No matter what back-to-school will look like for your family, there is still plenty of socially-distanced summer fun to be had in Richland County. Watch as racing returns to Mid-Ohio, enjoy drive-in entertainment, shop Ohio’s Longest Yard Sale, explore historic mansions, and more.
It’s not summer without eating too much fair food. While the Richland County Fair (Aug 9-15) at the Richland County Fairgrounds, is only open to Jr. Fair participants, you can find fair food and more delicious street eats at Food Truck Friday (Aug 7, 14, 21, 28) in downtown Plymouth. If you are looking for even more food trucks, mark your calendars: The Wicked Lobstah is coming to Mansfield (Aug 1) and will set up shop at The Phoenix Brewing Company. This food truck calls Columbus Home, but they’re bringing their “wicked” good lobster rolls here!
Enjoy socially distanced entertainment. While movie multiplexes are still closed, bring your own popcorn and picnic blanket and enjoy a feature film during the Downtown Shelby Movie Series (Aug 8) at Black Fork Commons Park. Throughout the summer, the Renaissance will present various entertainment events in the parking lot behind the theatre as part of The Ren Backlot Series. August events will include Newsies: In Concert (Aug 7-8), a Drive-In Film: Muppet Treasure Island (Aug 14), You Can’t Stop The Beat: The Best of The Ren Broadway Series (Aug 21-22) and Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Aug 28-29) at The Renaissance Theatre Backlot.
Have fun while giving back to the community. Admission to the STUFF THE BUS Music Festival (Aug 8) at DLX | Dan Lew Exchange is only school supplies, which will be donated to Mansfield City Schools. The festival will feature concessions, a patio bar, 2 stages, and 6 bands with Blue Cats closing out the night.
Explore an attraction you’ve never been to, or you haven’t been to in a while. The Ohio State Reformatory is offering Public Ghost Hunts (Aug 1, 8,22, 29) where paranormal explorers of all experience levels are given the opportunity to test their investigation skills in this 250,000 square foot prison. If you’re not an investigator, but love a good scare, your tour guide on the Public Ghost Walk (Aug 7) will share the Reformatory’s stories of haunting and horror as they lead you through the prison in the dark. It’s a great time to return to Kingwood Center Gardens or make your very first visit when admission is free for all during Free First Monday (Aug 3). While there’s much to explore at Kingwood itself, many people are fascinated by the historic Townsend Mansion across the street. Access to this Mansfield landmark is only available on rare occasions, so you won’t want to miss Kingwood After Dark: An Evening at the Townsend Mansion (Aug 6) or the Townsend House Historic Tour (Aug 7). Horticulture education is a major part of Kingwood’s mission. August workshops will include Butterfly Gardening (Aug 4), Spring Flower Photography (Aug 30), and more.
It’s not time to hunker down yet; get moving! While Shawshank fans won’t come together for the annual Shawshank Hustle this year, you can complete the run from anywhere with the Virtual Run – Shawshank Hustle 7K Run/Walk (Aug 15). All registrants will still get a race package with a custom tech shirt, personalized bib, finisher’s medal, drawstring backpack, custom BOCO running hat, and more. Paddle your way to better physical and emotional health with Moonlight Kayaking (Aug 2), Free Kayak Try It (Aug 8), Poker Paddle at Pleasant Hill Lake Park (Aug 9), and Twilight Kayaking (Aug 22) at Pleasant Hill Lake Park. Stretch and breathe the stress of quarantine away at Yoga in the Park at Gorman Nature Center (Aug 21).
Make this a summer to remember; savor all that the great outdoors has to offer. Kids Survival Skills Camp (Aug 20) at Pleasant Hill Lake Park will teach kids basic survival skills like orienteering with map & compass, shelter construction, plant identification, fire building, and cooking over an open fire. Sign your kids up to discover nature, make fun food outdoors, and meet new friends at Outdoor Cooking Camp for Kids (Aug 12) at Charles Mill Lake Park. Kids will learn a variety of food prep options, including pie irons, foil, sticks, and dutch oven cooking. The 7th Annual Richland County Park District Pollinator Festival (Aug 7-9) at Gorman Nature Center will offer free workshops all weekend long. Some of this month’s workshops at Gorman Nature Center include a Beginner’s Bird Walk (Aug 8), the Perseid Meteor Shower Overnight (Aug 11), and an evening Owl Prowl (Aug 14).
Shop Ohio’s longest yard sale. The Lincoln Highway Buy-Way Yard Sale (Aug 13-15) trail of sales follows the historic Lincoln Highway Byway from the Indiana-Ohio state line in the west to the eastern end of the road in East Liverpool, Ohio. The BUY-WAY yard sale started with only about 250 sales across the state but has grown to over 1,300 sales. As you travel from sale to sale, make sure to keep an eye out for remnants of the old highway from red, white, and blue markers, to old-style drive-ins and filling stations, to ghost signs for “Lincoln” businesses that advertised their prime location on the highway.
Racing is back at Mid-Ohio. The Honda Indy 200 (POSTPONED, Originally Aug 7-9 – STAY TUNED FOR NEW DATE in Sept./Oct.) will kick off the delayed season with a double-header at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with a weekend of open-wheel racing where Ohio native Graham Rahal returns to his home track and “Mr. Mid-Ohio” Scott Dixon looks to win one more time. If you’ve ever dreamed of driving the iconic Esses at Mid-Ohio, you can now get some track-time for yourself and your qualified street car at Open Test & Tune (Aug 20) at The Mid-Ohio School at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.
Get inspired by the arts. View the works on display for The 75th Annual May Show & Transformations Opening Reception (Aug 16) at Mansfield Art Center. The Annual May Show is a juried exhibition showcasing the talent of Ohio artists in a variety of mediums including painting, drawing, sculpture, contemporary craft, and more that will be on display through September 13. Transformations in the Foundation Gallery is an exhibition of medical devices transformed into works of art by individuals impacted by a cancer diagnosis. Celebrate local artists and performers at the 8th annual Indie Art Fest (Aug 28-29) at The Happy Grape. Artists will be adding to the mural on the patio and art pieces for under $50 will be on exhibit and for sale during the event.
Live the rainbow! The Mansfield Pride Association presents “A Rally for Equality” (Aug 1) at Central Park in downtown Mansfield in lieu of the annual parade and festival. There will be food trucks, representation from nonprofit organizations, speakers addressing issues facing the LGBTQ community, and more.
August Live Music
Hudson & Essex
The Happy Grape
- Kim Ferrell & Co. (Aug 7)
- The Yak Pack (Aug 7)
- Chrissy & Don (Aug 8)
- Fred McKinney (Aug 13)
- Kaptain Kurt (Aug 14)
- Mike Risner (Aug 21)
- Semer Kastran Group (Aug 22)
- Ben Holida (Aug 27)
- Violet Vinyl (Aug 28)
- 732 The Electric Duo (Aug 29)
The Phoenix Brewing Co
- Acoustic Super Friends LIVE (Aug 7)
DLX | Dan Lew Exchange
- The Blue Cats Playing (Aug 8)
*Please note, we make every effort to ensure event information is correct at the time of posting, but things can change fast these days. Please make plans ahead of time and confirm event information, guidelines, and procedures before you travel.