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Ohio River Sternwheel Festival 2024

Sternwheeler races and other fun activities to watch

Dates: September 6-8, 2024

Ohio River Sternwheel Festival
Ohio River Sternwheel Festival
Ohio River Sternwheel Festival
Ohio River Sternwheel Festival

Ohio River Sternwheel Festival takes place on the weekend after Labor Day in Marietta, Ohio. Three days of the event are filled to the brim with family fun, fireworks, and entertainment. The festival features more than 35 sternwheelers docked along in historic Marietta waterfront. The weekend event includes a Sternwheel pageant and Sternwheeler races, great food, kids' activities, and much more.


Drawing in about 100,000 attendees every year, the festival boasts an impressive program, jam-packed with events and activities for all ages. A plethora of child-friendly entertainment will be available to your little ones, such as coloring contests, educational workshops, and more. The festival also annually holds sternwheel races, which are worth witnessing with your own eyes. You will also have a chance to enjoy great music from local musicians and treat yourself to some delicious delights from Marietta's vendors.

Queen Genevieve, Little Ms & Mr Pageants (September 6-7, 2o24)

The highlights of the Ohio River Sternwheel Festival include the Coronation of Queen Genevieve, Little Miss, and Little Mr. Sternwheel pageants, during which the festival's queen, princess, and prince are chosen. Both contests are held at the Lafayette Hotel Ballroom, with the children's pageant scheduled on September 6th at 7:30 pm. Queen Genevieve pageant is set to kick off at 9 am on September 7th.

Rollin' Oldies Car Show (September 8, 2024)

The Rolling Oldies Car Show is another attraction beloved by the regulars of the festival. This year marks the 23rd year of the show and features multitude of classic car models, as well as groovy music, transporting you right back in time. The event takes place at the Second Street in downtown Marrieta at 1 pm. As an annual tradition, Queen Genevieve also gets to choose her favorite car.

Fireworks Display (September 7, 2024)

Many are attracted to the Ohio River Sternwheel Festival by what is known to be the largest fireworks display in the area. It starts at 9:30 pm from the Ohio River Barge. The pyrotechnics are choreographed to music from the local radio and create a mesmerizing sight, reflecting off of the water.

Festival Schedule & Admission

The opening ceremony of the festival usually takes place on the first day at 6 pm. The celebration normally spans from 6 pm until 11 pm on Friday, from 9 am until 11 pm on Saturday, and from 8 am until 4 pm on Sunday. Admission is completely free.


Most festivities take place at the Ohio River Levee, with the main stage situated at the Ohio River Barge. Children's activities are located at the Front Street, while the Car Show operates along the Second Street.

History of the Fest

The first Ohio River Sternwheel Festival was held in 1976, showcasing its riverboat heritage of the city that is home to​ the American Sternwheel Association.

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