit o' trouble, well, just come to the outdoor Mass on Sunday.
/ THE CORNY /
North Ridgeville Corn Festival
Bainbridge Road between state Route 83 and Root Road, North Ridgeville, 440-218-9802,nrcornfest.org
North Ridgeville's Corn Festival looks to be an a-maize-ing time. Along with favorites such as rides, a parade and a beer tent, the city sponsors a corn-eating contest. And if that's not enough small-town fun for you, there's even bed races: Participants attach wheels to beds and decorate them for the city's bicentennial; then pushers propel their bed and rider across the finish line.