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In person for 2021: Here are summer events happening in Greater Akron this year

Akron Beacon Journal logo Akron Beacon Journal 6/29/2021 Beacon Journal
a group of people standing in front of a sign: Art in the Park returns this summer to the Courthouse Square in Medina. © Art in the Park Art in the Park returns this summer to the Courthouse Square in Medina.

As COVID-19 restrictions dissipate, social activities are on the rise. Here are summer events scheduled for the Greater Akron area. Bookmark this link — more events will be added to it as they are confirmed. 

More: City says synchronized, distanced fireworks displays are back by public demand

Art in the Park

Canceled last year due to the pandemic, Art in the Park is set for July 18 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Courthouse Square in Medina. Hosted by the Medina County Art League, Art in the Park has been a yearly staple for more than two decades and features numerous vendors showcasing paintings, sculptures, photos and other works. Various local eateries are also on hand.  

Click here for more information. 

Ohio Shakespeare Festival

a person in a dark room: The Ohio Shakespeare Festival returns with productions of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens. © Scott Custer The Ohio Shakespeare Festival returns with productions of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens.

The Ohio Shakespeare Festival returns with productions of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens, 714 N Portage Path in Akron. Shows are held at 8 p.m. on Thursdays through Sundays from July 15 through Aug. 15. Gates open for picnicking at 6 p.m. with the Greenshow performance at 7:30. Tickets ($30, $15 for students) go on sale June 1. For details, visit www.ohioshakespearefestival.com online.  

Click here for more information.

Porch Rokr Music and Art Festival

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Highland Square’s annual PorchRokr Music and Art Festival is set for Aug. 21. © Beacon Journal file Highland Square’s annual PorchRokr Music and Art Festival is set for Aug. 21.

Highland Square’s annual PorchRokr Music and Art Festival, set for Aug. 21, transforms the verandas of one of Akron's most historic and eclectic neighborhoods into one-day art studios and concert venues. Some 130 diverse musicians and artists use both area residences and businesses as their personal stage. The festival rotates each year among four sections of Highland Square to encourage spontaneous interaction among all its neighbors.  

Click here for more information.

All-American Soap Box Derby

a sign on the side of a road: Steven Swisher races at Derby Downs during the 2019 Akron Area Soap Box Derby. © Jeff Lange, Akron Beacon Journal Steven Swisher races at Derby Downs during the 2019 Akron Area Soap Box Derby.

The All-American Soap Box Derby is a youth gravity racing program which has run nationally since 1934. Races are held each year in officially sanctioned Soap Box Derby race locations throughout the United States and a few foreign countries. The racing season culminates at the FirstEnergy All-American Soap Box Derby World Championship Race, to be held July 19-23 at the world famous Derby Downs Track in Akron.  

Click here for more information.

Akron Arts Expo

a group of people in a tent: The Akron Arts Expo will be held July 24-25 at Hardesty Park. © Akron Arts Expo The Akron Arts Expo will be held July 24-25 at Hardesty Park.

The Akron Arts Expo is returning for 2021 on July 24-25. This year's event will feature over 100 artist vendors in Hardesty Park. Admission and parking is free.  

Click here for more information.

Stow Strong

a fire truck that is driving down the road: A long line of emergency vehicles from Stow and the surrounding communities make their way along the parade route at the Stow Fourth of July parade in 2018. The parade was canceled last year because of the pandemic, and is returning this year on a smaller, modified scale. © MIKE CARDEW, AKRON BEACON JOURNAL A long line of emergency vehicles from Stow and the surrounding communities make their way along the parade route at the Stow Fourth of July parade in 2018. The parade was canceled last year because of the pandemic, and is returning this year on a smaller, modified scale.

Stow Strong (formerly Stow Pride) is back June 26 to July 5. The annual event features various activities including a fun run, paint 'n' pour, community picnic, Fourth of July parade, bike parade, firecracker run, farmers market and more.  

Click here for more information. 

Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival

a group of people playing instruments and performing on a stage: Dayton Contemporary Dance Company performs at the Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival in 2018. © Dale Dong Dayton Contemporary Dance Company performs at the Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival in 2018.

One of the rites of summer, the Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival, is returning to Akron's parks for a 14th season after a hiatus last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The free festival, which brings professional dance companies to Akron residents, will run for three weekends starting on July 30-31 with Verb Ballets. GroundWorks Dance Theater will follow Aug. 6-7 in Firestone Park and Dayton Contemporary Dance Company will close the festival Aug. 13-14 at Forest Lodge Park. Performances begin at 8:45 p.m. each evening, preceded by a children's program by the University of Akron Dance Institute at 7:45 p.m. 

Click here for more information. 

Outdoor Porthouse Theatre at Blossom Music Center

a large green field with trees in the background: Porthouse Theatre has announced it will reopen at full capacity this summer on the grounds of Blossom Music Center for the small musicals "Quilters," "BKLYN" and "Altar Boyz." © Porthouse Theatre Porthouse Theatre has announced it will reopen at full capacity this summer on the grounds of Blossom Music Center for the small musicals "Quilters," "BKLYN" and "Altar Boyz."

Porthouse, which canceled its 2020 summer season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is returning with a full season of live professional theater, featuring the small musicals "Quilters," "BKLYN" and "Altar Boyz." "Quilters," running June 17 to July 3 captures the joys and terrors of frontier life through the story of a pioneer woman and her six daughters. "BKLYN" runs July 8-25 and features street performers weaving together stories from their lives to tell the tale of a young woman arriving in Brooklyn to find the father she never knew. "Altar Boyz"  a musical comedy about a fictitious Christian boy band on the last night of its "Raise the Praise" tour, runs July 29 to Aug. 15. 

Click here for more information. 

Weekend run up to Independence Day

In the weekend run-up to Independence Day, the city is promoting the following events:

July 2

Rock the Lock with E5C4P3 Journey Tribute with the Tony Lang Band from 7-10 p.m. - First Friday Admission $5

July 3

Downtown Akron Partnership is hosting free Zumba on Cascade Plaza with Christy Leenheer from 9:30-10:30 a.m.

Lock 3 is hosting its Downtown Block Party from 2-7 p.m, featuring a local food truck round-up (interested trucks should contact Lock 3 at lock3@akronohio.gov), craft beer tasting, inflatables, and live entertainment on the stage, including the Realm of the Reptile show and local band 45 RPM.

Downtown Akron Partnership is hosting Family Skate on Cascade Plaza from 3-6 p.m.

Akron RubberDucks baseball game with NASCAR Night, a Fauxback Mullet Cap giveaway, and Zac Brown Fireworks. 

July 4

Akron RubberDucks will host an Imagine Dragons Fireworks show after the baseball game at Canal Park stadium.

This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: In person for 2021: Here are summer events happening in Greater Akron this year

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