Best Local Festival: Lorain International Festival and Bazaar
The three-day bazaar features about 40 cultural booths, each a mini-immersion into the language, customs, crafts and everyday trappings of the country it represents. The idea is to make you feel like you’re traveling the globe without leaving Lorain. Last year’s festival entertainment lineup welcomed dancers representing countries and continents including Japan, Africa, Mexico, the Philippines, Hungary, Ireland, Scotland and Croatia.
“I’m so proud of the community that’s been built around [the festival],” says Chloe Mieras, the festival’s queen for 2016-2017, its 50th anniversary year. Each member of the four-woman court represents her own heritage: Mieras represented her Dutch culture and wore traditional Dutch clothing during her festival-related travels, while members of her court represented their Serbian, Italian and Hungarian heritages. “Through traveling all over Ohio with the court, we’ve met people all over who knew about Lorain because of the festival and come to it every year.”
She adds the variety of different cuisines available is a big draw, as well as the entertainment. “There are so many different dance groups and singers,” she says. “I love seeing the Hungarian dancers every year. And there are so many booths and activities for the kids, all the way down to the little kids.”
Black River Landing, 421 Black River Lane, Lorain, loraininternational.com