Colorful fireworks over Cincinnati at night with the John A Roebling Suspension Bridge during one of the best festivals in Cincinnati

23 Events & Festivals in Cincinnati in 2023 (By Month)

I’m a Cincinnati local and in this guide, I’ll point you to the year’s best events and festivals in Cincinnati! 

This round-up highlights some of the top things to do in Cincy. Learn about food and drink festivals, cultural events, seasonal attractions, and much more. I also feature lesser-known experiences that, trust me, you won’t want to miss! 

Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. See our Advertising Policy for further explanation. Thank you!

Cincinnati Festivals in January

Winter Song Festival

A chance to see vocal arts in a new light.

A female singer performing a song with a band

📅 January 14-15, 2023 | 📍 Google Maps | Winter Song Festival Website

This is a unique event for anyone who loves the art of song. On the first day, there’s a song slam featuring vocal teams. Similar to poetry slams, the voting audience decides who wins. A presenter is selected for the second day to deliver a meaningful vocal experience.

Cincinnati Festivals in February


A chance for beer lovers in Cincinnati to warm up.

The Cincinnati Music Hall building from the outside
Sip beer outside the iconic Cincinnati Music Hall (photo: Edward Lumbert / Shutterstock)

📅 February 18-19, 2023 | 📍 Google Maps | Mittenfest Website

This annual Cincinnati festival costs just $25. Enjoy a DJ, food trucks, craft beers, and other goodies in Washington Park. It will be cold, so wear mittens and other warm clothing — these are winter musts on my Cincinnati packing list

My Furry Valentine Mega Adoption Event

An opportunity to bring home your new furry best friend.

Adorable dogs during an adoption event in Cincinnati
Meet plenty of adorable animals looking for homes!

📅 February 18-19, 2023 | 📍 Google Maps | My Furry Valentine Mega Adoption Event Website

This is the perfect event for Cincinnati animal lovers! It takes place in Sharonville, north of the city center. Hundreds of adoptable dogs, cats, and other pets are featured, all from rescues around Greater Cincinnati. Every adopted pet will go home with goodies, and you can enter to win a raffle basket!

📚 Related Reading: After the event, take your new companion to nearby Sharon Woods, one of the best parks in Cincinnati

Cincinnati Festivals in March


A spring event for beer enthusiasts in Cincinnati.

A group of friends doing cheers with their glasses of beer
Cheers to camaraderie!

📅 March 3-5, 2023 | 📍 Google Maps | Bockfest Website

This annual bash celebrates the history of brewing in Over-the-Rhine, one of the best places to stay in Cincinnati. Several local breweries participate and serve up dozens of varieties of bock beer. Tasting tickets are available for purchase, though there is no charge to enjoy the parade and entertainment. 

👉 Don’t Miss: You can enjoy the Over-the-Rhine beer scene even if you’re not in Cincinnati in March. Check out this Built On Beer Walking Tour

Cincinnati Festivals in April


A weekend of fun for the kiddies.

📅 April 21-23, 2023 | 📍 Google Maps | Midwest KIDFEST Website

This Mason event is an epic adventure for Hamilton County kids. Children in kindergarten through sixth grade can sign up for a two-night stay that includes fun events and time at the water park! Admission is $159 per person.

Greater Cincinnati Earth Day Festival

The largest Earth Day event in Ohio, taking place in Summit Park of Blue Ash.

A woman with gloves planting a tomato
Learn about gardening, recycling, and reusing, and so much more

📅 April 22, 2023 | 📍 Google Maps | Greater Cincinnati Earth Day Festival Website

This Blue Ash festival is one of the best events in Hamilton County for environmental education. You’ll also have the opportunity to enjoy live music, local vegetarian foods, and craft beers. For many families, it’s the year’s first outdoor event with several presentations and activities. 

Cincinnati Festivals in May

Mainstrasse Village Maifest

A German-inspired event for families and wine connoisseurs.

Pretzels hanging on a wooden stand in Cincinnati
Enjoy pretzels, bratwurst with sauerkraut, and plenty of libations!

📅 May 2023 | 📍 Google Maps | Mainstrasse Village Maifest Website

This event is in Covington, Kentucky, one of the best day trips from Cincinnati. It’s inspired by the German tradition of welcoming the first spring wines. Here, you can enjoy crafting activities, rides, and international food/beverages. There is a stage with live entertainment throughout the festival, too.

Cincinnati Festivals in June

Cincinnati Fringe Festival

A performance art festival with pop-up theaters throughout Over-the-Rhine.

View of people at the vibrant neighborhood of Over-the-Rhine
The vibrant OTR neighborhood (photo: aceshot1 / Shutterstock)

📅 June 2-17, 2023 | 📍 Google Maps | Cincinnati Fringe Festival Website 

The Know Theatre of Cincinnati, a small local production company, produces the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. This two-week festival highlights performance arts in Over-the-Rhine. Mediums include theater, poetry, dance, and cinema. It involves more than 200 performances, screenings, art galleries, concerts, and more.

Juneteenth Festivities

Celebrate the end of slavery in beautiful Eden Park.

The Juneteenth flag on a flag pole during the Juneteenth Festivities
The Juneteenth flag, raised in multiple Cincinnati locations before the festival

📅 June 11 – 19, 2023 | 📍 Google Maps | Cincinnati Juneteenth Festival Website 

Cincinnati Juneteenth festivities begin on June 11 with the Wade in the Water dance event. Juneteenth flag ceremonies then occur throughout the city from June 12 – 16. 

This leads up to the Juneteenth Festival in Eden Park, set to occur on the 17th. Festivities include live music, family activities, traditional storytelling, and a flag parade and peace march. A concert occurs the following day, along with a parade on June 19th. 

Cincinnati Pride Festival

A festival celebrating Cincinnati’s LGBTQIA+ community.

People with rainbow flags at a parade during the Cincinnati Pride Festival
The Cincinnati Pride Parade marching down Vine Street (photo: Roberto Galan / Shutterstock)

📅 June 24, 2023 | 📍 Google Maps | Cincinnati Pride Festival Website 

The Cincinnati Pride Festival draws thousands to Sawyer Point Park every June. The iconic, family-friendly parade begins at noon. It starts at 7th and Plum Streets and goes down Vine to end up at the festival location. Here, visitors can enjoy food stands and live entertainment. 

Cincinnati Festivals in July

Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival

An event that uses diverse films to foster humanity.

📅 July 6-8, 2023 | 📍 Google Maps | Over-the-Rhine International Film Festival Website

This event is sponsored by LADD, an organization that empowers the disabled population in Cincinnati. Similarly, the films shared here are meant to encourage empathy and explore diverse relationships. MovieMaker Magazine included this event on its list of the coolest film festivals in the world in 2022. 

Cincy Blues Fest

A summer celebration of blues music and artists.

Close up view of an electric guitar
Dance to some of the best blues artists around

📅 July 15, 2023 | 📍 Google Maps | Cincy Blues Fest Website

This free festival is in Village Green Park of Fairfield, north of downtown Cincinnati. It presents some of the best national and international blues singers. You can experience the power of blues music with gorgeous greenery in the background, not to mention great food and drinks.

Cincinnati Music Festival

A three-day riverfront festival featuring stars and up-and-coming artists.

Aerial view of the Paul Brown Stadium, where Cincinnati Music Festival happens
The Paul Brown Stadium, site of the Cincinnati Music Festival (photo: Craig Burke / Shutterstock)

📅 July 20-22, 2023 | 📍 Google Maps | Cincinnati Music Festival Website

Originally a jazz festival, the Cincinnati Music Festival now features not only jazz, but R&B, soul, and hip hop. Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis, Whitney Houston, and many others have performed here. 

The three-day fest takes place at the Paul Brown Stadium. It’s home to the Cincinnati Bengals and is one of the best Cincinnati landmarks

Glier’s Goettafest

A Northern Kentucky homage to goetta, a signature Cincinnati food.

📅 July 27-30, August 3-6, 2023 | 📍 Google Maps | Glier’s Goettafest Website

Here’s a fun Cincinnati fact: goetta, a mix of beef, pork, oats, and spices, is one of the region’s most unique foods. This two-weekend event in Newport, KY celebrates the savory delicacy in many, many forms. 

It’s sponsored by Glier’s Meats, the largest goetta producer in the world. Tastings are paid, but admission is free! Play family-focused goetta games, enjoy live music, and much more. 

Cincinnati Festivals in August

Ohio River Paddlefest

A day of paddling and racing fun down the Ohio River.

Aerial view of the Ohio River in Cincinnati
The Ohio River, the site of paddling races during Paddlefest

📅 August 5, 2023 | 📍 Google Maps | Ohio River Paddlefest Website

This Cincinnati festival is the biggest paddling event in the United States. Every year, about 2,000 individuals race down the Ohio River in kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards. After the races, the Finish Line Festival is at the Gilday Recreation Complex.

Black Family Reunion

An opportunity to celebrate and support Black families.

View of the red tables and chairs at Sawyer Point Park and Yeatman's Cove
Sawyer Point, the primary location of the Black Family Reunion

📅 August 17-20, 2023 | 📍 Google Maps | Black Family Reunion Website

This is a free, four-day Cincinnati celebration that honors the traditions and values of Black families. The Sawyer Point festival includes a parade, family-friendly games, and a job fair. You can also shop vendor stalls featuring Black-owned businesses. Plus, there are musical performances showcasing blues, jazz, R&B, and gospel artists.

Cincinnati Festivals in September

Oktoberfest Zinzinnati

Enjoy craft beers and more in downtown Cincinnati!

A group of friends during the Oktoberfest Zinzinnati
Cincinnati is home to the biggest Oktoberfest outside of Munich, Germany

📅 September 14-17, 2023 | 📍 Google Maps | Oktoberfest Zinzinnati Website

Presented by Samuel Adams, Oktoberfest Zinzinnati is the largest Oktoberfest in Ohio, as well as the entire country! Enjoy German-style beers, in addition to food and tunes. Pickled pigs feet, sauerkraut, and soft pretzels are just a few examples of the fare.

Liberty Township Fall Festival

A day to enjoy the burgeoning fall season.

📅 September 23, 2023 | 📍 Google Maps | Liberty Township Fall Festival Website

Enjoy the plethora of family-friendly activities at this free Liberty Township event! These include creative crafting, shopping for local goods, and tuning in to live entertainment. A variety of food trucks will keep you satiated. 

Country Applefest

An arts and crafts event in Lebanon, Ohio.

Different kinds of handmade jewelry displayed during the Country Applefest
Be inspired by a variety of makers!

📅 September 24-25, 2023 | 📍 Google Maps | Country Applefest Website

Enjoy two days of arts and crafts at the Warren County Fairgrounds in Lebanon, Ohio. Peruse hundreds of booths, in addition to food vendors. Live music makes this event even more fun!

Cincinnati Festivals in October

Carmel Apple Crazy Days

Everything you can do with an apple on a Lebanon farm!

📅 October 1, 2023 | 📍 Google Maps | Carmel Apple Crazy Days Website

This autumn event is a must-visit for any apple lover. Enjoy freshly-picked apples from this Lebanon farm. There are also caramel apple lollipops and a station where you can build your own caramel apple with toppings. Top it off with an apple pie specialty cone or an apple cider slushy! 

Hamilton Pumpkin Festival (Operation Pumpkin)

An event dedicated to celebrating autumn traditions.

A dragon carved on a pumpkin during the Hamilton Pumpkin Festival
An impressively carved pumpkin at the Hamilton Pumpkin Festival

📅 October 13-15, 2023 | 📍 Google Maps | Hamilton Pumpkin Festival Website

If you love autumn festivities, this Hamilton, Ohio festival is the place to be! This family-friendly event includes a pet parade, giant pumpkin weigh-off contests, live entertainment, and more! Wear a costume and get a kick out of all the characters you’ll see exploring the grounds. 

Cincinnati Festivals in November

PNC Festival of Lights

A spectacular holiday light show with activities at the Cincinnati Zoo.

One of the displays during the PNC Festival of Lights
Animal displays at the Festival of Lights (photo: Martin Wheeler III / Shutterstock)

📅 November 17, 2023 – January 7, 2024 | 📍 Google Maps | Festival of Lights Website

The Festival of Lights is one of the oldest holiday traditions in Cincinnati. It takes place at the Cincinnati Zoo and features an amazing display of 4 million LED lights. Watch a blacklight puppet show, go ice skating with the kids or friends, and much more!

Cincinnati Festivals in December

Cincinnati Christkindlmarkt

A traditional, festive holiday market in Cincinnati.

View of a store filled with lights at night during the Cincinnati Christkindlmarkt
The Cincinnati Christkindlmarkt will get you into the holiday spirit!

📅 November 25 – December 31, 2023 | 📍 Google Maps | Cincinnati Christkindlmarket Website

This holiday tradition in Cincinnati takes inspiration from German Christmas markets. Experience delicious foods, drinks, and an abundant array of seasonal merchandise. Holiday lights and live entertainment complete this festive experience, and no entry fees are required! 


I hope you enjoyed my guide to the best festivals in Cincinnati! For more travel inspiration, see my post on the best places to visit in Ohio next. 

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