9 Dayton area fall food festivals you CANNOT miss

It is almost time to eat, drink and eat and drink again.

Some of the Dayton area’s best festivals happen in the fall months.

Here are some you really must hit:

adddddOhio Renaissance Festival attendee Seth Roshon of Baltimore, Ohio, bites into a turkey leg in 2008. (Staff photo by Jim Witmer )


Where: 10542 State Hwy. 73, Harveysburg, OH, 45068

When: Saturdays and Sundays Sept. 3 to  Oct. 23

Why it ranks: The festival set in 16th Century England is not only about jousters, jugglers and other entertainers. It is also about Turkey legs the size of your head, steak on a stake, schnitzel, Royal Scottish eggs, ales and all sorts of other eats. Click here to learn more about the grub at Ren Fest.

This year, Ren Fest is adding Garden of Eatin,  Marco Polo's Bistro and  Jerusalem Cafe.   ​

Burgers and such will be found in the Garden of Eats.  Go to Jerusalem Cafe for Middle Eastern foods like baklava and shawarma. Marco Polo's will have food inspired by the explorer's travels in the Silk Road.

>>READ: 6 of the craziest things you'll see at Ohio Renaissance Festival

How much will it cost you? Admission is $21.95 for adults and $9.95 for children ages 5-12. Children under 5 are admitted free.  Tickets can be found at www.renfestival.com.

More info: Click here.

adddddThe spaghetti and meatballs dinner will be featured Sunday at the annual Italian Fall Festa. (Contributed photo)


When: 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9; noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11.

Where: Bella Villa Hall, 2625 County Line Road, Kettering

Why it ranks: You will find an Italian feast — spaghetti and meatballs, sausage onions peppers sandwich, bean soup, Italian deli meats, cheeses and olives, cannoli and zeppole pastries, gelato (Italian ice cream) and stromboli turnovers. In addition to all that, there is the Meatball Madness 5K, bocce ball, love music, dancing and the Bengals and Browns games on large screen TVs.

Parking: Free parking from "Festa Parking" located at Reynolds and Reynolds Parking lot near the corner of Reseach Blvd and County Line Road.

How much will it cost you? Admission is free. 

More info:  Click here

ARCHIVE PHOTO: Dayton Greek Festival at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Dayton. Baklava ready for the 2013 Dayton Greek Festival. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF


When: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept.11

Where: Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 500 Belmonte Park, North

Why it ranksBaklava and about 16 other types of pastries for starters. The festival’s long list of savory delights include lamb shank dinners, moussaka (a layered eggplant casserole), dolmades (stuffed grape leaves) and beef and lamb gyro sandwiches. Yummy.

If that wasn’t enough to make you scream “OPA,” there are cooking demos, shopping, live music, a raffle, dancing and tours of the beautiful church

How much will it cost you?  Admission is free on Friday night. Admission is $2 the rest of the weekend. It is free for children age 12 and younger.

Parking: A free parking shuttle begins at 5 p.m. and runs all weekend from Grandview Hospital’s employee parking lot on Shaw Avenue. Call 937-224-0601 with questions.  

More info Click here  

adddddArchived staff photo of the Beavercreek Popcorn Festival by Jan Underwood.


When: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.

When: Saturday, Sept. 10.; 11 a.m. to  6 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 11

Where: Dayton-Xenia Road between North Fairfield Road and Meadowbridge Drive

Why it ranks: More than 200 booths, a children’s area, dance performances  and music from Funky G and Groove Machine and several other groups. Special events include the  Popcorn 5K & Fitness Walk, Saturday, 8:30 a.m. and the Popcorn Festival Car Show Sunday, 11 a.m. to  6 p.m.

How much will it cost you? Admission is free. 

More info: (937) 602-CORN or Click here.

adddddScenese from Oktoberfest 2013 (Dayton Art Institute).


Where: The Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park N, Dayton

When: Oktoberfest Lederhosen Lunch, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Oktoberfest Preview Party, 7-11 p.m., Friday, Sept. 23. Oktoberfest hours: noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, and noon to 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28.

Why it ranks: Beer, bands, brats and Bavarian roasted nuts. There is reason so many people collect Oktoberfest beer steins and T-shirts each year. So many great memories are created at Oktoberfest, a fundraiser for the DAI that has attracted 875,000 and has raised more than $5 million since its inception in 1972.

Volunteers will serve about 50 craft, domestic German and Ohio beers including brews from Great Lakes, Konig, Warsteiner, Dayton Beer Company, Jackie O’s, Weihenstephan, Ommegang Three Philosophers, Stone Arrogant Bastard and Southern Tier.

About 25 food vendors will participate including Zombie Dogz, Bavarian Roasted Nuts, Juergen’s German Restaurant, Bakery & Kaffee Haus, The Original Strudel Factory, Bessie’s Noodles, Schmidt’s of German Village, Black Jack Grill/Pretzel Hut Bakery, Bourbon Street Grill & Café and Brock Masteron’s.

Parking: A free shuttle service is offered throughout the weekend from the University of Dayton lot next to the Marriott hotel on River Park Drive, just off Patterson Boulevard.  Free RTA Oktoberfest shuttles will also run from downtown Dayton Saturday and Sunday. There will be stops along Monument Avenue, Wilkinson Street, Second Street, Main Street and Fifth Street.

Find more info here:  daytonartinstitute.org/oktparking

How much will it cost you? Admission to the lunch is free. Advance tickets to the preview party are $55 for members and $75 for non-members. Gate admission is $95.

Oktoberfest general admission tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for seniors ages 60 and older and youth ages 7 to 18. Gate admission is $7 for adults and $5 for seniors and youth.

Children 6 and younger admitted free of charge.

More info: Click here .

addddd2011 Aullwood Apple Fest (Staff photo by Ron Alvey).


Where: Aullwood Audubon Farm, 9101 Frederick Pike

When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 and Sunday, Sept. 25.

Why it ranks: Apples, apples and more apples. If apple pie from a Dutch oven isn’t enough, there also is kettle corn, grilled cheese, cider, fish boats, apple dumplings and brats, cheeseburgers and other sandwiches made from animals raised at Aullwood.

There will be bluegrass music, puppets, songs and Johnny Appleseed will share stories and apples.  

How much will it cost you? Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children. Children younger than  3 are admitted free of charge. Admission is free for Friends of Aullwood members.

More info: Click here.


Where: Montgomery County Fairgrounds, 1043 S. Main St., Dayton

When: 10 a.m to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27.

Why it ranks: Here’s a shot to put yourself in a chocolate coma for charity. The event sponsored by Faith and Friends Radio.com includes a chocolate recipe contest and is themed for the 1920s. Proceeds benefit Faith and Friends programs and outreach.

How much will it cost you? Admission is free.

More info: Click here.

adddddCustomers buy food from Ringo's Mobile Eatery at the 2013 Yellow Springs Street Fair. JIM WITMER / STAFF.


Where: Downtown Yellow Springs

When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 8

Why it ranks: The biannual festival (there was also a summer Yellow Springs Street Fair) has no shortage of eclectic food, crafts, beers and entertainment in in more than 250 booths. The event includes a beer garden and music festival featuring Zane & The Sway,  Emma Lee Woodruff & The Ruffians,  Mercury Curtain, Stark Folk Band, The LA Band, Spanish Tony Sanchez and BAOKU.

How much will it cost you? Admission is free.

More info: Click here.

German Sundae served from the Sons of the American Legion served at Ohio's 46th annual Sauerkraut Festival. (Source: Facebook).


Where: Downtown Waynesville

When: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct.8, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9.

Why it ranks: The more than 450 artisans are a big draw but so is the food. You will find any sauerkraut food you can imagine — from sauerkraut pizza to sauerkraut cookies — at this beloved Waynesville Chamber of Commerce happening. Food booths are operated by Waynesville school groups, churches, clubs and other non-profit organizations.

How much will it cost you? Admission is free.

More info: Click here