Whether you’re in it for the food, the crafts or just here for the fireworks, there’s lots to love about a festival. Luckily for us, Stark County offers plenty of ways to get outside and enjoy local events, from the big gatherings to quirky small-town affairs. Here’s a look at five festivals worth a visit this summer.
1. Olde Canal Days
Thursday, July 11 through Saturday, July 13. For more than 50 years, Canal Fulton has come together to celebrate history and have a good time. The three-day downtown street festival features canal boat rides on the Helena III, museum tours and plenty of food, arts and crafts and carnival rides. This year’s festival includes live music, entertainment, a beer garden, a parade and a firework show at St. Helena Heritage Park. More at discovercanalfultonevents.com.
2. Yankee Peddler Festival
Weekends in September 7-8, 14-15, 21-22. The annual Yankee Peddler Festival, now in its 46th year, assembles master crafters and artisans on 75 acres at Clay’s Park Resort. Enjoy rustic and handmade goods, food cooked over open flames and lots of demonstrations and hands-on activities. The festival focuses on life between 1776 and 1825, and vendors follow strict rules to ensure that everyone is swept up in the trip back in time. More at yankeepeddlerfestival.com.
3. Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival
Friday, July 26 through Monday, August 5. With more than 18 different events, the Enshrinement Festival has something for everyone. The annual event attracts about 700,000 people to Stark County for food, festivities and, of course, lots of football. Highlights include the three-day Balloon Classic and Fireworks (July 26-28); the HOF Fun Fest & Beer Fest (starting August 1) on the grounds of the Hall of Fame; The Hall of Fame Game in which the Denver Broncos take on the Atlanta Falcons (August 1); the Fashion Show Luncheon (August 2); the Enshrinree’s Gold Jacket Dinner (August 2); The Canton Repository Grand Parade (August 3); the Enshrinement Ceremony (August 3) and a performance by Imagine Dragons at the Concert for Legends on August 4. More at profootballhoffestival.com.
4. The Stark County Fair
Tuesday, August 27 through Monday, September 2. It wouldn’t be summer without an old fashioned county fair. The Stark County Fair offers your favorite greasy foods and your favorite carnival rides with a boatload of live entertainment such as concerts, tractor pulls and demolition derbies. It’s also an opportunity to support local kids and teens, as well as creative adults, by checking out the thousands of fair entries and exhibits in hundreds of categories from photography to vegetables to animals. More at starkcountyfair.com.
5. The Greater Alliance Carnation Festival
Thursday, August 1 through Sunday, August 11. Where better to celebrate our state flower than in the city where it was created? The Carnation Festival, an Alliance tradition for almost 60 years, boasts more than 30 activities throughout the Carnation City ranging from an auto show to a rib festival to a library book sale to a parade. A highlight of the festival is Days in The Park (August 7-10), which packs lots of food, entertainment and festivities in Silver Park including a balloon lift off, live music and fireworks. More at carnationfestival.com.