Cleveland Events and Festivals

(Cleveland, Ohio - OH, USA)

During the course of the year, the city of Cleveland holds several lively annual events, celebrating the city's international influences through food, music and art. There are also various film festivals and family themed events to keep all ages entertained.

Many of the biggest events in Cleveland are staged at the downtown Playhouse Square Center on East 14th Street, which is actually the USA's second-biggest theater complex and dates from the early years of the 1920s. In the 1980s, these theaters were successfully renovated at the cost of more than $40 million and now frequently stage touring shows from Broadway.

Based on the eastern side of the city and in the neighborhood of Fairfax, Karamu House is another notable theater, while within the University Circle area, Severance Hall is where you will need to go to catch the world-renowned Cleveland Orchestra in action. Many festivals and other concerts tend to use Severance Hall as a venue as well, including the Tri-C JazzFest each April, which also sees gigs staged at the Playhouse Square Center (Allen Theater and Ohio Theater), along with the Doubletree Hotel, the East Cleveland Public Library, the House of Blues, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the Tower City Center and the Tri-C Metro Campus Auditorium, amongst other venues.

National Public Holidays

  • 1st January - New Year's Day
  • Third Monday in January - Martin Luther King Day
  • 12th February - Lincoln's Birthday
  • Third Monday in February - Washington's Birthday
  • Last Monday in May - Memorial Day
  • 4th July - Independence Day
  • First Monday in September - Labor Day
  • Second Monday in October - Columbus Day
  • 11th November - Veterans Day
  • 4th Thursday in November - Thanksgiving
  • 25th December - Christmas Day

Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015


  • There are no significant festivals in Cleveland during the month of January


  • Black History Month - various events celebrating Black culture throughout the community


  • Cleveland Latin Film Festival - mid March, this event showcases films made by Latino filmmakers and those with Hispanic themes
  • Cleveland International Film Festival - mid-March, annual film festival featuring 200 documentaries, premieres, shorts, family and independent films from around the world


  • Tri-C JazzFest - mid-April, this annual event spans 11 days in April. During the festival, Cleveland comes alive to the sound of jazz from all four corners of the globe. The festival encompasses venues throughout Northeast Ohio and features free workshops


  • Great American Rib Cook-Off and Music Festival- mid-May, barbecuing, entertainment and family fun


  • CMJ / Rock Hall Music Fest - mid-June, musical festival in downtown Cleveland featuring 100 musical artists
  • Cleveland Annual Ohio Irish Festival - late June, this three-day event includes traditional Irish music, food and crafts


  • TOPS Kids Fest - mid-July, interactive festival for children


  • East 185th Street Festival - early August, Ohio's largest annual street festival featuring music exhibitions and more


  • Taste of Cleveland - early September, this taste bud tickling extravaganza gives visitors the opportunity to sample the diverse flavors of Cleveland and watch as 25 participating restaurants compete for the 'Best of the Fest' award
  • Geauga Lake Oktoberfest - mid-September, bratwurst, bands and brew combine to make this a lively German-inspired event
  • Taste of Little Italy - mid-September, enjoy live Italian music while sampling delicacies from nearly 40 of Cleveland's finest Italian restaurants and bakeries
  • Tremont Arts and Cultural Festival - annual festival featuring ethnically diverse food, music, children's activities and more


  • Slavic Village Polish Festival - early October, includes a walking tour of the historic Slavic village and a Polish festival
  • Family Fall FunFest - early October, games, arts and crafts, pony rides, entertainment and a raffle
  • Boo at the Zoo - late October, ranked by USA Today as one of the 'top ten places in the nation for family Halloween fun', visitors can roam the zoo at night and enjoy magicians, jugglers and more


  • Thanksgiving at the Zoo - November 24, free zoo admission and special animal feeding features


  • Kwanzaa Celebration - mid-December, celebration of African-American culture