Logan - The Hocking Hills are home to some of Ohio's premier summer festivals and events celebrating music, arts and the best of Americana - all set against a breath-taking natural backdrop. Whether you're looking for a foot-stomping good time at the Washboard Music Festival, fun for the whole family on a themed train ride with Hocking Valley Scenic Railway or an exhilarating athletic experience at Ohio's first-ever Warrior Dash, this year's festival and special event lineup make a trip to the Hocking Hills this summer one to remember.
Following are just a few highlights of the events that visitors can plan to enjoy this summer. For more information about visiting Hocking Hills, check out www.1800hocking.com, become a fan of the Hocking Hills Tourism Association on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or learn more about the region on the Hocking Hills blog.
All Summer Long
Bring your lawn chairs, blankets and the entire family for the Hocking Hills Music in the Park series at Worthington Park Gazebo in Logan, Ohio. The alcohol and smoke-free events feature bluegrass, gospel, swing, country, and rock and roll music for the whole family.
The last Friday night of every month, galleries and retail shops on Nelsonville's Historic Square stay open late to feature special art events. Visitors of all ages can enjoy artists' demonstrations, street musicians, dancers, plays, and other musical shows. June 24's Final Friday event will feature a self-guided walking tour of Nelsonville and kick-off a summer long historic scavenger hunt. On August 26, bring your dog along for a Doggie Parade, Fashion Show and more.
This year marks the 11th anniversary of the Washboard Music Festival in Logan, Ohio. The event kicks-off Thursday night with a lively jazz, Creole and blues musical performance. Throughout the weekend, entertaining performances by jugbands, jazz artists, Celtic groups and washboard musicians will bring to life Ohio's Most Unique Music Festival. This annual Father's Day weekend event also includes a Seniors' Day, quilt show, arts and crafts, antique tractors exhibit and a children's amusement park.
Enjoy "Thunder in the Valley", the largest fireworks display in southeast Ohio while experiencing a scenic historic train ride on the fireworks shuttle. The three-mile trip under the stars takes visitors throughout the region to take part in a whole new way of viewing the Fourth of July fireworks.
Taking place at the Bishop Educational Gardens in Rockbridge, Ohio, this three-day event combines art with nature. Visitors can explore the beautiful gardens while enjoying local artists, crafts and musical entertainment. Attendees can ask questions of OSU Master Gardeners and purchase plants to take home with them to experience the beauty of the gardens even after the event.
The summer Wine and Beer Fest takes place at The Gathering Place at the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls in Logan, Ohio. Wine and beer experts will be available to answer questions and describe the five varieties of wines and beers available. Light appetizers, shopping and a string music performance are all part of this adults-only event.
With more than 50 musical acts, three stages, one Live Art tent and 50 visual artists, Rootwire Music and Arts Festival is designed to showcase some of the nation's best up and coming musicians and artists. Like last year, the festival will be held at Kaeppner's Woods and features a number of raised stands in front of all stages that allow visual artists to become part of the live entertainment.
Enjoy homemade ice cream and watch it being made at the 4th annual old fashioned ice cream social, hosted at the Hocking County Historical Society. Indulge in sandwiches, sides, cakes, pies and beverages either inside the air-conditioned museum or under the trees of the local museum grounds. The museum complex will be also open for tours.
Head to downtown Nelsonville for this annual celebration of community pride and Appalachian spirit. The four-day event hosts three parades and attracts up to 50,000 people each year. The family-oriented festival includes live nightly entertainment, various dining options, children's entertainment and games, carnival rides and more. Friday night's event will host the original State of Ohio Old-Time Fiddlers Championship sponsored by Stuart's Opera House. On Saturday, children and adults can participate in 5k races.
Robbery Train - August 20
This popular two-hour event is an adventure for the whole family and features a make-believe historic train robbery. Ride on an old-time train as robbers plan an attack to rob the train of its gold shipment. The interactive train ride departs from the Nelsonville Depot.
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About the Hocking Hills Tourism Association
Located 40 miles southeast of Columbus, Ohio, Hocking Hills offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences that make every day feel like Saturday, with plenty of free activities. The region boasts a wide variety of affordable lodging options, from camping, cabins and cottages to hotels and country inns. In addition to numerous hiking trails, parks and forests, the Hocking Hills area offers unique gift and antique shops, canoeing, horseback riding, golf and more. Complete traveler information on accommodations, festivals and the many sites in the Hocking Hills region is available at www.1800Hocking.com or toll-free at 1-800-Hocking (800-462-5464).