July Happenings and Events

As summer ramps up and temperatures rise, can’t-miss events around Richland County emerge. The opportunities are diverse: music lovers, car buffs, and art aficionados alike will be pleased by the area’s many offerings, including the Inkcarceration Music and Tattoo Festival, the Honda Indy 200, and the 35th Annual Great Mohican Pow-Wow.

July is the month for music in Richland County, with opportunities nearly every night to enjoy live concerts and local musicians.  Perhaps the most famous is the Inkcarceration Music and Tattoo Festival (July 12-14) at the Ohio State Reformatory. Release your inner rocker on the haunting and impressive grounds of the historic former prison at this three-day festival headlined by Shinedown, Godsmack, and Five Finger Death Punch. Multiple gourmet food trucks will be available outside. Venture inside the prison for a tour or a tattoo; more than 60 artists will be in attendance. If you are looking to add some extra body art, you may want to schedule in advance with a specific artist. You can find a list of attending artists here.

For those who want a more relaxed concert experience, Live on the Lawn at Kingwood Center Gardens kicks off early this month, with a free concert offered every Thursday. The Return, Paul Martin Jazz Quintet, Coma Love, and The DeVault Ridge Band are the featured performers this year. Both Bellville and Ontario continue their summer series of Concerts in the Park. Bellville (July 11 & 25) will host the AFM Concert Band and EKG, while Ontario (July 9 & 23) boasts The Return and Oolong Gurus.

There are also plenty of opportunities for a different type of live show experience. The 35th Annual Great Mohican Pow-Wow at Mohican Reservation is rated as a top 100 show in the U.S., and with good reason. The event offers a unique opportunity to experience and appreciate Native American culture, with traditional ceremonies, stories, songs, and dances. Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical (July 27 & 28) opens on the last weekend of July at The Renaissance Theatre. The show tells the familiar story of an extraordinary girl who dreams of a better life and takes a stand to achieve it. Continue your appreciation of performing arts as The Hampstead Stage Company brings Rudyard Kipling’s classic novel to life in The Jungle Book (July 31), a live play at Kingwood Center Gardens.

If you’re a fan of bikes, there’s a perfect event for you, whether you prefer the motorized or nonmotorized variety. Enjoy rides, bike tours, food, fireworks, a parade, and more at Shelby Bicycle Days (July 11-13) at Black Fork Commons. AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days (July 5-7) at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course would impress even the most casual fan, with rare motorcycles, the largest motorcycle swap meet in North America, and other vintage racing events. If this event gets you in the racing spirit, visit Mid-Ohio again for the Honda Indy 200 (July 26-28), the NTT IndyCar Series headliner, or visit Mansfield Motor Speedway for Freedom 50 (July 6). Enjoy cars, music, and food from the past at Malabar Farm State Park’s “Sunday Drive” Car Show (July 28).

Summer is the perfect time to discover and enjoy all different types of festivals. The Mansfield Children’s Festival (July 27) in the Carrousel District guarantees a day of family fun. Bring your kids downtown for a game of cornhole, face painting, bubbles, library activities, carrousel rides, and plenty of snacks. Summer Market Days (July 20 & 21) at Alpaca Meadows showcases local vendors with fresh produce, baked goods, jewelry, soaps, woodwork, and more. The Farm Store will be open, and visitors can stroll around the farm to see goats, rabbits, and of course, alpacas!

For a full list of events this month, be sure to continuously check the Destination Mansfield – Richland County Calendar of Events— new events appear constantly! You can also check out the hashtag #RichlandLIVE on social media to keep an eye on all your favorite local musicians.

By Destination Mansfield – Richland County Journalism Intern, Amanda Ehrmantraut