Marietta, Ohio Road Trip: Ohio River Sternwheel Festival

Marietta, Ohio Road Trip: Ohio River Sternwheel Festival

If you are looking for a road trip idea this weekend, I’ve got the perfect recommendation for you. How about a weekend road trip to a charming town where you can soak in the joyous ambiance of an enchanting festival? Sometimes, the best adventures are last-minute plans.

Experience the Charm of Marietta, Ohio

Nestled by the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum Rivers, Marietta boasts a history as rich as its present-day allure. Steeped in history, Marietta is Ohio’s oldest city. And there’s no better time to experience its allure than during the 47th Annual Ohio River Sternwheel Festival.

From September 8-10, the riverside will buzz with energy as the historic paddle-wheelers make their grand entrance, each one a spectacle in its own right. It’s likely that neither you to your children have seen a sternwheel before let alone be surrounded by these majestic sternwheels, they are unique to that region.

Highlights of the Ohio River Sternwheel Festival

The festival promises a plethora of events tailored to appeal to every member of your family:

  • Friday, Sept. 8: Dive into the vibrant atmosphere with the opening ceremonies. The evening will showcase the Steve & Beverly Pottmeyer, followed by the heartwarming Little Miss & Mister Sternwheel Pageant. But don’t head to bed early because the night comes alive with performances by THW and Tina – A Tribute To The Queen Of Rock & Roll Starring Cookie Watkins.
  • Saturday, Sept. 9: Treat your ears to a myriad of musical performances from Marietta High School’s Wall Of Sound to the Jake Binegar Band. And of course, the highlight of the day: the Harry J. Robinson Fireworks. This year, prepare to be blown away by a tribute to the iconic Tina Turner.
  • Sunday, Sept. 10: Rise and shine with a sunrise service, followed by the 24th Annual Car Show and delightful performances, including the Gypsy River Band and the electrifying Crush – Bon Jovi Experience.

The festival is not just about the big spectacles; it’s the smaller joys that will stick with you. From the Columbus Zoo Traveling Education to the coloring contest for the little artists, and choirs that’ll make your heart soar, there’s an event for everyone.

Escape the Ohio University Parents Weekend Frenzy

For parents planning a visit to their Bobcats at Ohio University, we understand that the massive crowds and lackluster events might not be appealing to some. If you’re looking to bond without the overwhelming bustle, consider taking a small detour. Marietta is just an hour’s drive from Ohio University. It’s close enough for convenience yet a world away from the typical campus chaos. And the best part? Unlike Athens, there are still hotel rooms available in Marietta! We recommend Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Marietta, it’s close to I-77, Ohio River Museum, and Wayne National Forest.

Cherished memories often sprout from spontaneous decisions. This weekend, let Marietta be your escape and the Ohio River Sternwheel Festival your muse. Immerse in the rich history, vibrant atmosphere, and the irreplaceable charm of a small town.

Help new generations fall in love with historic Marietta by supporting the area’s biggest annual celebration. Be it the rhythm of the music, the glow of the fireworks, or the gentle drift of the sternwheels, each moment promises to be unforgettable.

So, pack those bags, get in the car, and embark on a journey of exploration, bonding, and countless smiles. Your adventure awaits!

Ohio River Levee,
Marietta, OH

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Founder and Lead Blogger at Akron Ohio Moms
Cindy is the top Akron Blogger with her own take on awesome brands for families, where to vacation for families, a beat on local activities and family fun, a knack for getting moms to share , and a house that is always 2 weeks away from a complete remodel!
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