By Mark Horning

Summer in Cleveland always goes out with a bang as folks gather to their favorite festivals, shows and celebrations on Labor Day Weekend. For some it’s five days of fun as we pay tribute to the working men and women of America. Check out some of this year’s offerings.

Cleveland Oktoberfest
Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds
Main Parking Entrance
19201 E. Bagley Road
Middleburgh Heights, OH
(440) 781-5246

Date: Friday, Sept. 1 through Sunday, Sept. 4, 2017

Billed as the largest Cleveland outdoor event, the Oktoberfest has something for everyone. This year’s live music line-up includes Bruce in the USA (Springsteen Tribute), Hollywood Nights (Bob Seger Tribute), E5C4PE (Journey Tribute), Ted Vigil (John Denver Tribute) as well as The Klaberheads, The Alex Deleone Band, Schnickelfritz, Fred Ziwich and The Chardon Polka Band. There’s beer (of course) and all kinds of food (German and otherwise) and the ever popular wiener dog races. Last year Near West Theatre constructed the largest Glockenspiel stage ever where hourly shows are performed after which prizes are showered onto the waiting crowds below. This festival is great fun for the entire family.

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St. Rocco Restival
3205 Fulton Road
Cleveland, OH
(216) 961-8331

Date: Thursday, August 31 to Monday, Sept. 4, 2017

Celebrating its 103rd year, the festival kicks off on Thursday evening and runs all the way through Monday. Live music features The 80s Band, Stone Pony, The Avanti Band, The Neil Diamond Tribute Band, The Chance Band, Texas Hold ‘Em, Ray Massa’s Eurorhythms, The Spazmatics, Billy Morris and the Sunset Strip and Disco Inferno. Featured food leans towards Italian Cuisine with the most popular being meatball subs, cavatelli, spaghetti, sausage sandwiches, Italian ice, cannoli, cassata and more. At 2 p.m. on Monday they will have “The Greasy Pole Climb” that you have to see to believe. They will also have a casino on Friday, Saturday and Monday where you can play various games of chance including Texas Hold ‘Em.

Cleveland National Air Show
1501 North Marginal Road
Cleveland, OH
(216) 781-0747

Date: Saturday, Sept. 2 through Monday, Sept. 4, 2017

This show has been around for 88 years and is better than ever. There are hundreds of static ground displays to walk around and through while overhead some of the best pilots in the world dazzle the crowd with their skills. This year’s feature event will be the United States Air Force Thunderbirds who will give an hour long demonstration each day (weather permitting) in their distinct red, white and blue F-16 Falcon jet fighters. Flying at up to 500 miles per hour the demonstration features 40 maneuvers including the six plane delta formation high bomb burst and solo knife-edge pass. Other flying demonstrations include the USN Super Hornet, the De Havilland Vampire Jet, USA Golden Knights, WWII Pacific Dog Fight, USCG HH-65C Search and Rescue Demonstration, Shockwave Jet Truck, Stunt Pilot Sean D. Tucker, Metro Life Flight, Aeromodeling and Pyrotechnics.

The Great Geauga County Fair
14373 North Cheshire St.
Burton, OH
(440) 834-1846

Date: Thursday, August 31 to Monday, Sept. 4, 2017

Just a short drive out of Cleveland, The Great Geauga County Fair celebrates our agricultural legacy just as they have done for 195 consecutive years. This is old fashioned fun for the entire family includes a whopping 13,000 exhibitions and over 2,000 animals. There will be tractor pulls, a demolition derby and of course the real reason we go to there…the fair food!

Kamm’s Corners Greek Festival
Cretan Party Center
3853 West 168th St.
Cleveland, OH
(216) 941-4455

Date: Friday, Sept. 1 through Monday, Sept. 4, 2017

Located just around the corner of Lorain Avenue and Rocky River Drive at Kamm’s Corner this newest (7th year) of Cleveland ethnic celebrations features authentic Greek music as well as live dancing demonstrations that includes lessons. This is where you can get your Greek on. Greek food will be available that is rarely seen at festivals such as this including lamb on a spit, stuffed grape leaves and fantastic pastries. This yearly event is sponsored by the George Varough Cretan Club of Cleveland. OPA!

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