When it comes to food, outdoor festivals, fairs and events have the ability to enhance the flavor of whatever you choose as your meal thanks to the combination of music, vendors, people watching, beer and the majesty of being outdoors.
The affordable price points and diversity of some of the dishes (not all) can also offer the opportunity to try something new without a serious cash commitment.
Here are some of the events I am looking forward to attending this month that will offer me opportunities to nosh, relax and savor the summer:
Aug. 10-13: 168th Hamilton County Fair
If you haven’t been to a fair in a while it might be time. This fair offers a significant cost savings with pre-sale on family passes that includes admission, parking and a ride band. A one day pass is 30% off, a two-day pass is 30% off, a three-day pass is 40% off and a four-day pass is 50% off.
7801 Anthony Wayne Ave., Cincinnati
Aug. 11-13: The 40th Annual Dayton Liederkranz-Turner Germanfest Picnic
The Germanfest Picnic is a 3-day celebration of the Miami Valley’s rich German heritage. Enjoy great food, beverages, and the same great Gemütlichkeit (friendliness) that have made it a popular regional festival. This festival, held in the historic Saint Anne’s Hill neighborhood, stretches along E. Fifth St. from Keowee to Dutoit streets.
Dayton Liederkranz Turner Clubhouse, 1400 E. Fifth St., Dayton
Aug. 12: Potatoes N’ Such: Dayton Potato Festival
I can honestly say I’ve never met a potato I didn’t like. Give them to me mashed, fried, baked, chipped or any other preparation you can think of and I will indulge. Turns out I’m not the only one! This will be the third year for this event that celebrates our collective love of potatoes and all of the wonderful forms they can take on.
Oak and Ivy Park, 803 Anderson Goodrich Ct., Dayton
Aug. 13: Art on the Commons
This one-day juried display and sale of fine arts and fine crafts from over one hundred artists from Ohio and surrounding states is presented by Rosewood Arts Centre and the Kettering Arts Council. So, this is more art and less food for sure, but there is food and it tastes better when you are looking at art.I really love this event and the staff of Rosewood Arts Center in Kettering always does a fantastic job with it.
Fraze Pavilion, 95 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering
Aug. 18-26: The Great Darke County Fair
This is a Midwest fair at it’s finest. It’s huge, hot, loud and delicious. I urge you to check the calendar and take in a dog show or a mule and donkey show, some horse racing, sheep sheering, wood carvers, or one of the other myriad activities they will be showcasing over the course of the week. There’s always something to grab your attention and the food is one greasy guilty pleasure after another.
800 Sweitzer St, Greenville
Aug. 19: Bacon Fest
What’s cookin’ this summer at Fraze? Why? Only the greatest food item on planet Earth – BACON. Under the hot summer sun, savor the flavor of breakfast’s favorite side item. The event commemorating pork’s best side is back with more food and dishes that will make you want to kick off the front door. Whether you’re in the crispy bacon or chewy bacon camp, you’ll love this summer festival.
Fraze Pavilion, 95 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering
Aug. 19-20: Fairborn Sweet Corn Festival
This festival puts the spotlight on a favorite summer staple in Ohio: corn. Organizers say there will be approximately 130 handmade arts and craft booths and food vendors. Enjoy steamed cooked sweet corn, BBQ chicken, pork chop sandwiches and fresh cut watermelon. Pony rides and train rides will be available for the kids. Free Entertainment. Pro-tip: Bring some toothpicks with you — you’ll thank me later.
Community Park, 691 E. Dayton-Yellow Springs Road, Fairborn
Aug. 19-20: Dayton African American Cultural Festival
The Annual Dayton African American Cultural Festival is a two-day, city-wide family event to celebrate the richness of the African American experience in Dayton and surrounding communities. Cultural experiences include the African Village with drumming and story telling, the Arts Pavilion of paintings, visual displays, authors, and literature; an education area and music featuring live R&B, gospel, hip hop, jazz and blues performances. There are always plenty of food vendors on hand. This is a festival I never miss and I always enjoy.
Island MetroPark, 101 E. Helena St., Dayton
Aug. 25-27: Greater Dayton Lebanese Festival
Kibbee, Falafel, Kafta, Beef and Chicken Shawarma (“Lebanese gyro”), Tabouli and Salata salads (Middle Eastern Salads), stuffed grape leaves, hummus dip, homemade Middle Eastern mountain bread with zhatar seasoning; and fresh Lebanese pastries including baklawa, ghraybeh, nammuoora. And those are just a few of the delicious reasons this festival, presented by St. Ignatius Of Antioch Maronite Catholic Church is worth considering.
Grounds of St Ignatius of Antioch Maronite Church in Dayton (50 Nutt Rd in Washington Township)
Aug. 26: Taco and Nacho Fest
If tacos and nachos are your thing then this is your festival. Food vendors for this year include El Meson, What the Taco, Rolling Indulgence, Smokin Inferno BBQ & Catering and Kona Ice. At the inaugural event in 2022, the nachos provided by Mr. Boro’s Tavern in Springboro won top scores from the judges and crowd. The judges, which included this writer, gave Best Taco to JA’s & Sweet-umms for their excellent Basa Fish Taco called “The Catch” . The People’s Choice Award for Best Taco went to Smokin’ Inferno BBQ & Catering. What The Taco? won Most Creative Taco from the judges for their Korean Beef Taco. JA’s & Sweet-umms won Best Dessert for their “Best Damn Tres Leche.” With more than 10,000 attending last year this event is sure to be a popular attraction.
Austin Landing, 3601 Rigby Rd., Miamisburg
Aug. 26: Hops in the Hangar
Craft beer and aircraft will be celebrated at this event which will feature more than 30 breweries with more than 90 beers, food trucks, live entertainment, airshow performances and more. To celebrate the upcoming event New Ales Brewing in Middletown has released Falconer’s Flight — the event’s signature beer. It’s a pale ale full of hoppy, tropical flavors featuring artwork and beer that was designed and brewed as a collaboration for the event. You can try a pint out now at the brewery if you don’t want to wait until the end of the month.
Middletown Regional Airport, 1707 Run Way, Middletown
Aug. 26: HAMILPALOOZA
This family friendly event featuring more than 100 vendors will take place in downtown Hamilton in the streets around Marcum Park. Participating food vendors include Amazing Grace Kettle Corn, Butler Tech Food Truck, Chester’s Pizza, Don Tacos Mexican Food Truck, Kona Ice, M.A.D.D. Mark’s, Sundae Skool Bus and The Dawghouse.
116 Dayton St., Hamilton
DAYTON EATS runs Sundays in the Life & Arts section of the Dayton Daily News and features the latest on menu updates, special dinners and events, new chefs, interesting new dishes, and food adventures. Contact Contributing Writer Alexis Larsen at firstname.lastname@example.org.