Special to 1812Blockhouse

May is arriving soon to bring warmer weather, blue skies, beautiful blooms, and a multitude of activities and events that include a few favorites we anticipate each year.

Before you learn about all the fun things to do, have you seen the brand NEW Visitor Guide for Mansfield and the Richland County area? If you don’t have a copy, stop by the Destination Mansfield Visitor Center at 124 North Main Street, at one of our many partner locations, or request one here. You’re gonna want one for yourself and one for a friend.

The First Friday Shop Hop is back (May 3rd) in Downtown Mansfield with the First Friday Live at Social on Main featuring the music of Jeff Boyd and Friends. The Secret City Tour (May 4th),  Ohio Civil War Show (May 3rd,4th), Mansfield Greek Festival (May 17th), Pickers Market (May 25), and Live Music at the Brickyard (May 31st) are all back offering an incredible line-up to keep you as busy as you want to be!

Be sure to visit Peculiar Beauty at the Mansfield Art Center; you have until May 5th to see this unique show before it’s packed up to make room for the 79th Annual May Show (May 19th into June).

There are plenty of returning events and some brand-new ones too! The Johnny Appleseed Traveling Exhibit is at Kingwood Center until May 12th to showcase the man, myth, and legend and highlight his contributions to the region. Pair this with a road trip along the Johnny Appleseed Historic Byway, a scenic drive that allows you to visit locations significant to his story here in the area.

Don’t forget to tag #DestinationMansfield on Instagram and show us all the fun things you discover this month.

History. Theatre. Ghosts. An Event for All Interests.

The Civil War Show is held on May 3rd-4th at the Richland County Fairgrounds. This educational show showcases living history encampments to show how the soldiers lived, cannon firing demonstrations, and unique WWII weapons demonstrations. There are also 750 + tables of military items, relics, & memorabilia to buy, sell, or trade from the period of 1775 through 1945.

The Secret City Tour (May 4th) allows guests to enter and explore historic architectural treasures in downtown Mansfield that aren’t normally open to the public. Wear comfy shoes and bring a camera for this incredible self-guided tour.

Immerse yourself in Grecian culture during the lively Mansfield Greek Festival at the Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Christian Church on May 17th. There will be live music and authentic food, dessert, and beverages for purchase.

The Youth Orchestra Spring Concert celebrates 75 of the region’s finest young musicians who will perform under the direction of Stephen Domka on May 5th at the Renaissance Theatre.

The Artistic Jazz Orchestra: Kings of Swing takes stage on May 11th at the Renaissance Theatre to perform classic hits from big band legends like Glenn Miller and Count Basie. This evening promises an invigorating concert experience with lively swing music and dance-worthy tunes.

ParaPsyCon, a paranormal and psychic convention, will be held at The Historic Ohio State Reformatory May 17th – 19th. Seekers of all things that go bump in the night may also be interested in the Ghost Walk (May 10th, 24th), Mini Ghost Hunt (May 10th),  Public Ghost Hunts (May 11th, 25th). Open to paranormal seekers aged 18+. Advanced reservations are required.

Visit the Mansfield Playhouse on May 10th, 11th, 17th or 18th for Crimes of the Heart,  a Pulitzer Prize-winning drama that takes place in  Hazlehurst, Mississippi. Three Magrath sisters reunite as their grandfather nears death in the hospital. Facing personal crises—Lenny with her fading marital prospects, Meg with her failed singing career, and Babe, who shot her husband—their tragicomic struggles are interwoven with family dynamics and romantic entanglements. This story explores their journey to overcome the past and embrace the future, leaving a lasting, humorous, and poignant impact.

Caroline, or Change Musical is a Tony-nominated musical set during a transformative era in America’s history, featuring a powerful score by Jeanine Tesori that combines blues, gospel, and Jewish melodies. The story unfolds in 1963 Louisiana, where Caroline, an African-American maid and single mother of four, forms a tender yet complex relationship with her employer’s son, Noah. Amidst personal struggles and societal shifts, the narrative explores themes of friendship, economic hardship, and the broader social changes of the time. This musical will be performed at the Renaissance Theatre May 24th, 25th, 26th and 31st.

Shopping & Mother’s Day Events

Kingwood Center’s Spring Plant Market will be held May 3rd-5th. Herbs, veggies and annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, and more will be available for purchase with garden experts on hand to answer your questions.

Stop for local crafts, clothing, and handmade gifts at the Park and Village Green in Bellville on May 4th for the Bellville Street Mart. Find something you can’t live without and support the local community.

The Pickers Market (May 25th) kicks off the season with over 80 vendors in an open-air country setting near Mohican State Park. You’ll find all things vintage, antique, salvaged, repurposed, upcycled & handmade while you enjoy live music and food.

Brighten a woman’s day by participating in Kingwood’s Mother’s Day Blooms to give on May 11th. Stop by the gardens and use your creativity to make a small floral arrangement for a recipient from the Domestic Violence Shelter and Wayfinders Ohio. All materials are provided with regular garden admission.

Stop by South Park on May 11th for a Mother’s Day Craft & Resource Fair with food trucks, local crafters, raffles, and more.

Family Friendly Events

The Free First Monday at Kingwood Center is held May 6th. This is an excellent time to explore all that Kingwood offers. Find one of the resident peacocks, feed the ducks, and tour the greenhouse to start. Kingwood Center also offers a host of other opportunities from flower arranging classes to children’s hikes to house tours and more.

Edgar’s Hawaiian Luau at the Ohio Bird Sanctuary on May 12th promises to be something to caw about! Learn about crows, support the conservation of the Hawaiian Crow, and learn to Hula! The Fry Guys Food Truck and Sno-Cones will be available to purchase. Advance sign-up is required.

Your prince and princesses won’t want to miss the Royal Cinderella Ball at the Old Franklin Church on May 18th. Dance and sing with Cinderella, enjoy food from the Wishmaker House, and more. This is a ticketed event and advance purchase is required.

Take the family to see the Memorial Day Parade on May 27th. The parade starts at the 5-way light at Marion Ave. and ends at the Gazebo in Central Park.

Adults Only

Calling all board game aficionados! Plan to attend the Game Night at the Phoenix (May 7th) hosted by The Phoenix Brewing Company and Operation Fandom. Taproom Trivia (May 21st) is another fun event and an excuse to hang out with friends.

Join DJ Mr. Ed at Black Fork Brewing on May 8th for Music Bingo

Don’t forget the live music showcasing amazing local talent. You’ll find the complete listing of performers and venues on our Live Entertainment page.

Calendar of Events

 For the most up-to-date event listings, live music, and other community events, visit our ever-changing Calendar of Events at DestinationMansfield.com.

Source, Photos: Destination Mansfield – Richland County

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