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Over 10 Black Festivals to check out in Cincinnati

Cincinnati is home to a vibrant Black community reflected in the city’s many festivals celebrating African American culture. From Juneteenth to the Cincinnati Black Family Reunion, several festivals throughout the year offer a chance to honor the contributions of African Americans in Cincinnati. 

Cincinnatians can enjoy a variety of experiences, such as music festivals, food festivals, film festivals, vendor markets, and more. Each festival presents unique opportunities to celebrate Black culture.  

Many African American festivals listed showcase a lineup of performers, small business owners, and food vendors at various venues around the Greater Cincinnati Area. Get tickets sooner rather than later when applicable, as events may sell out.

The information in this article is as current as the publication date. Readers are encouraged to confirm the information before acting. 


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Black Cincinnati Festivals

Closing the Health Gap Health Expo 

Occurs annually on the last Saturday in April
Washington Park (OTR)
Free Admission
The Health Expo is Closing the Health Gap’s annual free event bringing health access directly to the Cincinnati community. Enjoy health information, healthy food and fitness, and local and national entertainment. The festival is a great way to learn about the health disparities affecting Black communities and take steps to improve your health. 


Cincinnati Juneteenth Festival 

Occurs annually in June, the weekend before Juneteenth
Eden Park (East Walnut Hills)
Free Admission
The Cincinnati Juneteenth Festival celebrates the end of slavery in the United States. Featuring live music, food, and entertainment. Over 25 performances on two stages will reflect the shared heritage within the African diaspora. Genres include blues, jazz, R&B, Latin jazz, African dancing, and the Voices of Freedom poetry slam. Festival goers can visit, learn, and shop with 50 vendors and exhibitors. Vendors offer a wide selection, including hot dogs, ribs, chicken, Asian fusion, fish, lobster, sundaes, and funnel cakes. 


Black Alphabet Film Festival 

Occurs annually on the third or fourth Thursday in June
Esquire Theatre (Clifton)
Free Admission
The Black Alphabet Film Festival showcases films by and about queer Black people. Since its inception in 2013, the festival has worked to encourage storytelling, cultivate new dialogues, and educate communities about the cultural and social contributions that Black LGBTQ-identified people have made. The festival is a great way to learn about Black cinema’s history and see new and independent films by Black filmmakers. 

black alphabet

Cincinnati Music Festival 

Occurs annually on the fourth weekend in July
Paycor Stadium (The Banks)
Originally called the Ohio Valley Jazz Festival in 1962, the Cincinnati Music Festival has grown into a spectacular three-day event on Cincinnati’s riverfront. Starting as an all-jazz concert, over the years, it has grown into a three-day festival featuring great music from the hottest stars in R&B, jazz, soul, hip-hop, and up-and-coming artists. 


The local conference, Black Tech Week, coincides with the festival each year. Black Tech Week connects Black tech entrepreneurs, investors, and professionals to education, resources, opportunities— and one another!



Cincy Soul: The Black Taste 

Occurs annually on the fourth weekend in July
Fountain Square (Downtown)
Free Admission
Cincy Soul: The Black Taste is a collaborative effort of Black-owned restaurants, caterers, and food trucks in Greater Cincinnati. This culinary festival unites, cultivates, fosters, educates, and highlights African American entrepreneurship. All while celebrating the Black experience through culinary excellence. This event coincides with the Cincinnati Music Festival each year.  


Festival 513 

Occurs annually on the fourth weekend in July
Freedom Way (The Banks)
Free Admission
Festival 513 provides a centralized merchandise and food vending area featuring nearly 100 merchandise and food booths. This event coincides with the Cincinnati Music Festival each year.  

Related Article: Need more to do? See all of what is happening in Black Cincinnati this year.  


AfriFest Cincy: Taste of Africa 

Occurs annually on the last Saturday in July
Burnet Woods (Clifton)
Free Admission
AfriFest Cincy celebrates Africa through cultural awareness, enhancing the community’s knowledge of the African cultures represented locally and connecting individuals to resources in the community. AfriFest is a free event showcasing African cultures, food, entertainment, fashion show, games, and other fun activities. 


Black Family Reunion 

Occurs annually on the third weekend in August
Sawyer Point, Fountain Square, Corinthian Baptist Church, Avondale
Free Admission
The Black Family Reunion is a four-day celebration, including consumers, corporations, and communities focusing on the historic strengths and values of the Black Family. Cincinnati is the only city that continues this tradition of honoring Black families. Free family-focused events include a job fair, a parade, concerts, and opportunities to support local Black-owned businesses. 


The Cincinnati International Jazz Festival

Occurs annually on the first or second weekend in September
ICON Festival Stage at Smale Park (The Banks)
Price Varies
The Cincinnati International Jazz Festival includes various jazz legends, food, art, and culture. With a pavilion with creative retail options, including clothes, accessories, art, and more, the Cincinnati International Jazz Festival creates a safe, stimulating environment that feels like family. 

jazz festival stage

AfroSwag Hair Show and Fashion Experience 

Occurs Annually in the fall
Duke Energy Convention Center (Downtown)
Price Varies
At the AfroSwag Hair Show and Fashion Experience, attendees can celebrate the beauty of Black hair through hair, fashion, art, vendors, and performances. See Cincinnati’s top natural hair stylists with some of the latest and greatest trends in Black Hair. Who will be crowned queen of Cincy natural hair?  



Occurs annually on the second weekend in December
New Vision United Methodist Church (Paddock Hills)
Free Admission
At the Halle-Bration vendor market, attendees can enjoy unique vendors, great entertainment, informative workshops, kids’ crafts, and food from many regional bakers and chefs as they shop small for the holidays. 

Black Festivals

Related Article: These concerts and festivals for African Americans are within driving distance of Cincinnati.  



These festivals are just a few of the many ways to learn about the rich history and culture of Black Cincinnati. Many other festivals, events, and organizations celebrate Black culture in the city.  


Did we miss a few Black and African American festivals? Contact us at The Voice of Black Cincinnati for any festivals we may have missed.   

Written by: Sophie Barsan

The Voice of Black Cincinnati is a media company designed to educate, recognize and create opportunities for African Americans. Want to find local news, events, job posting, scholarships, and a database of local Black-owned businesses? Visit our homepage, explore other articles, subscribe to our newsletter, like our Facebook page, join our Facebook group, and text VOBC to 513-270-3880.

Black Festivals Images provided by AdobeStock, The Center for Closing the Health Gap, Juneteenth Cincinnati, Timm T. West, Cincinnati Music Festival, Black Tech Week, Cincy Soul, Festival 513, AfriFest Cincy, Easley Blessed, Jessica Hart, Sweet Sistah Splash, Halle-Bration

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