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December 20, 2023

Guide to Cleveland’s Festival Scene

Cleveland’s festival scene is a testament to the city’s vibrant spirit, where diversity is celebrated, and communities come together to share their unique stories. From the beats of jazz echoing through downtown at the Tri-C Jazzfest to the aromatic flavors in the air from the Garlic Festival at Shaker Square, each of these events leaves a mark on the cultural canvas that makes up this city. Festivals in the CLE are just one of the many places where one can embrace incredible energy and immerse themselves in the festivities that make this place so unique.

1. Cleveland International Film Festival

  • When: March-April
  • Where: Various locations
  • The Cleveland International Film Festival is a cinephile’s dream, featuring a diverse selection of films from around the world. From thought-provoking documentaries to heartwarming narratives, this festival celebrates the art of storytelling on the big screen.

2. Cleveland Asian Festival

  • When: May
  • Where: AsiaTown neighborhood
  • Embrace the rich tapestry of Asian cultures at the Cleveland Asian Festival. With traditional performances, mouthwatering cuisine, and cultural exhibits, this event provides an immersive experience for attendees to learn and appreciate the diversity of the Asian community.

3. Tri-C JazzFest

  • When: June
  • Where: Downtown Cleveland 
  • Jazz enthusiasts, rejoice! The Tri-C JazzFest brings world-class musicians to Cleveland for a celebration of this iconic musical genre. With performances ranging from classic jazz to contemporary fusions, this festival is a treat for the ears.

4. Cleveland Pride

  • When: June
  • Where: Public Square
  • A colorful celebration of love, acceptance, and equality, Cleveland Pride welcomes people from all walks of life. With a vibrant parade, live entertainment, and a supportive atmosphere, this festival is a testament to Cleveland’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

5. Cleveland Puerto Rican Parade and Festival

  • When: August
  • Where: Location varies
  • Experience the vibrant culture and rich heritage of Puerto Rico at the Cleveland Puerto Rican Parade and Festival. Colorful floats, traditional music, and delicious Puerto Rican cuisine fill the streets, creating an atmosphere of celebration and unity. This festival is a testament to the city’s embrace of diverse cultures and a must-attend for those looking to immerse themselves in the warmth of Puerto Rican traditions.

6. Cleveland Garlic Festival

  • When: August
  • Where: Shaker Square
  • For foodies with a love for the aromatic bulb, the Cleveland Garlic Festival is a culinary delight. Indulge in garlic-infused dishes, enjoy live music, and explore the local art scene. It’s a unique celebration that adds a flavorful twist to the festival scene.

7. IngenuityFest

  • When: September
  • Where: The Hamilton Collaborative
  • IngenuityFest is a showcase of innovation and creativity. Featuring interactive exhibits, art installations, and live performances, this festival highlights Cleveland’s forward-thinking spirit and its commitment to fostering a dynamic and inventive community.

8. Cleveland Oktoberfest

  • When: September
  • Where: Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds
  • Embrace the Bavarian spirit with Cleveland’s Oktoberfest. From traditional music and dance to hearty food and, of course, plenty of beer, this festival brings a touch of German tradition to the heart of Ohio.

9. Brite Winter Music & Arts Festival 

  • When: February
  • Where: West Bank of the Flats 
  • The non-profit festival brings together people of all ages, incomes, and backgrounds, allowing them to discover new music and art and enjoy their community. Spanning fifteen years, three locations, tens of thousands of guests, hundreds of bands and artists, and temperatures as low as 8 and as high as 69 degrees—Brite Winter has always been a festival created with the community, not just for it.

10. Wonderstuck Music Festival

  • When: July
  • Where: Lakeland Community College
  • WonderStruck is a weekend music, arts and culinary festival happening in July featuring multiple stages of contemporary concerts and events including art, activities for all ages, adventure, education and superior food offerings.
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