7 things that will wow you this weekend at hot air balloon festival

Published: Monday, July 17, 2017 @ 1:00 PM

Timelapse from Ohio Challenge in Middletown Saturday morning.

Prepare to be wowed.

A giant crab and a giant gator will be among the more than 30 balloons that are set to take flight during The Ohio Challenge Balloon Festival and Team Fastrax Warrior Weekend to Remember. The annual event will return to Middletown’s Smith Park/Middletown Regional Airport this weekend.

“This is a good, positive event for the city. Everyone loves to see the balloons. There’s always that ‘Wow’ factor. Spectators often wonder ‘How did they get up there?’ ‘How do they stay up there?’ and they follow them. It’s so cool,” said Kathy Stites, event manager, The Ohio Challenge.

>> Watch time-lapse video of these balloons inflating and taking flight

The Gator is one of the special balloons that will be featured at the Ohio Challenge hot air balloon festival this weekend in Middletown. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

Presented by Selection.com, the event runs Friday, July 21 and Saturday, July 22 from 4 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. for the full festival including balloon competitions and balloon glows, fireworks, skydiving demonstrations, a laser light show, tethered balloon rides and live entertainment. There will also be carnival rides for children from Murray Brothers Amusements, Inc., expanded food booth offerings as well as 25 arts and crafts vendors on site.

Balloon activity only will continue the morning of Sunday, July 23 (no festival activity).

This is the 15th year for the festival, which has grown into one of the area’s largest, signature summer events. More than 300 volunteers come together to support the festivities. Organizers said about 55,000 guests attended the festival last year.

Here are 7 things to do, see and experience at The Ohio Challenge:

Competition balloons decorate the sky during the Ohio Challenge Hot Air Balloon Festival at Smith Park in Middletown in 2016. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF(Contributing Writer)

1. Hot air balloon launches, rides and competition

Check out launches of colorful balloons of all shapes and sizes.

Mass balloon launches and special shapes will take to the skies on Friday and Saturday from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Beyond the visual spectacle of bright colorful balloons in the sky, The Ohio Challenge is a sanctioned hot air balloon competition. This year 30 participants will compete for the Ohio Challenge Trophy and to qualify for a national tournament.

This little lady walks on a partially inflated balloon during the Fluff & Puff event at the 2016 Ohio Challenge Hot Air Balloon Festival at Smith Park in Middletown. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF(Contributing Writer)

Experience the fun yourself with tethered hot air balloon rides for $10 and $15 or try out the Fluff & Puff balloon walk-through as well.

Call 513-932-3552 to arrange full paid rides.

All balloon activity is wind and weather permitting. Admission to the park is free during morning hours for those that would like to see the Saturday and Sunday morning balloon flights.

>> PHOTOS: Ohio Hot Air Balloon Challenge 2016

Claw D — The Crazy Crab piloted by Zach Burgess of Monroe will be one of the special balloons featured at this year’s Ohio Challenge. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

2. Night balloon glow

Balloons can look even more amazing at night. This year’s balloon glows will take place Friday and Saturday from 9:15 p.m. to 9:45 p.m.

3. Fireworks

A fireworks display sponsored by Start Skydiving will start around 10 p.m. Saturday. There will also be fireworks and a laser light show Friday night.

4. Skydiving

Team Fastrax skydiving performances will take place at 5:30 p.m., 8 p.m. and 10:15 p.m. Friday and again at 4 p.m., 5 p.m., 6 p.m., 8:15 p.m. and 10 p.m. Saturday.

Rides are part of the fun at the Ohio Challenge Hot Air Balloon Festival. These festival-goers were photographed during the 2016 event at Smith Park in Middletown. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF(Contributing Writer)

5. Festival fun

Beyond the balloons, you’ll find plenty of family fun all weekend long.

The event will include outdoor concerts, arts and crafts, festival foods and carnival rides.

“There’s so much to do. There’s a little something for everybody. It’s a good family-oriented festival in the park. There’s a lot of good food, and a lot of great vendors. It’s a good place to be,” said Sean Askren, a Middletown resident, pilot committee member and FAA liaison.

This is one of the special balloons that will be featured at the Ohio Challenge hot air balloon festival this weekend in Middletown. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

There will be live music on Friday night with The Good Hooks and on Saturday evening featuring The Slyband from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Main Stage activities, including opening remarks and the National Anthem, will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. A Wounded Warrior Honoring Ceremony, recognizing Purple Hearts and Gold Stars will be held on Saturday from 7-8 p.m.

For a complete list of events and activities, go to www.ohiochallenge.com.

>> 7 festivals to add to your summer bucket list

Competition balloons fly over Hook Field during the 2016 Ohio Challenge Hot Air Balloon Festival at Smith Park in Middletown. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF(Contributing Writer)

6. Car show

A car show will benefit the Research for GIST Cancer (stomach cancer). The show featuring 125-150 cars will be held on Saturday from 4 p.m.- 8 p.m. Registration for the car show is 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. Cost to register is $15. Awards will be presented.

7. “Ready Teddy” drop

One new feature of the festival this year is Middletown Community Foundation’s “Ready Teddy” drop.

T. Duane Gordon, executive director, Middletown Community Foundation, a secondary sponsor of the event since its inception, said the “Ready Teddy” drop will support the organization’s “Ready” initiative, which raises money for education in the community.

“One of the ways we’re raising money is selling little teddy bears of Ready Teddy, and every person who buys a bear is entered into a contest to win several prizes, including some vacations that have been donated to the Foundation by Pierson Automotive. We will be putting every entrant’s ID number onto little plastic bears, and around 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, if the winds cooperate, Ready Teddy himself (the full-sized Ready Teddy) will be going up in a balloon with the little plastic bears to drop them toward a target. So, everyone will get to see them fall from the sky. The 10 bears that are closest to the target will win the 10 prizes we are giving away,” Gordon said.

>> Interactive summer festival guide

Want to go?

WHAT: The Ohio Challenge Balloon and Festival Team Fastrax Warrior Weekend to Remember

WHEN: Friday, July 21 through Sunday, July 23. The festival is open 4-10:30 p.m. Friday and 7 to 11 a.m. Saturday and 4-10:30 p.m. Saturday. Balloon activity only from 7-9:30 a.m. Sunday.

WHERE: Smith Park, 500 Tytus Ave and Verity Parkway in Middletown

ADMISSION: During regular evening festival hours, walk-in admission is $4 per adult (children ages 12 and under are free), $10 per vehicle to park and ride a shuttle or $20 per vehilce to park on site. Handicapped parking is available for $10 inside Smith Park with a valid permit (see parking attendant). Vehicles should enter the festival grounds via Middletown Regional Airport, 1800 Germantown Road.

MORE INFO: www.ohiochallenge.comwww.warriorwtr.com

Hot air balloons are inflated for attendees to get a closer look during the Ohio Challenge Hot Air Balloon Festival at Smith Park in Middletown in 2016. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF(Contributing Writer)

Beer, brats, food trucks and a few more reasons to go to Oktoberfest

Published: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Nothing beats a summer festival - and Dayton has more than you could ever dream. Here's 10 of the best ones you won't want to miss. (Tabatha Wharton)

For the 46th time, the Dayton Art Institute will be throwing its annual Oktoberfest fundraising party, adding the unusual component of arts and crafts to the usual German food, music, and beer. 

>> What you need to know about Oktoberfest 2017 at DAI

Scenes from Dayton Art Institute's Oktoberfest, which took place Sept. 24-25, 2016. PHOTOS BY TOM GILLIAM, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

In addition to the over 60 visiting artisans displaying and selling their wares, the museum’s permanent collection, including their current special exhibition, “Alphonse Mucha: Master of Art Nouveau,” will be open to patrons.

>> PHOTOS: Dayton Art Institute's Oktoberfest 2016

By day, the vibe at the Dayton Art Institute Oktoberfest is “more chill,” with people perusing the over 60 artisans on the premises. By night, it’s a party. CONTRIBUTED(Contributing Writer)

“The vibe changes from day to night,” said Amy Askins, DAI Oktoberfest Co-Chair. “During the day, it’s more chill. People are more interested in perusing the artisans. At night, it’s packed. It’s a party.”

>> 50 ideas for your Dayton summer bucket list

Scenes from Dayton Art Institute's Oktoberfest, which took place Sept. 24-25, 2016. PHOTOS BY TOM GILLIAM, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

A few notable facts about DAI Oktoberfest 2017:

LEDERHOSEN LUNCH AND PREVIEW PARTY (LEDERHOSEN OPTIONAL)

Many people like to start their weekend early, so the DAI Oktoberfest is offering heavily discounted lunch and libations Friday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Brats, metts, tenderloins will be $5, and potato salad and the homemade noodles are $3 (or you combo it with a dessert for $10).

The beer and wine is $5. The beer list includes Miller Lite, Terrapin High 5 IPA, Blue Moon, Crispin Original Apple Cider, Leinenkugel’s Oktoberfest and Harvest Shandy, and Warsteiner’s Dunkel, Oktoberfest, Koenig Ludwig Hefeweiss, and Pilsner beers. Wines are Michelle Sparkling Brut, Dr. L Riesling, Rodney Strong Chardonnay, Save Me San Francisco Cabernet Sauvignon, and Deloach Pinot Noir.

The preview party will also feature these beverages, accompanied by live music from This Side Up, a Dayton-based rock cover band. Askins said that while lederhosen is certainly welcome, it is not mandatory, or even expected.

“We encourage people who work downtown to come out,” she said. “So they’ll be in their ordinary work attire. But a few people will be wearing (lederhosen) for sure.”

>> When the community came together to open the Dayton Art Institute

Scenes from Dayton Art Institute's Oktoberfest, which took place Sept. 24-25, 2016. PHOTOS BY TOM GILLIAM, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

THE MAIN EVENT

For the main two-day party, there will be a full live music lineup and art-related activities for children. Most importantly, the one beer truck open for the lederhosen lunch and preview party will be joined by five others, bearing breweries such as Fat Head, Mad Tree, Dogfish, Great Lakes, and popular individual varieties such as New Belgium Fat Tire, Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, and Stone Arrogant Bastard. On the wine side, an additional Riesling, Chardonnay, and two Cabernet Sauvignons will be added, as well as a Pinot Grigio and a Dark Red.

According to DAI organizers, the food options remain fairly consistent from year to year, with popular favorites such as Zombie Dogz and the Associate Board Alumni (the museum’s own) Brats & Metts. The few notable newbies this year are Kona Ice, Nida Thai, and the Drunken Waffle, which features such delicacies as the Reservoir Dog (a waffled corn dog), the Boba Feta Burger (quarter pounder topped with feta cheese and pesto between a waffle), and the Bocheesian Rhapsody (grilled cheddar and Jack cheese between a waffle). 

>> PHOTOS: Dayton Art Institute Art Ball 2017

Scenes from Dayton Art Institute's Oktoberfest, which took place Sept. 24-25, 2016. PHOTOS BY TOM GILLIAM, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

ART AT OKTOBERFEST

Every year, the DAI offers an “official mug of Oktoberfest.” According to Chris Schairbaum, DAI Oktobefest Co-Chair, they typically sell over 1,000 of these each year. This year, Bubba Jones Cups, an Ohio potter who specializes in handmade ceramic items for craft breweries and enthusiasts, is designing the mug. There will be 16-ounce and 32-ounce mugs available, along with a few ceramic growlers. A mug purchase comes with a free beer ticket.

According to Askins, they had a larger-than-usual group of artisans applying to participate this year, including Renata Kelly, a wearable art artisan who makes, among other things, a shawl one can wear eight different ways.

“Every year, I go home with a new pair of earrings or a bracelet,” said Askins. “We have a handful of people who work in metal and glass, everything from large sculptures you can hang outside to centerpieces for large rooms to items that can fit in your hand. We have committee heads for all of these areas, and they really went above and beyond as far as recruitment.” 
Scenes from Dayton Art Institute's Oktoberfest, which took place Sept. 24-25, 2016. PHOTOS BY TOM GILLIAM, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

WANT TO GO?

What: The Dayton Art Institute Oktoberfest

When: Sept. 22-24, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 7-11 p.m. Friday, noon-11:30 p.m. Saturday, and noon-7 p.m. Sunday

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

Cost: $3-$7 (general), $55-$95 (preview party), free for children 6 and younger

More Info: 937-223-4ART or www.daytonartinstitute.org/oktoberfest

What you need to know about DAI’s Oktoberfest (it’ll be here sooner than you think)

Published: Thursday, July 27, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Nothing beats a summer festival - and Dayton has more than you could ever dream. Here's 10 of the best ones you won't want to miss. (Tabatha Wharton)

You probably can’t tell it by the temperature, but fall is calling, and so are brats, bier and a whole lot of art. 

The Dayton Art Institute has released early details about its annual Oktoberfest and events surrounding it. 

>> MORE: The 7 festivals we just cannot wait for

The celebration is set for Sept. 22 to 24 on the grounds of the museum, located at 456 Belmonte Park N. in Dayton. 

>> PHOTOS: Dayton Art Institute's Oktoberfest 2016

Here are some key details: 

LEDERHOSEN LUNCH

Scenes from Dayton Art Institute's Oktoberfest, which took place Sept. 24-25, 2016. PHOTOS BY TOM GILLIAM, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

The fun kicks off with a Lederhosen Lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22. Admission to the community-style lunch is free. 

Brats, metts, schnitzel sandwiches, German salads and homemade noodles will be sold. There will be live entertainment. 

PREVIEW PARTY 

Oktoberfest was held Saturday September 25 at the Dayton Art Institute. Thousands enjoyed the warm early autumn sun, international and craft beers, entertainment, fine arts and food.(Jim Noelker)

The Oktoberfest Preview Party  is 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 22. 

It includes complimentary beer, wine and soft drinks. There will be 65 artisan exhibitors and 30 food vendors.

There will be a cash bar for international beer and premium wine, and the band This Side Up will perform.

>> 50 ideas for your Dayton summer bucket list

Advance tickets for the Preview Party are $55 for members and $75 for non-members. Admission at the gate is $95. Online pre-sales begin in August. 

OKTOBERFEST 

Here's who we saw during the 38th annual Oktoberfest preview party at the Dayton Art Institute in Dayton, Friday, September 25, 2009.(Peter Wine)

Oktoberfest is noon to 11:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23 and from noon to 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24.

>> When the community came together to open the Dayton Art Institute

It includes artisan booths, plenty of food, kid-friendly activities, music on two stages and lots and lots of international, domestic and craft beer (and wine, too).

Football will be played on four big screen TVs in the so-called “TV Cave.” 

Advance admission is $5 for adults and $3 for those ages 60 and older and ages 7 to 19. Admission at the gate is $7 for adults and $5 for seniors and youth. Children ages 6 and younger are free. 

>> PHOTOS: Dayton Art Institute Art Ball 2017

Oktoberfest 2009 at The Dayton Art Institute Sunday, Sept. 27(Teesha McClam)

20 reasons why September might be the best festival month of the year

Published: Monday, September 04, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

A look at some of our favorite Dayton-area fall festivals.

September is full of festival fun! Mark your calendars for these festivals in Dayton or closeby.

>> Eat your way through September at these food events

The Ohio Renaissance Festival offers nine weekends of festival fun from September through the end of October. CONTRIBUTED

OHIO RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL

Sept. 2-Oct.29, Saturdays & Sundays, Sept. 2-Oct. 29 at Ohio Renaissance Festival, 10542 E. State Route 73, Waynesville.

Guests can step back in time in a 30-acre re-created 16th Century English village. The festival features nearly 100 shows daily on 12 stages, over 150 unique arts and crafts shops, food and drink, games of skill and human-powered rides to amuse all ages.

>> 5 things to love about the Renaissance Festival

It’s an annual feast at the Dayton Greek Festival. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO(Contributing Writer)

DAYTON GREEK FESTIVAL

Sept. 8-10, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday & Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at Greek Orthodox Church, 500 Belmonte Park N., Dayton.

Authentic Greek food and patries, imports, jewelry, Greek Dancing, children’s activities, live Greek music, church tours, and free shuttle bus.

>> The festivals we cannot wait for

ANNUAL EGYPTIAN FESTIVAL

Sept. 8-10, 4-9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at St. Mina and St. Abanoub Church, 1531 King Richard Parkway, Miamisburg.

Enjoy the exquisite flavors of Egypt, shop for Egyptian jewelry, arts & crafts; live entertainment, raffle pries, carnival rides, face painting and more.

VANDALIA SISTER CITIES OKTOBERFEST

Sept. 8-9, 6-11 p.m. Friday & 12-11 p.m. Saturday at Vandalia Recreation Center, 1111 Stonequarry Road, Vandalia.

German bands, Bratwurst and Mettwurst, German Potato Salad, pretzels, beer, arts & crafts, children’s games and more. No pets allowed.

>> 4 Oktoberfest events we can’t wait for this fall

(Tom Gilliam Photography for Dayton.com)

ITALIAN FALL FESTA

Sept. 8-10, 6-11 p.m. Friday, 12-11 p.m. Saturday, 12-8 p.m. Sunday at Bella Villa Hall, 2625 County Line Road, Dayton. Weekend of Italian music, Italian food, and a fun game of Bocce on the spacious grounds of Bella Villa. Free admission and parking. Shuttle service from the Reynolds & Reynolds parkinglot.

SPRINGBORO OKTOBERFEST

Sept. 8-9, Opens at 5 p.m. Friday & 11 a.m. Saturday at Springboro United Church of Christ, 5 W. Mill St., Springboro.

Celebration of authentic German food, beer, wine and entertainment for the entire family.

>> Why this year’s Springboro Oktoberfest will be bigger and better than ever

The Beavercreek Popcorn Festival, now in its 29th year, takes place the weekend after Labor Day on Sept. 12 and 13.  (Source: Provided by the Beavercreek Popcorn Festival)

BEAVERCREEK POPCORN FESTIVAL
September 9-10, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday at the intersection of Dayton-Xenia and North Fairfield roads, Beavercreek.

Festival foods, continuous live entertainment, 5K popcorn run, treats, special services, creative crafts and specialties made with popcorn. Also, children’s area with games, inflatables, contests and other activities.

WAYNESVILLE SECOND SATURDAY STREET FAIRE

Sept. 9, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Waynesville, 97 S. Main St., Waynesville.

Festival includes Artists Booths where artists, crafters and authors display and sell their creations. Over 40 artisans will feature everything from woodworking to fiber arts. Local entertainers will perform in the Main Street Gazebo and other locations around town.

XENIA COMMUNITY FESTIVAL

Sept. 15-16, 4-9 p.m. Friday & 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at Shawnee Park, 591 South Park Dr., Xenia.

Paddleboats on the lake, food, vendors, a parade, free entertainment and the return of field day for kids are part of the festival.

Pigs, Pork chops and People were all plentyful Saturday at the Preble County Pork Festival in Eaton, Ohio. In it's 41st year the festival will cater to 100,000 visitors a day. With over 500 crafters, food vendors and even pig races there is something for everyone.(Martin Wheeler III)

PREBLE COUNTY PORK FESTIVAL

Sept. 16-18, 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day at Preble County Fairgrounds, 722 S. Franklin St., Eaton.

Lots of pork inspired food, over 400 arts and crafts vendors, parade, live pig displays, hands-on activities and cooking demonstrations, camel and pony rides, petting zoo and more. No pets, please.

ANNUAL WOOL GATHERING SHOW

Sept.16-17, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday & 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at Young’s Jersey Dairy, 6880 Springfield-Xenia Road, Yellow Springs.

Observe sheep, llamas, alpacas, cashmere goats, Angora rabbits and other wool-bearing animals at the show. There will be shearing demonstrations, wool spinning, weaving and much more to see and learn. More than 100 vendors from several states.

Daytonians of Hispanic heritage joined the rest of the Gem City's international community in a day of fun, food, music and education at the 16th Annual Hispanic Heritage Festival on Saturday, Aug. 20. (TOM GILLIAM/CONTRIBUTED)

HISPANIC HERITAGE FESTIVAL

Sept.16, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at RiverScape MetroPark, 111 E. Monument Ave., Dayton.

Featuring a parade, live Latin music and authentic Latin food, cultural performances and activities for the entire family.

POLISH FALL FESTIVAL

Sept.17, 3-7 p.m.; Gates open at 1 p.m. at Polish Picnic Grounds, 3690 Needmore Road, Dayton.

Featuring food & beverages, dancing, games and music, including Randy Krajewski and his polka band. No coolers, please.

ARTFEST

Sept. 17, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Beavercreek Community Park, 760 Factory Road, Beavercreek.

ArtFest is a creative festival with local artists of all genres, performers and Miami Valley food trucks. Visitors can help create ‘hands on’ art installation projects, shop for homemade items and enjoy stage and strolling performances by musicians and artists. Parking is available at Nutter Park on Factory Road with direct access to the bike path leading to the festival.

The 2009 Tipp City Mum Festival was held this weekend in Tipp City. The Tipp City Mum Festival started in 1959 which makes it the oldest festival in the Miami County. Mum is an abbreviation of Chrysanthemum, a hearty fall flower.(Jim Noelker)

TIPP CITY MUM FESTIVAL

Sept. 22-24, 4-10 p.m. Friday, all day Saturday & Sunday at Third Street, Tipp City.

Friday night Cruise-in, Saturday the Mum Festival Parade followed by festival activities at the City Park, Sunday festival activities. Live entertainment both Saturday and Sunday.

Scenes from Dayton Art Institute's Oktoberfest, which took place Sept. 24-25, 2016. PHOTOS BY TOM GILLIAM, CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

OKTOBERFEST AT DAYTON ART INSTITUTE

Sept. 23-24, 12-11 p.m. Saturday; 12-7 p.m. Sunday at Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park North, Dayton.

Presented by Miller Lite, the community event includes artisans, unique international foods, selection of domestic, international and craft beers, family-friendly art activities, live music, a Weingarten with a variety of international wines and more. There will also be a fully covered main stage viewing area, an expanded craft beer tent with big-screen TV’s to view football, and live music on two stages throughout the weekend.

The second day of Apple Fest took place at Aullwood Audubon Farm. The event included animals, games, live music and various types of food.(Ron Alvey)

AULLWOOD APPLE FEST

Sept. 23-24, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday & Sunday at Aullwood Audubon Farm, 9101 Frederick Pike, Dayton.

Featuring food, live entertainment, free children’s activities, meet farm animal friends, tractor or draft horse pulled wagon rides and more. A variety of artisans and craft exhibitors will offer soaps, jewelry, woven items, sand art, garden ornaments, etc.

HERITAGE OF FLIGHT FESTIVAL

Sept. 29-October 1, Friday, 2-11 p.m., Saturday, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Main Street, New Carlisle.

Featuring the Annual Parade of Planes, and an array of events and activities on Main Street.

Apples for sale at the Black Barn booth during the Country Applefest in downtown Lebanon Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013. NICK DAGGY / STAFF(www.todayspulse.com)

COUNTRY APPLEFEST

Sept. 30, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Warren County Fairgrounds, 665 N. Broadway, Lebanon.

Fairgrounds will be filled with homemade crafts, food and entertainment. On-site free parking and handicap access.

HUBER HEIGHTS FAMILY FALL FESTIVAL

Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday at Chambersburg and Brandt Pike, Huber Heights.

Featuring food, music, fall crafts, 2-day cruise-in, bands, hay rides, pony rides, bouncy house, face painting and more.

7 fall festivals we just cannot wait for

Published: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 @ 11:21 AM
Updated: Tuesday, September 05, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Same as original with one festival added.

With summer coming to a close, it’s time to look forward to all the great fall-oriented festivals in the Miami Valley. Here are a few of our favorites.

1.) DAYTON GREEK FESTIVAL

OPA! The amazing food is the star of the show at this annual festival. 

A few mouth-watering dishes to try: pastitsio (the Greek version of lasagna), moussaka (eggplant casserole), dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), lamb shank dinner slow-roasted in a flavorful sauce and gyro pita-wrapped sandwiches. 

>> PHOTOS: Tour the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church

New this year: Saganaki (the famous Greek way to prepare fried cheese) and Ouzo Slushies. There will also be plenty of craft beers, imported beers, wines and the popular baklava and honey puffs and Tsoureki bread. Plus, don’t miss tours of the incredible church.

Baklava is a staple at the Dayton Greek Festival. (Chris Stewart/Staff file photo)(Chris Stewart)

WHEN: Sept. 8-10, 2017

HOURS: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 500 Belmonte Park North, Dayton

COST: Admission is free from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday (come for lunch!). Admission is $2 per person rest of the weekend, with free admission for children 12 and younger.

INFO: WebsiteFacebook

2.) ITALIAN FALL FESTA

This festival is celebrating the big 4-0 this year! Stuff yourselves silly with pizza, pastas, sausages, meatball sandwiches, breads, calzones, Cannoli, Gelato and more. 

>> PHOTOS: Italian Fall Festa 2016

For this extra special occasion, the Festa will have its own limited-edition beer brewed by Dayton’s Warped Wing Brewing Company. Once the Festa is gone, so is the beer. 

>> 4 killer Dayton meatballs you must try

(Tom Gilliam Photography for Dayton.com)

WHEN: Sept. 8-10, 2017

HOURS: 6-11 p.m. Friday, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday, noon to 8 p.m. Sunday

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

COST: Free parking and free admission

INFO: WebsiteFacebook

Explore 30-acres of a re-created 16th century English village, when you take a step back in time to attend the Ohio Renaissance Festival. (Source: Facebook)

3.) OHIO RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL

Prepare thyself for some medieval fun. This 30-acre permanent village has been re-created to transport visitors to 16th Century England.

>> The craziest things you’ll see at the Ohio Renaissance Festival

Food highlights include: Giant Turkey Leggs, Steak-On-A-Stake, Barbecue, Stuffed Spuds, Bread Bowl Stews, beer, wine and desserts. 

>> The foods you have to try at the Renaissance Festival

Entertainment includes: jousting, musicians, dancers, comedians, jugglers, sword-fighters, storytellers and hundreds of costumed performers on 12 stages in nearly 100 shows daily.

WHEN: Sept. 2 – Oct. 29 — Nine weekends Saturdays, Sundays plus Labor Day

HOURS: 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

WHERE: Renaissance Park in Harveysburg. Just minutes off I-71, exit 45 or I-75, exit 38 on State Route 73 in Warren County.

COST: Tickets: Adults $22.50; Children $9.50 (ages 5-12); Children under 5 free.

INFO: WebsiteFacebook

Pigs, Pork chops and People were all plentyful Saturday at the Preble County Pork Festival in Eaton, Ohio. In it's 41st year the festival will cater to 100,000 visitors a day. With over 500 crafters, food vendors and even pig races there is something for everyone.(Martin Wheeler III)

4.) PREBLE COUNTY PORK FESTIVAL

It’s time to pig out! This festival celebrating Preble County’s pork-producing industry has plenty of festival fun for the whole family. But no surprise, the food is the star of this show. 

>> 4 pork belly dishes you MUST try in Dayton

Eats include a BBQ pork chop smorgasbord, sausage and pancake breakfast and a short order restaurant. Other activities include pig races, a petting zoo, camel and pony rides, a magic show, cooking demos and more.

WHEN: Sept. 16-17, 2017

HOURS: Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

WHERE: Preble County Fairgrounds, 722 S. Franklin St., Eaton

COST: Free admission

INFO: WebsiteFacebook

Scenes from Oktoberfests past. STAFF FILE PHOTO

5.) DAYTON ART INSTITUTE’S OKTOBERFEST

BEER!!! Toast to the fall with the Dayton Art Institute’s signature fund-raiser and one of the region’s biggest festivals. 

>> What you need to know about Oktoberfest 2017

Browse booths from more than 50 artisans from throughout the region, munch on foods from the German-inspired to traditional food truck eats. Wash down that food with ample domestic, international and craft beers, international wines. There will be live music on two stages throughout the weekend.

>> 4 Oktoberfest celebrations around Dayton we can’t wait for this fall

Special events include a Lederhosen lunch on Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. featuring brats, metts, schnitzel sandwiches, German salads, homemade noodles and live entertainment. Another hot ticket is a special preview party Friday evening. 

>> PHOTOS: Oktoberfest 2016

WHEN: Sept. 22-24, 2017

HOURS: Lederhosen Lunch: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m.; Preview Party: 7- 11 p.m.; Saturday: Noon - 11:30 p.m.; Sunday: Noon - 7 p.m.

WHERE: Grounds of Dayton Art Institute, 456 Belmonte Park North, Dayton

COST: Admission to the Lederhosen Lunch is free (pay for food). Advance tickets for the Preview Party are $55 for members and $75 for non-members and includes complimentary beer, wine & soft drinks. Food vendors will be on site and premium beverages will be available for purchase. Admission at the gate is $95. Online presales begin later this month. Admission to the festival on Saturday and Sunday will be $5 adults, $3 seniors (60+) & youth (7-19) in advance; $7 adults, $5 seniors & youth at the gate; children 6 & under free.

INFO: WebsiteFacebook

The 37th annual Minster Oktoberfest will take place on Oct. 2 through Oct. 4 , but Saturday will be the biggest day with all sorts of beer-related activities that you wouldn’t typically expect. (Source: Facebook)

6.) MINSTER OKTOBERFEST

If you can’t get enough Oktoberfest fun in Dayton, here is a celebration a short drive north that is definitely worth the drive. But make sure you have a DD for this one! 

>> 4 Oktoberfest celebrations around Dayton we can’t wait for this fall

Of course, there will be plenty of beer and food and craft vendors, but this festival is also famous for some of its silly traditions. You can drink beer from a milk jug, participate in a beer tray relay or a jug-hoisting competition. This festival draws about 80,000 each year to this small village in Auglaize County.

WHEN: Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2017

HOURS: Friday 6 p.m. to midnight, Saturday 10 a.m. to midnight, Sunday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

WHERE: One block west of the intersection of SR-119 and SR-66 in Minster

COST: Free admission

INFO: WebsiteFacebook

Sauerkraut is served on everything, including pizza, at the Ohio Sauerkraut Festival in Waynesville. The operators say they are ready to cancel this year’s festival unless the village sets aside new rules.(Staff Writer)

7.) OHIO SAUERKRAUT FESTIVAL

Sauerkraut pizza, anyone? This is one of the region’s signature fall festivals. 

>> Ohio Sauerkraut Festival a go for 2017

Shop by visiting the vendor tents ranging from arts and crafts to sculptures, ceramics, paintings, woodworking and more. And of course, dare to try some more unique sauerkraut dishes from fudge to a “sundae.” 

>> PHOTOS: Ohio Sauerkraut Festival 2016

WHEN: Oct. 14-15, 2017

HOURS: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: Downtown Waynesville. Shuttle buses are recommended. Take shuttle buses from Wayne Local High School.

COST: Free admission

INFO: WebsiteFacebook