It's time to leave the scorching summer behind and head outdoors for fairs, celebrations, art shows, and even a Dragon Boat race. There's a church festival in nearly every parish with rides, food and music. You can find Oktoberfests from Newport to Fountain Square, MainStrasse to Colerain. Here's just a sample.

Ohio Renaissance Festival
Celebrating its 21st year, the Ohio Rennaissance Festival is a magical trip back in time to 16th-century England for family entertainment and amusement. This Sept. 4 through Oct. 17, watch hundreds of costumed performers bring thrills and action to 11 stages in nearly 100 shows daily.

Each weekend has a different theme, including Pirates Weekend (Sept. 18-19), which is full of wenches, parrots and peg legs, Barbarian Invasion (Sept. 25-26), and Highland Weekend (Oct. 2-3), which celebrates all things Celtic. Feast on medieval fare including roasted turkey legs and a mug of ale. Head over to the open-air market and browse the goods handmade by more than 130 different master craftsmen.

Renaissance Park, I-71 at exit 45, Harveysburg. 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, plus Labor Day. $19.99 for adults, $9.99 for children ages 5-12. (513) 897-7000 or

Kentucky Dragon Boat Festival

"Paddling for the Pink" boat race Sept. 11 will raise money for breast cancer survivor scholarships and wellness.

A.J. Jolly Park, 100 Lakeview Drive, Alexandria, KY. 7 a.m.—4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11. (859) 525-6698 or

Cincinnati Hispanic Festival

Welcome to Ohi'™s biggest fiesta for great food, music and dancing. On the Sept. 11-12 weekend, celebrate Latin American heritage and Cincinnati's Hispanic community. In its 17th year, festival events include a variety of authentic Latin American games, arts and crafts, dances and food tasting.

Hamilton County Fairgrounds, 7801 Anthony Wayne Ave., Carthage. Noon-11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free. (513) 746-7944 or

MainStrasse Oktoberfest

The restored German village of MainStrasse in Covington celebrates German food, music and beer Sept. 10-12.

Main Street, Covington. 5-11:30 p.m. Friday, noon-11:30 p.m. Saturday and noon-9 p.m. Sunday. Free. (859) 491-0458 or

Sunflower StreetFest and Revolution VII

A two-day celebration Sept. 11-12 with vendors, live music and food. Biking and running events raise money for Parkinson's disease on Sunday.

Main Street, Milford. Noon-8 p.m. Saturday. Times vary for events.

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati

As North America's largest Oktoberfest (second in the world to only Munich), Oktoberfest Zinzinnati is a celebration of all things German: beer, bratwurst, strudel and sausage, as well as the beloved Chicken Dance. This year, it's Sept. 18-19. What started in 1976 as a small block party has turned into an annual Cincinnati tradition bringing in a crowd of more than 500,000.

Fifth Street near Fountain Square, downtown. 11 a.m.-midnight Saturday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday. Free. (513) 579-3191 or

Newport Oktoberfest

Enjoy German dancing, food and beer on Riverboat Row from Sept. 24-26.

Festival Park on Riverboat Row, Newport. 5-11 p.m. Friday, noon-11 p.m. Saturday and noon-9 p.m. Sunday. (513) 477-3320 or

Donauschwaben Oktoberfest

The Donauschwaben Society celebrates German culture with homemade sausage, tortes, beer and lots of live music Oct. 1-3.

4290 Dry Ridge Road, Colerain Township. 6 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Friday, 1 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Saturday and noon-8 p.m. Sunday. $3 admission.