Get Outdoors and Take In The Hocking Hills Sun
JUNE ~ JULY ~ AUGUST
Things certainly start to heat up in Hocking Hills over the summer with a wide variety of special events held. In fact, it’s hard to keep up with all the action, but here’s a quick attempt to capture some of the regions more notable happenings.
On Father’s Day weekend each June, the downtown of Logan hold Washboard Fest, which is, yes, a celebration of all things related to the washboard, particularly as it relates to making music with one. Logan is home to the Columbus Washboard Factory, the only remaining washboard manufacturing company in the U.S. This is the inspiration for Washboard Fest, which features live bluegrass and folk music artists, arts and crafts vendors, and plenty of food options.
July offers a chance to appreciate a wide array of national, regional, and local musical acts at the Nelsonville Music Festival. It’s been billed as “one of the best kept secrets of the US music festival circuit” by Billboard, “Best Musical Festival in Ohio” by the AV Club, and “one of the Midwest’s best festivals” by Time Out Chicago. The musical acts tend to be fairly eclectic, though most have roots in some American musical tradition. Past acts have included Deathcab for Cutie, Willie Nelson, Wilco, George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic, The Flaming Lips, Mavis Staples, and many, many others.
Lilyfest is another July festival, but at a different speed. Composed of three days celebrating gardens, plants, arts, and music, Lilyfest is held at the Bishop Educational Gardens in the Rockbridge area. Both professional and aspiring landscape artists and horticulturalists will appreciate the experience.
Throughout the summer, visitors to the area can take in a performance of Tecumseh!, the historical drama that tells the story of the Shawnee leader’s efforts to defend his homeland. The play is put on in a giant outdoor amphitheater under the stars. It’s a unique spectacle that immerses you in the drama unfolding around you. The show runs from June into September each year.
Athens, OH hosts Ohio Brew Week each July, which is an annual 9-day deep dive into brewing and fermenting in the state. It’s also the longest running festival celebrating beer in Ohio. The actual festival takes place across a variety of venues in the town.
August is another action packed month for Hocking Hills and it’s newest entrant to the festival scene is the Hocking Hills Bigfoot Festival. In early August, Bigfoot truthers are welcomed to the region to meet with national experts not the topic, partake in some Bigfoot hunting via the hiking trails or organized “squatch” walk, and take in local live music, local food trucks, and arts and crafts vendors.
Visitors can have a groovy time attending Hippie Fest, another family-friendly music and arts festival. This one aims to transport you back in time to the 1960’s via live music, arts and crafts vendors, “bohemian” shopping, DIY tie-dye, and a car show inspired by the era. Tickets required.