Mark your calendars, because the area in and around West Chester features a wide range of amazing annual festivals and events to enjoy! You’ll have so many opportunities for family fun. Not sure where to start? Crème de la Crème of West Chester has you covered with this list of some of the top events to check out every year.
Live the Dream on MLK Day
Live the Dream: Our Declaration of Unity is an event that takes place on Martin Luther King Day each year. The West Chester and Liberty townships communities come together to commemorate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and work.
The event begins with a morning half-mile march to Lakota West High School, then follows with a special program and luncheon at the school. Students in the Lakota school district can enter the Live the Dream contest each fall before the event, and anyone in the community can join on the day of the event and/or join the planning committee.
Ohio Challenge Hot Air Balloon Festival
Head over to nearby Middletown every July for a unique and exciting event. That’s where you’ll find the Ohio Challenge Hot Air Balloon Festival, a family-friendly celebration that draws revelers to Middletown’s Smith Park for a Friday and Saturday evening.
The event typically includes kids’ activities, a laser show, fireworks, and much more. Of course, the highlight is the over 20 colorful hot air balloons. Weather permitting, the hot air balloons delight the crowd by flying through the sky. The balloons also display static while inflated on the ground. Then there are the skydivers, floating high above while carrying huge American flags.
The night balloon glow is another family favorite at this festival. With more than 20 hot air balloons lighting up the night sky, you’ll get to hear the flames roar as the balloons glow at ground level. The magical display takes place on both the Friday and Saturday of the festival at dusk.
Walk-in admission costs $5 for adults 13 years old and above. Kids 12 and under get to enter for free. If you’re driving to the area, parking will cost $15 but includes admission for everyone in the car.
Keehner Park Concert Series
West Chester’s own Keehner Park hosts the Keehner Park Concert Series on most summer weekends. These free concerts are the perfect way to have family time together while enjoying some great music, all right here in our own backyard.
Gather blankets or chairs, pack a picnic, and get ready to take in live music on the park’s lawn. The relaxed atmosphere is the ideal setting for an eclectic array of weekend performances. The shows are free to attend, and they take place on various Saturday evenings between Memorial Day and Labor Day each year. Watch as bands play shows from the Amphitheater stage. You can bring your own food and drink, then sit back and take in some fantastic entertainment.
Butler County Fair
There’s no better way to celebrate summer than by heading to a classic county fair! Fortunately, we have a great one to enjoy that’s easy to get to from West Chester. Our very own Butler County Fair is the biggest festival in the county, bringing in almost 100,000 guests including around 1,400 Junior Fair members.
The Butler County Fair takes place in late July. Enjoy games, rides, livestock exhibits, and of course, plenty of delicious fair food. If you want to plan a fun family day over the summer, you’ll want to have the Butler County Fair at the top of your list of local events to check out.
Food Truck Rally
Ready to sample some more delicious food? Make sure you visit West Chester’s Food Truck Rally in August each year. You’ll find dozens of gourmet food trucks on The Square at Union Centre on a Friday.
Enjoy live music and plenty of good food at this popular West Chester event. Whether you visit during the day or the evening hours, you’re sure to have a memorable experience that will have your family asking to come back again every year.
Events at EnterTRAINment Junction
EnterTRAINment Junction is located right here in West Chester, which means you’ll have various events you can add to your calendar all year long. The family entertainment center features the world’s largest indoor train display, and it also hosts a full calendar of events.
So, what are some events you can look forward to at this great local spot? In July, the Annual Dollhouse and Miniatures Show and Sale takes place. You’ll get to take in museum-quality exhibits and check out artisan-made miniatures, not to mention a just for kids table to delight the youngest members of your family.
Then there’s the Summertime and Sunshine Craft Show, which also takes place in July. This craft show offers fun for the whole family, and with free admission, it’s a great way to spend a summer day enjoying time together close to home.
From mid-September through Halloween, EnterTRAINment Junction features Jack O’Lantern Junction, complete with friendly ghosts and skeletons, trick-or-treat candy bags, and a kid-friendly maze. This is also the time to check out new Halloween mini scenes along with a Halloween-themed train display.
EnterTRAINment Junction also makes it easy to get into the Christmas spirit. Christmas at the Junction takes place from mid-November through the beginning of January, letting kids take a “Journey to the North Pole” to meet Santa and Mrs. Claus. If the kids are missing Christmas in the summer months, this entertainment center also has you covered. Their Christmas in July event, including a chance to check in with Santa with a visit to the North Pole, takes place from the end of June through the end of July.
That wraps up Crème de la Crème of West Chester’s list of annual festivals and events you just have to visit. There are so many great events that take place in our area, though, that we couldn’t include them all! If your family has a favorite event that can’t be missed, drop us a line so we can add your recommendation.