Before you make dinner plans, you have to check out Anne Mitchell's guide to local Mardi Gras eats, our cover story for the week. From Otto's to Washington Platform to Half Day Cafe, she describes all the local restaurants celebrating with NOLA-inspired bites, traditional baked goods and gut-busting buffets (you are supposed to pig out today, right?).
Countless other area eateries and drinkeries promise a night of crawfish and hurricanes, including Allyn's, Stanley's Pub, Righteous Room, Mecklenburg Gardens, The Stand, J. Gumbo's, Blue Wisp, Keystone Bar & Grill (Covington and Hyde Park), AliveOne, The Lackman and The Pub (Rookwood Mews and Crestview Hills).
And since the whole point of Fat Tuesday is to get all your vices out of the way before the Christian season of Lent, a time for sacrifice and prayer leading up to Easter, why not support a charity? At Mardi Gras for Homeless Children, guests can enjoy food and drink, authentic Zydeco and Jazz music, auctions and more. The event runs from 6:30-10 p.m. at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center. Tickets are $55, available here. Proceeds benefit homeless children shelters.In non-Fat news, tonight's live music lineup ranges from Dubstep (Rusko) to Christian Metalcore (August Burns Red). Check out Mike Breen's music blog for details.
CANstruction kicked off today, with teams building artistic creations made entirely out of canned goods. Stop by the Weston Gallery to see their progress and drop off canned goods of your own. All donations, and all cans used to build the artwork, will go to the Freestore Foodbank.
Every Tuesday is Writer's Night at MOTR Pub. Songwriters, poets, spoken word artists — anyone with original work is welcome to share. Sign ups open at 8:30 p.m. and $40 goes to a special winner each week. Lucas of The Dukes Are Dead hosts. Enjoy a beer, a BLT and great company.
Check out our To Do page for tons of recommended art shows open today.
Happy Bockfest! The annual event, which turns 21 this year, celebrates Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati’s brewing history and the coming of Spring. And goats. But mostly, beer! Bockfest weekend kicks off Friday with the parade, stepping off at 6 p.m. at Cincinnati’s oldest bar, Arnold’s, and continuing north on Main Street to Bockfest Hall (1619 Moore St., Over-the-Rhine) for a ceremonial beer blessing.
Bockfest Hall will fill with beer, food and live music all weekend long, offering brewery tours, the Sausage Queen finals and traditional German performances throughout the fest. Find a full event lineup here. As usual, several bars around Downtown and Over-the-Rhine also participate in the festivities with plenty of local Bock beer.
The Carnegie’s annual showcase of edible artwork opens Friday. The Art of Food brings chefs and artists together for the seventh year to prove you can wear your cake and eat it, too — that’s the saying, right? Tonight’s opening features around 30 artists, more than 20 chefs and a “Let Them Eat Cake (on the Cakewalk)” fashion show of beautiful and tasty ensembles. Online tickets have sold out, but those in attendance are really in for a treat (lots and lots of treats, actually). Read our cover story for a look into the making of The Art of Food.
Last year brought us Night Owl Market, a much-needed destination for late-night grub, shopping and music at the Central parking lot at 107 Main Street. At Cincy NOM, local vendors and food trucks set up shop near tons of popular bars until 3 a.m.! The Night Owl Market opens for 2013 in conjunction with Bockfest Friday and Saturday from 10 p.m.-3 a.m. When your belly’s full of bock, swing by for some tasty noms from Café de Wheels, C’est Cheese, Kaimelsky’s, SugarSnap! and more.
Saturday brings another
Macy’s Arts Sampler, a great opportunity to check out what all the local arts
organizations are up to. March’s sampler is focused in Washington Park and the
surrounding area in Over-the-Rhine (though there are a handful of participating
venues across the city). Free events include a Hip Hop dance class at Elementz,
a showcase of stage fight choreography at SCPA, performances from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati
Ballet, May Festival Chorus, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Cincinnati Opera
and much more. Find a full lineup of events here.
Is beer more your style? The folks who brought us Cincy Winter Beerfest just a couple weeks ago present All About Stout Fest Saturday at Molly Malone's Irish Pub in Covington. For $15, guests get five tastings, one full pint of choice and a souvenir pint glass. There are 25 stouts to choose from, plus Molly's 18 draft beers on tap. With live Irish music to keep you movin', consider this your dress rehearsal for St. Patrick's Day. Find a full beer list and ticket information here.
Final Fridays are to OTR as Second Saturdays are to Northside. As usual, all are encouraged to explore the neighborhood's bars, restaurants, galleries and businesses for extended hours, later happy hours, art openings and sales starting at 6 p.m. Find a full list of participating venues here.
Of course, there's also tons of live music, theater, art shows and more events going on this weekend. Find all our To Do recommendations here.
If staged dance
performances weren’t what you had in mind, think again. While not necessarily
Halloween-related, Cincinnati Ballet’s ALICE
(in Wonderland) will take audiences on a whimsical journey down the rabbit
hole Friday-Sunday. In addition to talented dancers and music by the Cincinnati
the costume and set designs are truly freaky-fabulous.
For a darker dance
experience, check out Exhale Dance Tribe’s one-night engagement, Dead
Can Dance. The troupe has transformed Emery Theatre into a haunted
house, where dancers will lead spectators from room to room, creating an
interactive, spooky show Saturday night. The performance begins at 7 p.m.
After a month of bringing photography to the forefront of the Cincinnati art scene, FotoFocus will close with Saturday’s Carnevil. The event boasts a full bill of entertainment from live music and DJs to improv and burlesque to fortune-tellers. Guests are encouraged to explore the venue, Newport’s Thompson House — which is said to be haunted — and hunt for spirits from Southgate’s past. Find tickets and event details here.
What’s creepier than three identical mute men, covered in paint? Blue Man Group wraps up its local run with performances at the Aronoff Center Friday-Sunday. The show is an energetic spectacle that theater critic Rick Pender describes as “a strange and wonderful communal experience.” Go here to read our full review.
Judging by the number of Halloween bar and club events, alcohol is the “candy” of choice for many adult trick-or-treaters. So it looks like Arnold’s picked the perfect weekend for The Bourbon Ball. The bar will be stocked with more than 30 top shelf selections, offering specials on Manhattans, Old Fashioneds and other bourbon classics as well as bourbon-infused bites like Bourbon Bacon Strips and Bourbon Sauce Pork. The free event will also have swag bags and live music all night.
Final Saturday means Night Owl Market is back, bringing food trucks and vendors together at the parking lot at Main Street and Central Parkway. In addition to late night eats, NOMers can participate in a costume contest and a flash mob-style “Thriller” dance with Pones Inc. The free fun runs 10 p.m.-3 a.m. Saturday.
One thing that’s definitely scarier than any haunted house or paranormal activity hotspot is breed discrimination. Show some love to dogs that prove no breed is born “vicious” at Bark Bash: Celebrating National Pit Bull Awareness Day. From pit bulls to puggles, all are welcome to romp around Voice of America Park Saturday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. There will be raffles, vendors, kids activities and appearances from the Ben-Gals and Cincinnati Rollergirls.
Few experiences are more picturesque than spending a fall afternoon perusing Findlay Market. This Sunday the market presents its annual Fall Food Festival, featuring a pie baking contest, cider mulling demo, live music, food tour and more. Come hungry between noon and 4 p.m. Find details here.
Check out ScaryBeat for a full rundown of costume parties, bar events, haunted houses and more happening this weekend through Oct. 31.
NST's back room will transform into a runway where you'll watch some local hottie patotties strut their stuff with hair designs by Northside Chop Shop. Kenneth Wright will DJ the show and ongoing dance party.
Spot someone with the best moves you've ever seen? Send them a message via the valentine post office, and pose for pictures in a fabulous Flashbox photo booth. It all starts at 9 p.m., with the fashion show at 10 p.m.
Get a peek at Chicken's fashion in Bad Veins' new video for "Dancing on TV." Some of the ensembles in the Soul Train-esque shots were provided by the boutique!
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.
When Tim Haines purchased the Mohawk Building on Central Parkway in 2012, he understood that he would probably need to sort through some abandoned items in the space, particularly leftover stock in the old Castner Picture Frame Company warehouse. But he was surprised to find hundreds of thousands of vintage frames and equipment left behind. Now, he and close friend Janet Baltzersen are working to clear the space, selling these rare gems (many of which date back to the 1920s) for next to nothing. This Sunday, they will host and open house sale in the warehouse from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Come dressed appropriately (some rooting around is required and much of the stock has been untouched for decades, resulting in quite a bit of dust) — Baltzersen will provide gloves and masks plus cocktails and snacks. Artists, antiquers and vintage-lovers will find a huge variety of shapes, styles and sizes of frames like small ovals, large rustic circles, gesso and antique gold finishes. The warehouse is located on the south end of the building at 2145 Central Parkway. For more information or to schedule a private viewing, contact Baltzersen at email@example.com. Read our full story here.
CincyMusic.com photographers have gathered some of their favorite performance pics for Friday’s Concert Photography Showcase. Hosted by Know Theatre, the exhibit will feature photos of shows in Cincinnati including Bunbury and MPMF, taken by photographers Brian Bruemmer, Mike Clare, Phil Dawson, Jacob Drabik, Julia Huber, Sarah McDermott, Kelly Painter and Matt Steffen. Swing by Know between 5:30-8 p.m. tonight for the reception; snacks and a cash bar will be available.
Craft Supermarket is always a fun shopping experience, but it’s also a great display of local and regional talent. Saturday’s Crafty Supermarket Holiday Show will be chock full of handmade gifts (or goodies for yourself) for purchase in addition to hands-on activities for attendees to get their craft on. The show runs 11 a.m.-6 p.m. in the Music Hall Ballroom. As always, the first 100 early bird shoppers will receive fun swag bags. Find vendor info and more show details here.
cannot miss the Northside Record Fair
Saturday. Record shop owners, collectors and dealers will all meet under one
roof (Northside Presbyterian Church) from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is $5 — $10
for early entrance at 10 a.m. CDs, cassettes, 8-tracks, poster and more music
goodies will also be for sale.
Ready to get in the holiday spirit? De la Dance Company's The Nutcracker Jazzed Up opens today running Friday-Sunday through Nov. 30; Festival of Lights kicks off at The Cincinnati Zoo opens Saturday; Cincinnati’s Germania Society hosts Christkindlmarkt Friday-Sunday.
Oktoberfest Zinzinnati is taking over downtown this weekend, bringing around 500,000 guests! Once you've had your fill of schnitzel, Spaten and sauerkraut, stop by the CityBeat booth for the official Oktoberfest guide and register for a VIP MPMF Package and other prizes.
Halloween may technically be over, but that doesn’t mean the spooky fun has to end. Exhale Dance Tribe’s annual Halloween performance Dead Can Dance takes over Memorial Hall Friday night. An eerie, engaging show in a historically haunted building? Check. Snacks and drinks included? Check. A chance to get another wear out of your costume? Check. (Attendees are encouraged to come “dressed as your worst nightmare.”) Read our full feature here.
A new gallery/boutique in Covington hosts its grand opening this weekend. Shrewdness of Apes (32 W. Seventh St.) opens its first art show, On Wood, with a reception 6-10 p.m. Friday. Guests can also purchase local artwork, home décor, jewelry and accessories and other handmade goods.
Apple-picking season comes to an end this time of year, and if you didn’t get a chance to head to an area farm, Saturday’s City Apple Festival is your ticket for local, seasonal produce. Washington Park’s first-ever apple fest runs 11 a.m.-6 p.m. featuring live music and local vendors in addition to apples and other fresh fruits and veggies for sale. Find a full list of participating bands and vendors here.
Velocity Bike & Bean is a full-service bicycle retail/repair shop and coffee house located in Florence. This Saturday, the joint hosts a home sale and swap from 1-3 p.m. Bring at least six home interior items (pictures, rugs, end tables, frames, lamps, etc.) to the shop to sell or swap with others. Be sure to only bring decor others would actually want to have — no tacky “Goodwill rejects,” so leave that porch goose with the seasonal bonnets and aprons in your garage. Go here for more details.
Do you just wanna dance? Mayday hosts All Twerk and No Play, a weekly dance party, every Saturday starting this weekend. LOOKUP mans the ship this Saturday, presenting a nautical-themed party. The fun starts at 10 p.m. and, with daylight savings ending Sunday and clocks “falling back” at 2 a.m. Sunday, attendees will get an extra hour of dancing!
Yoga in unconventional spaces is always fun. Every Sunday this month, Modo Yoga will bring its urban yoga series to Rhinegeist brewery. The free yoga class begins at 10:30 a.m. starting this Sunday, followed by beers and brunch.
For more art openings, parties and other stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do picks, full calendar and Rick Pender’s Stage Door for weekend theater offerings. And for those riding the Halloween wave until it crashes, peep ScaryBeat for some final spooky and fun events of the season.