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5 things to do in NEO: Asian Lantern Festival, Rib White & Blue and more

Colorful, illuminated flower lanterns on a tree.
Joseph Thompson
Intricate lantern displays take over the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo this week.

Celebrate Independence Day in Akron, experience Lebanese culture in Parma or catch illuminated lanterns in Cleveland. Enjoy the festivities in Northeast Ohio this week.

Giant lanterns in the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo

Head over to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and experience the Asian Lantern Festival. Catch hourly acrobatic performances, cultural cuisine and walk through themed areas featuring 50-foot-tall, illuminated lanterns throughout the zoo. The popular display kicks off Friday from 6:30-10:30 p.m. and continues through August 25.

Rib White & Blue Festival in Akron

Enjoy Independence Day this week at the Rib White & Blue Festival. Sample a collection of local and national food vendors, including After Hours BBQ, Stray Dog and PigFoot BBQ. Plus, free all-day performances span various genres, such as indie rock by the band Sea of Ghosts, reggae by 12 O’clock Tribe and folk by Tyler Bohinc. Top it all off with a fireworks show on July Fourth. Festivities begin Wednesday at 11 a.m. and continue into Saturday at Lock 3 in Downtown Akron.

‘Much Ado About Nothing’

Calling all Shakespeare fans: Ohio Shakespeare Festival starts off their summer series this Fourth of July with a performance of the romantic comedy “Much Ado About Nothing.” Experience this modern interpretation of the iconic play under the stars at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens in Akron. Performances begin July Fourth at 7:30 p.m. and continue through July 21.

Lebanese Food and Music Festival in Parma

Immerse yourself in Lebanese heritage this week at the Lebanese Food and Music Festival in Parma. Try authentic falafel and baklava, enjoy cultural music and dance performances and participate in family friendly games and activities at this free event. The fun begins Saturday at 12 p.m. and continues until Sunday at 7 p.m. at St. Sava Picnic Grove in Parma.

First Friday in Canton

It’s opening weekend for First Friday in Canton. Walk through Downtown Canton and view exhibits in local art galleries, catch a live concert from Fool House Band, discover local vendors or join a street dance party. This Friday’s event partners with Canton’s Italian American Festival to celebrate Italian heritage and regional art from 5 - 9:30 p.m. in Downtown Canton.

Hali Bridges is an intern with Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.