If you love all things nautical then here is an event that you will not want to miss. Plan a day trip to Fairport Harbor, Ohio and attend their annual Harbor Fest celebration taking place on Saturday, July 11 and Sunday, July 12. And the good news is that it is only a 30 minute drive from Cleveland.
Fairport Harbor Harbor Fest Taking place at the Fairport Harbor Lighthouse, Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park and Osbourne Dock, this huge 2-day waterfront maritime celebration is jam packed with a wide range of nautical activities that will delight all ages.
One of the biggest attractions of Harbor Fest will be tours of a Tall Ship — a 92 foot tall replica of the original Madeline which was built in Fairport Harbor in 1845 as a freight carrying vessel and whose crew now serves as roving ambassadors giving visitors the opportunity to experience a piece of maritime history.
Visitors to Harbor Fest will also be able to take a tour of the Fairport Harbor Lighthouse and Marine Museum (from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. both days). Built in 1871, the lighthouse is a conical 69 foot tower constructed of grey Berea sandstone. Inside the tower is a 69 step spiral staircase that leads to an observation deck. The lighthouse is no longer operational. There are nautical artifacts galore to be seen in the museum.
Entertainment at Harbor Fest includes maritime singers & storytellers like Tom Kastle (Captain Tom) and the Hardtackers Sea Shanty Crew (on the dock) and you don’t want to miss a special performance by the U.S. Air Force Band of Flight on Sunday at 5 p.m. at Lighthouse Hill. There will be fireworks following the concert.
Activities on the beach area include sand sculptures by world champion Carl Jara, face painting, paddleboard and kayak demonstrations (noon – 4 p.m.), a Windsurf Simulator with Windsurf Ohio (Sunday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.) and lessons on how to build a better sand castle (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.).
There will also be a performance by the Jasmine Dragons and for a fee of $20, ages 12 and up can participate in a Stand-up Paddleboard Race (Saturday from 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.)
And be sure to check out the Fairport Harbor Historical Society Annual Art Show and Chinese Auction on Sunday from 1 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Refreshments will be available for purchase from Real Frut Juice Shake-ups, Lou’s Classic Kettle Corn and Motor Mouth Food Truck.
Hours for Harbor Fest are 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. for activities on the dock and 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. for activities on Lighthouse Hill and on the beach. Admission is $6 for adults and $4 for children (6-12) and includes the step-on tour of the Tall Ship Madeline and entrance to the maritime museum.
For more information about Harbor Fest, call 440-984-1637 or get online at www.fairportharbor.org.
Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park is located at 301 Huntington Beach Dr. in Fairport Harbor, Ohio. Fairport Harbor is 30 miles from Cleveland and it is approximately a 30 minute drive.