Summer doesn’t officially begin for another month and Memorial Day, the unofficial seasonal kick-off, is next weekend. But looking at this weekend's — the first round of church festivals, the opening of The Beach Waterpark, food fests abound — and it’s clear: Summer is upon us.
Legendary musician and artist Patti Smith is in town for the opening of her anticipated Contemporary Art Center exhibit and concert. Patti Smith: The Coral Sea, a tribute to Robert Mapplethore, officially opens Saturday but the opening celebration at the CAC is 6-11 p.m. Friday. On Saturday, Smith performs a sold-out concert at Memorial Hall. Check out our interview with Smith here.
There’s a bevy of festivals across the Tristate this weekend — most notably, the Asian Food Fest, CincItalia and Maifest. Asian Food Fest returns to The Banks 4 p.m.-midnight Saturday and 1-9 p.m. Sunday. Your favorite area Chinese, Indian, Korean and Thai restaurants and other Asian eateries will be serving up samples ranging from $2-$6. Guests can enjoy performances from local Asian-American groups and entertainers throughout the fest.
Get a taste of Italy by way of Cheviot at CincItalia (6-midnight Friday, 3 p.m.-midnight Saturday and 1-9 p.m. Sunday at Harvest Home Park). Once you’ve gotten your fill of pizza, pasta, gelato and tiramisu, check out the live music, auto show, Italian market and cooking demos.
Why not round out the weekend with a German celebration, too? The 34th Annual MainStrasse Village Maifest is also this weekend: 5-11:30 p.m. Friday, noon-11:30 p.m. Saturday and noon-9 p.m. Sunday. Maifest is the traditional German celebration of spring and the hundreds of thousands of expected visitors can expect plenty of food, wine, beer, street performances and kids activities. Think Oktoberfest, but in the spring.
Looking for something a little edgier and a lot sexier? Don’t miss Exhibitionism 3 at Weston Art Gallery (inside the Aronoff Center) Saturday. The late-night dance party features DJs, a lingerie fashion show, body painting, drinks and light bites. General admission tickets are $35 and get you in the door at 9:30 p.m.; $100 VIP tickets include early 8 p.m. admission for an Epicurious Exhibitionism pre-party dinner and drink tickets. Buy them here.
The Beach Waterpark opens Saturday under new management after being closed for the 2012 season. Expect a total makeover of the park, new attractions and familiar favorites like the lazy river and wave pool. The opening celebration runs Saturday-Sunday; daily hours begin May 25.
Nearby, at Kings Island, Barry Williams, Christopher Knight and Susan Olsen — better known as Greg, Peter and Cindy Brady — will be performing, signing autographs and taking photos with fans Sunday. Why, you ask? To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Brady Bunch episode that was filmed at KI in 1973.
This weekend is all mothers, so grab your mom, grandma, baby-mama or other motherly-type and take her out for a good time! The next few days are packed with stuff to do, with moms or otherwise.
The 44th annual Appalachian Festival is already in
full gear at Coney Island, with tons of live music, handmade artisan crafts,
storytelling, food and an authentic pioneer village — for those who like to
kick it super old-school. The fest runs until 9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $1-$8. Get a full lineup of
activities and performances here.
Cincinnati Rollergirls games are pretty much a guaranteed good time. Fun, fierce, badass chicks battle on the rink; $1 happy hour beers; hilarious roller derby nicknames; meet-and-greet with the girls after the game — need we go on? Roll out to the Cincinnati Gardens Saturday as the CRG face Toronto Roller Derby and The Dire Skates of Richmond, Ind., in a double-header. Saturday is Scout and Kids Night, so bring the chillun for a family-friendly event. Get tickets here and read our interview with Rollergirl Sydney “Big Ugly” Greathouse.
Whether you’re looking to welcome a furry friend to your family or you want to treat your pup to a day on the town, head downtown to the Duke Energy Convention Center for Petopolis Saturday-Sunday. This pet expo features animal adoption opportunities, pet fashion shows (hopefully straight out of Anchorman), trick competitions, demos, informational seminars, activities for the kids and tons of vendors. Plus, moms will get complimentary pet photos for Mother’s Day. Go here for more information.
Oktoberfest is months away, but local German enthusiasts can get their fill of beer, sausage and Gemütlichkeit at the Cincinnati Donauschwaben Society’s Schwabenfest Friday-Saturday. Have your fill of homemade sausages, German brews, pretzels and cream puffs, compete in the stein-holding competition and, if you’re coming from Petopolis, dogs are welcome in the biergarten.
Maybe you prefer more American-style fare. In that case, swing by Sawyer Point from 2-10 p.m. Saturday for the Cincinnati Wing Fest. This free food festival features chicken wings and side dishes ($2+) from Knocback Nat’s, Rooster’s, Montgomery Inn, Buffalo Wings and Rings and several other area restaurants.
Saturdays is a great opportunity to buy some artwork, jewelry, baked goods,
clothing or home goods for mom (or yourself — no judgment). Stop by local businesses
along Hamilton, Chase and Spring Grove avenues from 6-10 p.m. Saturday for
sales, extended hours, drinks and food specials. Check out a full list of
participating shops, restaurants and bars here.
It’s no secret that Northside is the city’s premiere taco destination. The neighborhood welcomes its third taco joint Friday with the grand opening of Barrio Tequileria. This latest addition comes from the folks behind popular food truck Taco Azul and will specialize in authentic Mexican/L.A.-style street food, tequila and mezcal. Doors open Friday at 5 p.m. and they’ll be serving up tacos and drinks until 2 a.m. Check them out on Facebook.
installment of Macy’s Art Sampler Weekend takes place Saturday. Enjoy free art
activities and performances all day in venues across Greater Cincinnati,
including: tours and music at the Contemporary Arts Center, Hip-Hop, spoken
word and crafts at the Taft Museum of Art, belly-dancing, toe-shoe performances
and Kung-Fu at the Cincinnati Ballet and an Amazing Arts Race from ArtsWave
Young Professionals. The sampler send with a Sock-Hop in Washington Park
featuring Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati's Marvelous Wonderettes. Look up the full
schedule by event, venue or category here.
Contemporary Dance Theater celebrates 40 years of bringing modern dance to Cincinnati with the FORTY40Gala Saturday. The evening includes music and dance performances, retrospective displays and videos, a silent auction, complementary drinks and hors d’oeuvres, all in the historic Emery Theatre. Go here to read our interview with CDT’s founder, Artistic Director and CEO, Jefferson James.
Have you been waiting for the opportunity to let you inner Maverick shine? Well, grab your aviators, zip up that jumpsuit and fly on out to SkateTown USA’s Top Gun-themed “Roller SK80s” party Saturday. Whether you’re a regular rollergirl or you haven’t skated since the actual ‘80s, there will be enough fun to go around with music, a photobooth and an all-you-can-drink bar (dangerous much?). Admission is just $10, which includes skate rental and drinks, and proceeds benefit Disabled American Veterans. The party runs 10:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. and word is there will be a shuttle to a hotel after-party. Go here for details, directions and tips on finding some prime ‘80s garb.
The Cincinnati Museum Center wraps up its Passport to the World series with this weekend’s Asian Culture Fest. Visitors will travel across China, India, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and Nepal via cultural displays, hands-on workshops, music and dance performances, an authentic Asian marketplace and much more. The fest runs Saturday-Sunday. Find a full event schedule here.
Trew Quackenbush and Corey Ward of gourmet grilled cheesery Tom + Chee announced Friday that they will be
featured on ABC's Shark Tank in an episode
airing at 9 p.m. May 17.
T + C is no stranger to TV – the grilled cheese mecca has already been featured on The Today Show, Amazing Eats and Man v. Food Nation — but this one’s a little different. Entrepreneurs of all kinds pitch their businesses to a panel of investors in hopes for a potential deal. But they don’t call it Shark Tank for nothing. The “sharks” — a panel of five millionaire/billionaire investor-entrepreneurs including Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Barbara Corcoran, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John and Kevin O'Leary — are often brutal in their critiques of people’s business plans and concepts. Participants are much more likely to walk away with a bruised ego than an actual deal. Simply appearing on the show, though, can create a lot of buzz for a business, so perhaps it's worth it to have the creator of FUBU publicly stomp on your dreams.
will be interesting to see what kind of deal the Tom + Chee guys have in mind. Usually on the show, entrepreneurs present a product they need help mass producing, marketing and
getting into retail outlets/e-commerce. Ward and Quackenbush will likely seek funds for additional restaurant locations. T + C currently has five locations in Cincinnati, Newport and Louisville, but
perhaps they are looking to expand nationwide. Whatever the outcome, big ups to
anyone who will voluntarily step to the sharks — and Mark Cuban’s scary
face — on national television.
Here's a taste of the Tank:
This announcement comes on National Grilled Cheese Day, so you should probably celebrate with a deliciously gooey T + C sammy. Today's featured sandwich, naturally, is the Shark Bite: roasted mako shark (yes, actual shark), jalapeño aioli, parmesan garlic chips, diced tomato, gouda and pepper jack cheeses on sourdough bread — available in Cincinnati locations only.
If you're looking for your own 15 minutes of fame but find your skill sets are generally limited to things that are superfluous — or, in this case, possibly self-destructive — your best bet might be to take up one of these local eating challenges (these are the ones we know of — we bet there's a lot more of 'em) so you can achieve glory, superstar status and indigestion — right after you unbuckle your pants.
Everybody knows Cincinnati is obsessed with food, probably because there's a lot of it around here. Good food, that is. Whether you want to show off, naturally induce hibernation, experience a lifetime's worth of a particular dish in one sitting or just want a good story to tell, there are plenty of opportunities to make it happen with eating challenges around the city.
Kick off the
holiday Saturday with the 47th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which starts at Eggleston Avenue and Reedy Street, travels north on
Eggleston, west onto Central Parkway, south down Sycamore Street and east on Fifth
Street. Nick Clooney serves as grand marshal for the parade, which steps off at
Fountain Square and Washington Park will be bustling with Irish pride on Saturday as well. Enjoy plenty of drinks, grub, live music and Celtic entertainment between bar hoppin’ from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. on the Square and 8 p.m. at the park.
Naturally, the Irish Heritage Center of Greater Cincinnati is also offering plenty of holiday festivities. From Irish dancers to an on-site pub, the center offers a more traditional but fun run of events Saturday and Sunday. Find a full schedule here.
the film festival featuring movies made by and about people with disabilities,
continues this weekend. Catch film
screenings Friday and a closing event Saturday at the Contemporary Arts Center. Read our feature on the festival here.
organizations have collaborated on a multifaceted performance inspired by
Shakespeare’s works. Catacoustic Consort (which performs “early music” from the
Renaissance to Baroque periods) and concert:nova (a chamber music ensemble that
performs in unconventional spaces, blending traditional with contemporary
styles) worked together with Cincinnati Shakespeare Company to present a show of music
performed in or drawn from Shakespeare’s plays in A Common Thread. The show takes place at Mercantile Library
Sunday and Monday. Read our full feature on A
Common Thread here.
More and more restaurants and food trucks are offering late-night yums to meet the demands of the area college students, bar crowds and general night owls. Usually “fourth meal” conjures up the thought of tacos or pizza, but what about donuts? Busken has set up a pop-up donut shop at 1218 Vine St. (between A Tavola and Sloane Boutique), open 7 p.m.-midnight Thursdays and 7 p.m.-1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays through March 16. Here, guests can swing by after dinner or drinks for a free Lite-Hearted donut, Busken’s new heart-shaped glazed treat. After tasting one of these bad boys, you’ll be shocked to find they’re only 140 calories a pop. You won’t have to feel too bad about indulging in a mindnight snack, but you may be left wondering whose soul Busken had to sell to get these delicious donuts to clock in at 2.5 grams of fat.
Bockfest might not officially begin until next weekend, but events leading up to the big parade and festival are already in full effect. Friday is the annual Precipitation Retaliation Happy Hour at Milton’s Tavern. Why the retaliation? In 2008, a huge snowstorm nearly shut down Bockfest, so the next year a paper snowman was set ablaze as a sacrifice to the precipitation gods. The burning snowman tradition stuck, and it continues tonight at 8 p.m. Grab a drink and watch the sucker burn!
In the market for some unique furniture, home décor or apparel? 20th Century Cincinnati is a must this weekend. The 19th annual show brings vintage and mid-century modern trends to a one-stop shop at Sharonville Convention Center. Sixty dealers bring furnishings, paintings, textiles and much more, filling 20,000 square feet. And fashionistas: There will be lots of vintage clothing, costume jewelry, accessories and more dating from the ‘20s to the ‘80s. The showroom is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; $7 admission is good for the full weekend. Find more info here.
The Northern suburbs of Cincinnati sometimes get left out of the city’s biggest celebrations, so they made one their own! The Taste of Northern Cincinnati, also in the Sharonville CC, features food from some of the top eateries in the ‘burbs. From noon-4 p.m. Sunday, attendees will enjoy grub from LaRosa’s, Red Squirrel, Velvet Smoke BBQ, Blue Goose and more. These restaurants will also be competing for awards for best appetizer, salad, entrée, dessert and a people’s choice prize. Admission is $18; $5 for kids.
The Academy Awards are Sunday and if your invitation also got lost in the mail (every damn year!), there’s a local way to celebrate. People Working Cooperatively presents its annual Oscar party at the Hilton Netherland Plaza, complete with a red carpet, cocktails, dinner, and a live screening of the show. Ticket sales benefit PWC’s Modifications for Mobility Program, which helps low-income, elderly and disabled homeowners make important alterations to their houses so they can remain safe and comfortable in their own homes. Buy tickets and find details here.
The ArtsWave creates and supports art programs and opportunities in the city year-round, but three Saturdays each year, the organization kicks its mission into high gear with the Macy’s Arts Sampler. The free event brings visual art, theater, dance, music, crafts and more to venues across Greater Cincinnati. This Saturday’s sampler includes shows and backstage tours at Playhouse in the Park, Madcap Puppets at Cincinnati Art Museum and tons of other fun, creative opportunities for the whole family from Kings High School to Behringer-Crawford Museum in Covington, all day long. Find a full schedule of events here.
Cincy Blues Society celebrates 23 years this weekend with Winter Blues Fest. The fest takes place at The Phoenix, CityBeat’s across-the-street neighbors, Friday and Saturday with more than 25 local acts. Sonny Moorman and the Stacy Mitchhart Band headline; tickets are $20 per night; $35 for the weekend.
Not able to make it to the Big Easy this Fat Tuesday? Celebrate Mardi Gras in MainStrasse Friday and Saturday. Get your fill of beads with parades each night, plus live music and Cajun grub in the entertainment tent open 8 p.m.-1 a.m. Stop by your favorite MainStrasse bar, restaurant or business to keep the party going. Tickets are $10 per night or $15 for the weekend; find more info here.
With Valentine’s Day next week, lots of folks are buying up chocolates, flowers, special undies and other goodies for their significant others. You know who could really use some love? The hundreds of adoptable animals that have been abused, neglected or left behind by owners. This weekend, My Furry Valentine brings these lovable critters from dozens of rescues together in West Chester for Greater Cincinnati’s largest animal adoption event. Skip pet stores and breeders and find a pet that needs a home 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday at flexi USA, Inc. (8494 Firebird Dr., West Chester). If you can’t make it out to the ‘burbs, check out one of more than 20 participating locations. Each adopted cat, dog, rabbit or other pet will go home with a gift bag of treats, toys, coupons and more supplies.
The Mayerson JCC’s Jewish and Israeli Film Festival kicks off Saturday with a screening of Hava Nagila, a comedic documentary that tells the story of this Jewish celebration staple song. This opening night celebration takes place 8-10 p.m. Saturday at the Cincinnati Museum Center and includes dessert, a photo booth and private admission to the museum’s Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit. The fest continues through Feb. 28 with films shown at the Museum Center, Esquire Theatre, Kenwood Theatre, Mariemont Theatre and the Mayerson JCC. Go here for ticket information and a full schedule.
Whether the word “craft” conjures up thoughts of glitter and glue or bottles and brew, Mt. Caramel Brewing Company’s Art. Craft. Beer. show has something for everyone. The brewery’s gallery will be full of works from area artists with plenty of fresh craft beer to go around, Saturday and Sunday. The event is just one of many happenings coinciding with Cincinnati Beer Week (which continues through Thursday). Get a full schedule and find participating bars and venues here.
This past summer’s World Choir Games brought a whirlwind of music and visitors from across the globe to our back yard. Cincinnati’s own MUSE women’s choir was awarded a gold medal at the Games and tonight the group makes its first public appearance since that award-winning performance. “Keep Yo’ Lamps Burnin” features African-American traditional songs and spirituals to be performed at various venues Friday-Sunday. Go here for the full schedule and ticket information.
This weekend, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra welcomes Louis Langrée for his first concert as Music Director Designate. The French conductor is also Chief Conductor of the Camerata Salzburg and the music director of the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York. The concert (11 a.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday) is, fittingly, an all-French program featuring César Franck’s Symphony in D minor, Olivier Messiaen’s Les Offrandes Oubliées and Camille Saint-Saëns’s Piano Concerto No. 2. For tickets and more information, go here.
The Heights Music Festival brings more than 40 area acts to the UC area Friday and Saturday. The Frankl Project, The Guitars, Oui Si Yes and lots more local talent will fill Rohs Street Café (all ages), Baba Budan’s, Mac’s Pizza Pub and Christy’s Biergarten. Single-night tickets are $5 in advance/$8 at the door; full weekend passes are $10/$12.
If you’ve been looking for an excuse to break out your Goodwill’ed tweed suit, you’re in luck! Sounding like something straight out of Portlandia, The City of Cincinnati Bike Program is organizing an old-school Tweed Ride Saturday. Grab your wool skirts, wax your handlebar mustache and dust off your newsboy cap for a dapper ride about town. Riders should meet at O’Bryonville’s Owls Next Park at 2 p.m. for the 8-mile, slow-paced flat ride.
The Moerlein Lager House is ready to kick off the holiday season Saturday with a Beer and Breweriana Extravaganza noon-4 p.m. In what they’re calling “one part holiday beer tasting and one part Antiques Roadshow,” guests can sip seasonal brews while getting free appraisals on beer memorabilia and steins. Authors Mike Morgan and Don Tolzmann will be on hand to sign their Cincinnati brewing books and Jim Effler will sell his beer label artwork and posters. Stick around for lunch and dinner to enjoy a full Cincy-centric day.
Check out our calendar for a full list of theater shows, art exhibits, events, concerts and more to do this weekend and beyond.
storyteller extraordinaire David Sedaris stops by the Aronoff Saturday. The
author and humorist is known for his collections of personal essays and
contributions to National Public Radio, all of which feature his sarcastic,
self-deprecating and always hilarious commentary on everything from working as
a Macy’s Christmas elf to the mind-numbing ways people order coffee. Sedaris
will also sign books at the event. Joseph-Beth Booksellers will be on hand
selling a selection of his works; attendees are also welcome to bring their
favorite Sedaris read from home. Tickets are still available here.
What better way to top that off than with Tony Valentine’s Girls Night Out? The Cuffs and Collars tour featuring former Chippendales dancers takes over Pulse Nightclub 7-10 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Wear your jammies for the club’s daylight savings pajama party and dance to music from Playboy’s DJ Sophia Lin. I know what you’re thinking, and yes, Sedaris is rumored to make an appearance. (No he’s not.)
reinventing Sunday Funday by hosting a comfort food cook-off each month
starting with this Sunday’s grilled cheese throwdown. Local home chefs will whip up some delicious hangover
grub to be tasted by the public and judged by area food bloggers, 11 a.m.-8
p.m. The grilled cheese cook-off will go down in the annex between 1-2 p.m.
Keep an eye out for more future comfort food cook-offs featuring chili, tacos
and omelettes.Yes, please.
If you missed your chance to get tickets to Obama’s Sunday rally, or just want to escape politics altogether (Abigael, we feel you) head out to the Kings Island Resort and Conference Center for the Cin City Reptile Show. At least none of these creepy guys will lecture you about reproductive rights or the war on coal.
Check out our calendar for more music, theater, arts and bar events happening this weekend.