It may have one of the most unusual names for a festival but the Sleepwalker Festival in Rittman, Ohio (being held on Thursday, July 24, Friday, July 25 and Saturday, July 26) offers wholesome family fun while also celebrating the town's interesting past. Rittman is approximately a 45 minute drive from Cleveland.
A Bit About Rittman's History Calling itself "A Small Town with a Big Heart," Rittman merchants, during the mid 1900's would often keep their stores open after hours to accommodate late night travelers passing through town, greeting them on numerous occasions wearing their pajamas. It is from this tradition that the Sleepwalker Festival came to be.
Sleepwalker Festival Originated at an apple festival, it soon morphed into an annual evening sales event where customers and downtown merchants would dress in their pajamas to conduct business. From there, a celebration festival was created to honor the town's hospitality.
The festivities kick off on Thursday with an evening parade at 6 p.m. featuring floats and marching bands and the throwing of candy by the fistful. Those attending the parade are encouraged to wear pajamas.
Activities at the 3-day family-friendly event include gospel singing on the Square, wood carving demonstrations, a dunk tank, a car show, special train rides on the Rails to Trails tracks, an arm wrestling competition, a 5K race and a Bouncy House for the kids.
There will be plenty of live musical entertainment all three days of the Festival including Singing in the Park on Saturday.
Foodwise, there will be a Pig Roast and a Lions Club BBQ on Friday, a pancake breakfast on Saturday in addition to a Corn Festival (at Bauman Orchard) and a Farmer's City Picnic on Saturday. There will also be food concessions available.
Hours for the Sleepwalker Festival are 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. on Thursday, 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. on Friday and 7 a.m. ( pancake breakfast) - 10 p.m. on Saturday. Admission is free.
For more information about the Rittman Sleepwalker Festival call 330-925-4828 or get online at www.rittmanchamber.com.
The Sleepwalker Festival will take place at various venues in downtown Rittman. Rittman is 44 miles from Cleveland and it is approximately a 45 minute drive.