CityBeat Blogs - Drinking http://www.citybeat.com/cincinnati/blogs-1-1-1-33-191.html <![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List (12/19-12/21)]]>

Since Christmas is next week (Thursday), there's a ton of holiday stuff to do this weekend — everything from plays and other onstage events to train displays and elves doing things.

Onstage:
  • Every Christmas Story Ever Told (and then some) (through Dec. 28 at Cincy Shakes): For seven seasons this mash-up of holiday tales has played to sold-out Cincinnati Shakespeare audiences. It starts as an annual performance of A Christmas Carol but goes off the tracks almost immediately to poke fun at the season and the stories we all remember — Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, The Island of Lost Toys, The Nutcracker, even It’s a Wonderful Life.
  • A Soldier's Christmas (through Dec. 21 at NKU's Corbett Theatre): Last summer Cincinnati Opera presented Silent Night, a retelling of the 1914 “Christmas Truce,” when World War I forces set aside their battles and marked the holiday. Local playwright Phil Paradis has rendered this story into a play that is being presented for the holidays. Two soldiers — one British, the other German — meet by chance as they seek warmth for their respective trenches.
  • Forever Plaid: Plaid Tidings (through Dec. 21 at Covedale): The late-’50s singing group of Francis, Jinx, Smudge and Sparky died when a bus full of Catholic schoolgirls on their way to see the Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show crashed into the Plaids’ car as they drove to an audition. In the sequel, they’re on a mission with heavenly guidance from Rosemary Clooney, who tells them harmony is needed to cheer a discordant world.
  • Amahl and the Night Visitors (Dec. 19-22 at Xavier University's Gallagher Center Theater): Amahl and the Night Visitors is Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra’s annual holiday gift, a multi-media extravaganza of the Christmas classic originally written for television in 1951. Gian Carlo Menotti’s one-act opera of the crippled boy Amahl and his encounter with the three wise men on their way to Bethlehem is a celebration of music, magic and miracles.
  • And, of course, A Christmas Carol (through Dec. at the Playhouse in the Park): Howard Dallin’s excellent adaptation has been used since 1991. The Playhouse’s A Christmas Carol features one of the Cincinnati area’s best local actors, Bruce Cromer, as Scrooge for the 10th consecutive year.
Off-stage but still holiday-ish

 

  • Grab a friend or family member and head to Fountain Square for some ice skating. The ice rink is up through Jan. 4, 2015 — and this weekend is the last weekend to skate with santa. The man in red hits the ice for some skate time on Saturday and Sunday.
  • BB Riverboats is offering a variety of holiday-themed cruises, including a Christian Moerlein Brew Ho Ho Ho dinner cruise with beer tastings on Saturday.  
  • The Cyclones are throwing an ugly sweater party during their game against the Elmira, N.Y. Jackals on Saturday. 
  • For an enlightening holiday experience, head to Union Terminal on Saturday and Sunday for their two-day Winter Solstice Celebration, highlighting end of year traditions like Chinese New Year, Diwali and Kwanzaa.
  • Take that a step further Sunday for the annual Lighting of the Serpent at Serpent Mound. Volunteers will light luminaries along the coils of the ancient effigy mound. 
  • And, another thing to see at Union Terminal: Holiday Junction. The Duke Energy trains are back through Jan. 4, 2015, with 300 mini rain cars, 60 engines and 1,000 feet of sparkly, snow-covered track. 
Music!
Over the Rhine

  • Folk duo Over the Rhine is continuing their annual Christmas tradition of performing a holiday concert at the Taft. Expect to hear songs from their recently released Blood Oranges in the Snow Saturday night.
  • Nashville, Tenn. quartet Steelism packed the house at this year's Midpoint Music Festival. Expect a similar crowd when the band plays MOTR Friday.
  • Guitar ace Adrian Belew plays the 20th Century Theater Sunday.
For more of what's going on this weekend (besides some last-minute gift shopping), check out our staff picks here.

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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List (12/5-12/7)]]> Things that are true: Getting dressed for a night out when it's cold is hard because it's unacceptable to wear down comforters as ponchos. Other things that are true: It's unacceptable to stay in for an entire weekend to watch holiday-themed movies on Lifetime (because Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever was truly not a very good film). 

Instead, here are several reasons to get off the couch:

1. Alcohol.
  • The Comet in Northside is throwing Hopnosis 7, its craft beer festival, on Friday and Saturday. They're tapping 30 kegs of rare and debut beers over two days. 
  • Metropole at 21c is hosting a repeal day speakeasy party on Friday. Dress in costume; they'll provide the mustaches.
2. Holiday stuff.
  • Elf the Musical is at the Aronoff through Sunday. Not Will Ferrell, but still entertaining. 
  • If you like something more traditional — like choirs and churches — this weekend's Saengerfest is for you. More than 14 area choirs will be singing at a variety of OTR spaces, including St. Francis and the Moerlein brewery. They also have a shuttle to take you from place to place, so you don't have to walk.
  • Admission to the Taft Museum is free on Sundays. Check out their annual Antique Christmas exhibit, with a collection of nostalgic and unique ornaments, toys and decorations.
  • Trains! Everyone's favorite train display is back at Union Terminal. See the Duke Energy trains in Holiday Junction — 300 mini rail cars, 60 engines and more than 1,000 feet of sparkly, snow-covered track. (Duke energy customers get free entry when you go to here.)
  • The Shillito Elves are making their annual appearance in their Mariemont workshop. 
  • Sunday, at Mother of God church in Covington, Cincinnati Camerata presents an entire vocal program devoted to the Virgin Mary.
  • While you're out and about, grab a hot chocolate from any of our favorite hot chocolate spots in town, from the West Side to OTR.
3. Shopping.
  • If you missed City Flea and Crafty Supermarket last weekend, stop by the Oakley Fancy Flea Market at the 20th Century Theater in Oakley on Sunday.
4. Music
5. SPORTS!
  • Meet-and-greet current and former Reds plays at this weekend's Redsfest
6. Anacondas. (Stay on the couch for this one.)
  • The much-discussed episode of Eaten Alive is airing Sunday on Discovery. Wildlife filmmaker Paul Rosolie gets eaten by an Anaconda in the Amazon, and then emerges unscathed. Beforehand, watch Naked and Afraid with Seth Rogen and James Franco. 

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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List: 11/14-11/16]]> If you're feeling super brave and think you can make it from your heated car into a heated venue, then, boy, do we have some events for you this weekend. 

Kicking off on Friday ...
  • Adorable and hilarious musical duo Garfunkel and Oates are at Bogart's tonight.
  • It also happens to be CityBeat's 20th birthday party tonight. Celebrate with us at happy hour at BLDG.
  • Grab your DD and trek yourself out to Jungle Jim's in Fairfield for their International Wine Festival. There's food, vino from around the world and private bathrooms (if you want to upgrade your ticket). It's on Saturday night, too.
  • Still have "Falling Slowly" from the 2006 film Once stuck in your head? Well, if you want to hear someone besides the film's lead Glen Hansard (from The Frames) singing it, you're in luck. Broadway in Cincinnati has brought the Broadway adaptation of Once to the Aronoff Center. Thirteen actors, one Irish pub and a lot of great music. (Through Nov. 23.)
  • It's also the last weekend to catch Into the Woods at the Covedale. (The film version, starring Anna Kendrick, Meryl Streep, Chris Pine and Emily Blunt, hits theaters in December.)
  • And beat the Black Friday crowd this weekend by buying up locally made and other crafty goods at the Greater Cincinnati Holiday Market. It goes all weekend, and coincides with the Cincy Specialty Food & Treats show. So if you want some ornaments, handmade soap or gourmet olives, the Duke Energy Center is the place to be Friday through Sunday.
  • If you just want to cuddle in a blanket all weekend and have food (pizza, Chinese take-out, etc.) delivered to you, here are Jac's TV recommendations.
Saturday? There's more stuff to do!
  • Local blistering Blues quartet The Whiskey Shambles release their new album at The Drinkery. The event also benefits Save the Animals Foundation.
  • Our film critic tt gave Birdman an 'A.' It's playing at the Esquire Theatre in Clifton.
  • Celebrate the warmth of Latin America at the Latin American Culture Fest at Union Terminal. There's a cultural market, dance, music and a Day of the Dead altar to open up the worlds of Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Brazil, Cuba and Panama, right in Queensgate. 
  • Kaze is throwing a "Vogue to Rogue" dance party on Saturday to celebrate their split personality as a Japanese gastropub and an excellent party spot.
  • Something colder? How about on ice? It's Star Wars night with the Cincinnati Cyclones. First 1,500 kids through the door get a light saber. 
  • Krohn also kicks off its holiday floral show, Magic and Mistletoe. There's a tiny train chugging through the conservatory, running over bridges and replications of famous landmarks, all made out of willow and locally sourced natural material. 
Sunday…
And on Monday ...
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<![CDATA[Something Wicked This Way Comes]]>

October is synonymous with Halloween, haunted houses, harvest festivals and more-sexy-than-scary costume balls. Whether you plan on being a slutty nurse, a moody John Snow, your basic zombie or Dracula, the Tristate offers more than enough events for you to get your freaky on all haunting season.

BAR EVENTS 
Arnold's Halloween Blackout — Arnold's hosts a Halloween Blackout party, tapping eight hard-to-find seasonal black stouts including Rivertown's Deateh, Southern Tier's Warlock, MadTree's Are You Ready for the Darkness, Bell's Java Stout, Bad Tom Smith's, 50 West, Listermann's Lateral Nitro Oatmeal Sweet Stout and Great Lakes Brewing aged black stout. Live music from the Hot Magnolias. Beers tapped at 4 p.m.; music at 9 p.m. Oct. 31. Free. Arnold's Bar and Grill, 210 E. Eighth St., Downtown, arnoldsbarandgrill.com.

Fear of the Dark — The bar’s fourth annual celebration of dark beers featuring Southern Tier’s Warlock, Great Divide’s Chocolate Oak Aged Yeti and more (while supplies last). 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Oct. 23-31. Free entry; beers cost money. The Lackman, 1237 Vine St., Over-the-Rhine, lackmanbar.com

Halloween Concert at the Littlefield — Party for a good cause! Hiders and the Perfect Children will be performing, while the Littlefield serves you up food, beer and drink specials all night! There will be a costume contest as well, so dress to impress! Proceeds will benefit the Cincinnati Northside Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation. All night. Oct. 31. Free. The Littlefield, 3934 Spring Grove Ave., Northside, littlefieldns.com

Japp's Halloween Eve Dance Party — Ring in Halloween with a costume contest, dance party, "scary-delicious" cocktails and prizes. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Oct. 30. Free. Japp's, 1136 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, japps1879.com.

Neon's David Bowie's Labyrinth-Themed Halloween Party and Silent Disco — The Labyrinth will be on the TV all night, David Bowie and Halloween tunes with be on the juke and at the silent disco, you can grab a pair of headphones and dance around all night. 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Oct. 31. Free. 208 E. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/neonsunplugged.

Pick Your  Poison — People in costumes get $3 Dogfish Head Pumpkin, $4 call cocktails or $5 bombs. Oct. 31. The Righteous Room, 641 Walnut St., Downtown, therighteousroom.com.

Pavilion's 13th Annual Halloween Masquerade — Costume contest, cash prizes, and DJ Big Once. Nov. 1. Free. Mount Adams Pavilion, 949 Pavilion St., Mount Adams, 513-744-9200.

‘Stache Bash at The Stand — In partnership with Movember Cincinnati, The Stand invites you to boogie down on Halloween night! Anyone wearing a mustache (real or fake) gets $3 Yuengling Brewery’s Black & Tan all night! There will also be a costume contest starting at midnight. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Oct. 31. Free. The Stand, 3195 Linwood Ave., Mount Lookout, thestandcincy.com

Wicked Wine Tasting — A costume contest, snacks, door prizes, wine tastings and live music. 4 p.m. Oct. 25. $10. Meier’s Wine Cellars, 6955 Plainfield Road, Silverton, meierswinecellars.com

Zombie Pub Crawl — A spooky slow Covington pub crawl starting at the Cock & Bull Public House then to Pachinko, Zola and finally the Strasse Haus at 11:30 p.m. Awards for best scary and sexy zombie costumes. 10 p.m. Oct. 25. Free. Cock & Bull English Pub, 601 Main St., Covington, Ky., candbpublichouse.com

MASQUERADE AND COSTUME BALLS 
A Wicked Affair — Drinks, dancing and a costume contest in support of organ donation, benefiting the National Kidney Foundation of Greater Cincinnati. 7 p.m. Oct 25. $40. Receptions Banquet and Conference Center, 4450 Eastgate South Drive, Eastgate, 937-763-0474, 513-265-8530, facebook.com/ awickedaffair

Children’s Dyslexia Centers of Cincinnati Halloween Gala — Support the Children’s Dyslexia Centers of Cincinnati by attending a Halloween Gala where guests will be treated to a performance by the Naked Karate Girls while enjoying an evening of dancing, food and drinks. Guests are also invited to help sponsor the event with Gold, Platinum and Diamond packages. 7 p.m. Oct. 25. $30 in advance; $40 at the door; $500 VIP tables. Cincinnati Masonic Center, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, cdcoc.org/halloween

Fashion Angels: The Masquerade — Dress to impress in your best masquerade disguise, all for a great cause. This charitable fashion event benefits the American Cancer Society, Freestore Foodbank, Aubrey Rose Foundation and more while showcasing local designers, singers, dancers and hair and makeup stylists. Attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishables for the Freestore Foodbank. 6-11 p.m. Oct. 31. $25. Kings Island Resort & Conference Center, 5691 Kings Island Drive, Mason, fashionangels.org

Pop Art Costume Party — Grab your most vibrant, colorful costume and head to this Art After Dark event. Join the Cincinnati Art Museum in celebration of all things Pop with the opening of Beyond Pop Art: A Tom Wesselmann Retrospective. Tours of the special exhibition will meet in the Great Hall at 5:30 p.m. (members only), 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. (public tours). Drinks and appetizers available for purchase. 5-9 p.m. Oct. 31. Free admission; $4 parking; free for Art Museum members. Cincinnati Art Museum, 953 Eden Park Drive, Eden Park, cincinnatiartmuseum.org

Scream Acres Haunted House Dance Party — It’s not every day (or even every Halloween) you get to listen to live zombified music in one of the area’s largest and most terrifying haunted houses. But Scream Acres is pulling out all the stops to make this a fright night to remember: it’s opening its doors to a ghoulishly impressive lineup of bands to create a night of costumes, dancing, monsters, and screams. All ages are welcome … if they dare. 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Oct. 31. $14. Scream Acres Ct., 4399 Boron Drive, Covington, Ky., cincyscreams.com

The Malice Ball — Dance the night away in a spectacular masquerade ball while being served by bartender’s from Bakersfield OTR, the Eagle and other OTR favorites. The Malice Ball will also feature light snacks from OTR restaurants, makeup and styling by Rebel Face Makeup, a photo booth and more! DJ Matt Joy will be providing the tunes for the night. All proceeds benefit the Over-the-Rhine Chamber’s Business First Grant Program. Must be 21 years of age or older. 8-12:30 p.m. Oct. 31. $25 advance; $35 at the door. Christian Moerlein Brewing Company, 1621 Moore St., Over-the-Rhine, otrchamber.com

Boogie to Death — Dance Halloween away in Hollywood Casino's Boogie Nights, with 600 feet of lighted dance floor, a haunted maze of horror and costume contest. $1,000 for best overall costume. 9 p.m. Oct. 31. $10. 777 Hollywood Blvd., Lawrenceburg, Ind., hollywoodindiana.com.

For more events, like family-friendly frights, scary movie screenings and haunted tours, click here.

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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List: 10/17-10/19]]>

A little bit of this and a little bit of that. 

  1. Cincy Shakes gets a little spooky with a stage adaptation of The BirdsSherman Fracher channels Tippi Hedren. 
  2. Fort Thomas' Village Players tackle Sam Raimi's cult classic, Evil Dead, but in musical form and sans Bruce Campbell. The front row is a designated splatter zone and there will be blood.
  3. Less Halloweeny but with better costumes, Cirque du Soleil is at the Bank of Kentucky Center until Sunday with their Varekai production.
  4. Off stage, the Cincinnati Chocolate Festival heads to the Cintas Center for a day of chocolate tastings, demos, and wine. 
  5. For more wine, head to MainStrasse Village Saturday for the Northern Kentucky Wine Festival. Admission includes a souvenir wine glass and four tasting tickets for the plethora of Bluegrass wines on hand.
  6. Musically, Iceland-based composer Ben Frost brings his album A U R O R A to life at the Contemporary Arts Center. The blend of Electronica and Ambient noise paints an aural landscape that's been compared to Blade Runner
  7. And Sunday, support the de Cavel Family SIDS Foundation by eating an excellent Friends and Family Brunch at the Midwest Culinary Institute. For just $65, you can get fed by some of the best chefs in town. Kids encouraged.
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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List: 10/10-10/12]]>

 It's the weekend, y'all. 

And as it approaches 5 p.m. on a Friday, you're probably thinking to yourself, "What should I do this weekend?" Why not try one of these …

  1. Watch the all-OTR episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Vine Street turns into Flavortown as Guy Fieri eats his way from Taste of Belgium to Senate and Bakersfield. Airs 10 p.m. Friday on the Food Network (and a bunch of other times.)
  2. See John Waters. The iconic, mustachioed Mr. Waters presents his randy and raunchy one-man monologue, This Filthy World, at Memorial Hall on Saturday at part of FotoFocus. “‘Filthy’ is a word I use as a compliment. To me, it still has a punk edge. It is a joyous word to me." - John Waters.
  3. Make some really effing good pasta. Chef Danny Combs from Sotto reveals how to make restaurant-worthy cacio e pepe (butter, spaghetti, Pecorino cheese and black pepper) at home.  
  4. Tackle the great white wale at Know Theatre. The theater presents Herman Melville’s classic 1851 novel, Moby Dick, adapted for stage Julian Rad.  Co-directed by new artistic director Andrew Hungerford and veteran avant-garde theater artist Michael Burnham, the script has been stripped to its essence and reimagined for Know’s intimate space. 
  5. Trick-or-Treat at the Zoo (or, if you don't have kids, grab a beer and watch different zoo animals try to figure out how to eat a pumpkin). Every Saturday and Sunday in October, the Cincinnati Zoo hosts HallZOOween with trick-or-treat stations, a variety of special pumpkin-themed animal activities with bears, cats, elephants and more and Hogwart’s Express Train Ride. 
  6. Eat some award-winning barbecueCincinnati Parks hosts the city’s first-ever sanctioned State Championship Kansas City Barbeque Competition, where guests can watch pro teams compete to make the perfect barbecue in categories based on meat type — and then taste the results. 
  7. Pick your own pumpkin. Or apples.
  8. Remember how cool books are Books by the Banks (and see Cincinnati native David Bell discuss his latest thriller.)
  9. Celebrate fermented cabbage at the 45th Ohio Sauerkraut Festival. This weekend, visitors to Waynesville, Ohio will eat more than seven tons of SnowFloss Kraut. If you want to tackle the crowd of 350,000, the Waynesville Chamber of Commerce gave us a game plan of some must-try sauerkraut dishes. (And a recipe to make at home in case you don't.) Festgoers must try:

  • Sauerkraut Pizza. Made by the Order of the Eastern Star Masons, the handmade pizzas come in whole pies or slices and are topped with tomato sauce, cheese, green peppers, onions and sauerkraut.
  • Cabbage Rolls. For more than 30 years, St. Augustine's Church has cooked cabbage rolls for the festival — recently, more than 10,000 per weekend. Cooked cabbage leaves are filled with ground beef, rice and spices and covered in tomato sauce.
  • Sauerkraut desserts. The Waynesville Chamber of Commerce will be serving up sauerkraut pie, sauerkraut fudge, sauerkraut brownies and sauerkraut cookies.
  • Sauerkraut Balls. A classic: breaded and fried sauerkraut and bacon, served by the Waynesville fire department.
  • German Sundae. This is a pile of potatoes, topped with kraut, sour cream, cheese, bacon and green olive. (Recipe below.)
Recipe for Sauerkraut German Sundae
Provided by the Sons of the American Legion Post 615, Waynesville

Ingredients:
5 to 6 lbs. sliced or diced potatoes
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
¼ lb butter

Instructions: Seal and bake in 13x9x2 inch baking pan for 1 hour and 45 minutes at 350. Place approximately 8 oz. in bowl and top with the following: 1 Tbsp. cooked sauerkraut; 1 tsp sour cream; and melted cheddar cheese (as desired). Sprinkle with bacon bits, top with green olive.  Makes 10-15 servings. 

For more ideas of things to do, see our staff picks


 

 

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<![CDATA[Bockfest is Back]]>

Bockfest signals the coming of spring, celebrates Over-the-Rhine and serves up beer from tons of local breweries. The 22nd annual fest runs Friday through Sunday. Here’s just as handful of special events to check out.

Bockfest Parade

Each year, the Bock-festivities commence with a parade of goats, music, people dressed as monks and a sausage queen, and it all starts at Cincinnati’s oldest bar, Arnold’s. This year’s parade is led by parade marshals Jim and Carolann Slouffman, a couple known for their involvement in Cincinnati German culture. They co-founded Kolping Sängerchor, a local German choral group, and organized the 150th anniversary Saengerfest of the Nord-Amerikanische Saengerbund in Cincinnati in 1998. The parade steps off at 6 p.m. Friday at Arnold’s (210 East 8th St., Downtown) and continues up Main Street to Bockfest Hall (Christian Moerlein Brewery – 1619 Moore St., Over-the-Rhine).

Veenie Roast

Park + Vine (1202 Main St., Over-the-Rhine), known for its array of eco- and vegan-friendly foods, drinks and a bevy of other products, brings back the popular healthy alternative to a typical pork-laden grill out. Park + Vine will be grilling up Field Roast vegan hot dogs and sausages with Fab Ferments kraut and kombucha on tap from 6-9 p.m. Friday.

Bockfest 5K

This second annual race takes runners and walkers through the historic brewery district of Over-the-Rhine. The race kicks off at 10 a.m. Saturday.

The Craft Menagerie

Come support local artisans and their goods while knocking back a few pints. Browse and buy metal works, pottery, screen prints, fabric and textiles, jewelry, mosaics, paper goods and more from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at Arnold’s.

BockFEAST

A new event coinciding with the fest this year is BockFEAST, a beer and food pairing event taking place at five OTR restaurants. A Tavola, Bakersfield, Lavomatic, Quan Hapa and Taste of Belgium are all offering the same sweet deal: $10 for a 10-ounce sample of Christian Moerlein’s Emancipator Doppelbock and a unique paired dish. The offer is available from 5 p.m. Friday through 3 p.m. Sunday. Go here for a full menu list.

For more info on these and other Bockfest vents, including a full schedule of festivities at Bockfest Hall, go here.

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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List: 2/7-2/9]]>

Cincinnati Beer Week is in full effect, bringing craft beer tastings, pairings and brewery nights to bars and restaurants across the city through Feb. 13 (followed by the popular Cincy Winter Beerfest Feb. 14-15). Go here for the week’s highlights and find all of today’s CBW events here.

Balls Around the Block is a bar crawl with a mission: To expose more locals to the ever-changing downtown landscape by visiting several different local establishments in one night, all while raising money for a good cause. Twelve groups of 25 each begin at a different bar on the same block (so as not to overwhelm one establishment all at once) and continue progressing around to bars like Madonna’s, Rock Bottom Brewery, Igby’s and Nicholson’s.

It’s $35 to participate, with food and drink specials along the way. This year’s crawl benefits Fido Field, the privately funded off-leash dog area located at 630 Eggleston Ave. BATB hopes to raise $12,000 this year for the continued construction of Fido Field — the group raised $10,000 in 2013. Go here for more information, to make donations and to join a group for the crawl.

Cincy Blues Society’s annual Winter Blue Fest kicks off Friday at The Phoenix. More than 25 local Blues acts perform through Saturday including headliners Tinsley Ellis and Janiva Magness. Read more here.

Jungle Jim’s Big Cheese Fest is now sold out, but those with tickets are in for a day full delicious dairy from more than 80 cheese companies. More than 40 booths will feature varieties of local, artisan and international cheeses, charcuterie, breads, spreads and more. Beer and wine pairing options available at additional cost. The festival takes over Jungle Jim’s Oscar Event Center from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday. The Big Cheese Kick-Off Party (also sold out) is 7-10 p.m. Friday.

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.

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<![CDATA[Cincinnati's Trivia Nights ]]> Nerds tend to gravitate toward other nerds because it's okay to talk about things like Star Wars, city referendums and why Apple products are superior to anything that is not an Apple product. Social drinkers tend to like hanging out with other social drinkers so that everyone's jokes seem funnier and it feels OK to eat enough nachos to serve a small family or do things like jump in public fountains.

Much like peanut butter and jelly or Wes Anderson movies and white people, when combined these two traits form a harmonious swirl of glee and whimsy.

There are myriad watering holes around Cincinnati with trivia nights featuring prizes and all sorts of food and drink specials and cash prizes for winning teams. Here are a bunch organized by day. 


MONDAYS:

Brew House 

 Mondays, 7:30-9:30 p.m., 1047 E. McMillan St., Walnut Hills, (513) 961-9058
Win gift certificates to the Brew House.

Mount Lookout Tavern

Mondays, 8 p.m., 3209 Linwood Ave., Mount Lookout, (513) 871-9633
$50 1st Place. 

Neons Unplugged

Mondays, 7 p.m., 208 E. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine, (513) 827-9361.


TUESDAYS:

Jefferson Social

Tuesdays, 10 p.m., 101 East Freedom Way, The Banks, (513) 381-2623.
$40 1st Place.

Mayday 
Tuesdays, 8 p.m., 4227 Spring Grove Ave., Northside, (513)-541-0999
 
Willie’s Western Hills
Tuesdays, 9 p.m., and Thursdays, 7 p.m., 6380 Glenway Ave., Western Hills, (513)-922-3377

WEDNESDAYS:

Avenue Brew 

Wednesdays, 7 p.m., 310 Fairfield Ave., Bellevue, Ky., (859) 261-4381

Flipdaddy’s

Wednesdays, 7 p.m., 7453 Wooster Pike, Mariemont, (513) 272-2337

Keystone Hyde Park 

Wednesdays, 8 p.m., 3384 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, (513) 321-2150.
Drink specials, $40 1st Place.

Molly Malone’s

Wednesdays, 8 p.m., 112 E. 4th St., Covington, Ky., (859)-491-6659
$2 draft special and prizes.


Longworth's

Wednesdays, 8 p.m. 1108 Gregory St., Mount Adams, (513)-651-2253
Drink specials, 1/2 price apps.


Next Chapter

Wednesdays, 7 p.m., 940 Pavilion St., Mount Adams, (513)-381-1905


THURSDAYS:

Beer Sellar

Thursdays, 8 p.m., 301 Riverboat Row, Newport, Ky., (859) 431-6969
$35 1st Place - $20 for best team name.


Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments.
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<![CDATA[Christian Moerlein to Continue Brewery Tours on Weekends]]> After such success during the Taste of Cincinnati weekend, the Christian Moerlein Brewing Company will continue to offer weekend tours of their brewery on Moore Street in Over-the-Rhine.

The brewery was open for public tours for the Taste, but not everyone was able to make it in for a look into the new brewing facility and tap room. The free tours will lead patrons through the production brewery and the underground Malt House from the pre-prohibition Kauffman Brewery. Tours conclude with a craft beer tasting and plenty of food from local food trucks.

Tours will include information about the various Moerlein beers sold in the area as well as the process by which they are crafted. Visitors will also enjoy a lesson in Moerlein food pairing that features dining selections from local restaurants.

The Moerlein Brewing Company, opened in 1853 after high demand from German immigrants, has exported beers throughout Cincinnati and to Europe and South America. After the fall of the brewery during the “dark age” of prohibition, the Moerlein name was restored in 1981. Christian Moerlein Select Lager, the first American beer to pass the Reinheitsgebot Bavarian Purity Law, was known for its taste and simplicity, containing only malted barley, hops, water and yeast.

Gregory Hardman, a Cincinnati “beer baron,” purchased Christian Moerlein in 2004. Still committed to crafting quality, great-tasting beers, the Moerlein Brewing Company is reaching out to the Cincinnati community and offering residents and visitors an opportunity to engage themselves with one of Cincinnati’s most well-known traditions.

“We were thrilled with the public’s response to our tours during ‘Taste’ weekend,” said Hardman in a press release. “We are extending our tours through the weekends to give everyone a chance to visit our new brewing facility.” Tours will explore modern craft brewing processes as well as brewing techniques specific to the Cincinnati area.

Christian Moerlein now boasts a variety of beers and lagers including Moerlein OTR Ale, Moerlein Lager House, Moerlein Barbarossa Double Dark, Moerlein Northern Liberties IPA, Moerlein Seven Hefeweizen, and Moerlein Seasonal Selections. Moerlein beers and lagers are available on tap at a number of local pubs and restaurants and in bottles at retail stores.

The brewery will be open every Friday through Sunday for tours. Tours will begin at the following times: Fridays at 5 and 7 p.m.; Saturdays at 1, 3, 5 and 7 p.m.; Sundays at 1, 3 and 5 p.m. The Christian Moerlein Craft Brewery, Tap Room and Tour Center is located in the Kaufman Pre-Prohibition Brewery Complex, 1621 Moore Street. Ample parking is available in adjacent lots. For more information, visit christianmoerlein.com.

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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List: 4/12-4/14]]>

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.

The final 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.

For more stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do page or full calendar and Rick Pender’s Stage Door for weekend theater offerings.

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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List: 3/15-3/17]]> Top o’ the weekend to ya! Whether you’re as Irish as the Blarney Stone or just enjoy a good excuse to day-drink, there are plenty of St. Patrick’s Day weekend activities for all ye lads and lassies.

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 noon.

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.

ReelAbilities, 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.

Local arts 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.

For more stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do page or full calendar (with plenty of St. Patty’s Day bar events) and Rick Pender’s Stage Door for weekend theater offerings.

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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List: 3/1-3/3]]>

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.

For more stuff to do this weekend, check out our To Do page, full calendar and Rick Pender’s Stage Door for weekend theater offerings.

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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List: 2/22-2/24]]>

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.

Check out our To Do list and full calendar for more events, art exhibits, theater shows and concerts.

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<![CDATA[I Just Can't Get Enough]]>

Beardwatch 2013

Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites premiered last week and Cincinnati’s Matt Bischoff (whom we interviewed here) made it through the first episode, officially making it further than Cincinnati’s last castaway. Despite my wide-ranging TV prowess, I haven’t watched Survivor in about 20 seasons. But having an interesting local character like Matt actually makes the show pretty watchable. Survivor, like every reality show, follows a set of standard rules in editing, and if you read between the lines it appears Matt could be on the show for a substantial amount of time: He got enough airtime to intrigue viewers, but not so much that it seems like they’re gearing up for his departure. Elsewhere, Matt pulled his weight. He stood up to the cocky Marine barking orders but not actually doing anything, but soon after paved things over, showing that he’ll put a dude in his place, but not be a dick about it. He helped construct the tribe’s shelter and brought them to victory in the immunity challenge.

But Matt isn’t the only hometown boy kickin’ it in the Caramoan — Sharonville native and Ken Doll lookalike Reynold Toepfer, now a San Francisco resident, joins Matt in the Gota Tribe. Reynold is a Princeton High School and Miami University grad, but he’s moved away from the Queen City so he’s DEAD TO US. Just kidding, but seriously, he’s kind of a d-bag. He formed an alliance with Laura because she flew under the radar by not being “the cutest, not anything.” Gag. Then, no sooner than night one, dude was getting into some straight-up heavy petting with Alli during sleepytime.

                             Matt, looking like an island ninja, checking out the "sleeping" situation going on with two of his tribe-mates.

Isn’t this supposed to be a family show? Not that I’m worried about “the children,” it’s just my feeling that if you’re going to be kind of a sleazy reality show, you should just be a really sleazy, self-aware reality show.

Predictably, the show has portrayed Matt as something of an outsider. In one particular scene, four of the young, attractive, conventional Survivor types (Reynold being one of them) dubbed themselves the “cool kids lunch table” (gag again) and then the camera panned out to Matt, looking alone in the ocean. In the show’s defense, Survivor’s core audience probably relies on this type of blatant stereotyping to understand what’s going on. More Beardwatch to come!

The Internet acts as a platform for feedback for companies. So when a TV show gets or cancelled or a product is removed from shelves, many consumers can share their critiques online. Now, usually this quickly turns into a bullshit sounding board — just read a Yelp review from a bitter customer — but sometimes the public can harness the power of technology and allow its collective voice to be heard. Case in point: Maker's Mark made news last week when the company announced that the bourbon would henceforth have a reduced alcohol content in order to keep up with demand. If the bourbon was diluted just a bit, they could produce enough booze to meet sales demands, but that shortcut would affect the alcohol volume by about 3 percent (from 45 percent ABV/90 proof to 42 percent/84 proof). Bourbon drinkers weren’t havin’ none of that. So guess what? Maker's changed their minds! The bourbon recipe will remain untouched. Long live Maker's Mark!

For a couple of Grammy-winning musicians, the Black Keys sure have a lot of time for extracurriculars! When they’re not making completely random, ponytailed cameos on Workaholics, they’re trolling Beliebers. Well, drummer Patrick Carney is. Justin Bieber tweeted that Carney (“the black keys drummer”) needed to “be slapped around” in response to a comment Carney made to a reporter about Beiber’s Grammy “snub.” Carney went on to change his Twitter name and profile picture to Justin Bieber and JB fans were pissed. He’s back to assuming his own identity but you can read the hilarious trolling tweets here.

And because I look up any topic on the always-reliable Wikipedia before writing about it, I discovered that Carney was married to (and later divorced) writer Denise Grollmus in a ceremony officiated by Will Forte. Yes, MacGruber. WTF CARNEY.

Beyonce’s documentary debuted on HBO Saturday, drawing in more viewers (1.8 million) than any HBO doc in nearly a decade. A little self-serving and definitely over-the-top, fans and critics alike had a field day with Life Is But A Dream. Basically, Beyonce records her every waking moment, which, according to this doc, includes lots of traveling, dance rehearsals and iMac confessionals. We finally got a good look at mini-Jay, Blue Ivy:

                                                                 “We’re not worthy!”

Beyonce even tried to convince us she was down-to-earth by rocking some crazy braids in the interview portions, filmed inside her childhood home. Here are some quick and dirty deets from NY Mag including number of manicure close-ups and number of Destiny’s Child mentions (ZERO!). We got a couple peeks at her preggo belly, but there were not enough shots of her eating French fries and too many shots of private helicopter rides to convince me she’s 100 percent human and not an Illuminati alien goddess. Three stars.

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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List: 2/8-2/10]]>

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.

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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List: 2/1-2/3]]>

Remember when you could buy a proper cocktail with the spare change in your pocket? OK, probably not, but you can still enjoy Prohibition-era prices at Japp’s new happy hour kicking off Friday. From 4-6 p.m. tonight (and each night thereafter), Japp’s will serve up 33-cent Plymouth gin martinis with a side of live Jazz and ‘20s-‘30s standards.

Pet owners have rallied for a downtown dog park for years; now there are two! In addition to Washington Park’s AstroTurfed dog area is Fido Field on Eggleston Ave. The space is made possible my volunteers and fundraising, as it is not managed by the Cincinnati Park Board. Help contribute to the maintenance of Fido Field by enjoying a night out on the Balls Around the Block bar crawl Friday. Dog lovers and drinkers alike will hop from the Contemporary Arts Center (check-in by 6 p.m.) to bars like Igby’s, Righteous Room, Madonna’s and more, enjoying drink and food specials at various locations. Registration for the event has closed; walk-ups will be accepted until 7 p.m. at the CAC for $40. Check out the bar crawl map and learn more about Fido Field here.

While there aren’t any new theater productions opening this week, there are plenty of shows to check out at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, Playhouse in the Park and Covington’s Carnegie Center. Read about them in Rick Pender’s Stage Door.

Downtown’s newest bar, 601 Lounge and Nightclub, hosts a grand opening Saturday. Doors open at 9 p.m.; $10 cover includes two free drinks. Like a lot of newer downtown clubs, 601 looks to cater to the VIP/bottle service crowd, so dress to impress — or you’ll be stuck in the cold.

Check out our calendar  for more events, art shows, concerts, theater productions and more happening this weekend

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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List: 1/4-1/6]]>

If your New Year’s resolution is to go out more and explore the city in 2013, get started this weekend by checking out some of these events.

Thunder-Sky Inc. hosts an opening reception for New Magic and Costume Shoppe Friday 6-10 p.m. The Northside gallery, which highlights “outsider art” and supports creatives with disabilities, will display paintings by Yohana Junker, masks by David Earl Johnson and some beloved clown costumes by Raymond Thunder-Sky himself.

Tri-State brides-to-be (and psycho girlfriends eager to jump the gun) will flock to Duke Energy convention center this weekend for Wendy’s Bridal Show. More than 150 event planners, gown retailers, caterers and other wedding experts will be on hand to help create your big day from the invitations to the perfect reception music. Each day features fashion shows with dresses from Wendy’s Cincinnati Bride. The expo runs 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. Get $2 off admission here.

Argentinean pianist Ingrid Fliter joins the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra for some high-energy performances Friday and Saturday. Fliter will perform Ravel’s G Major Piano Concerto. Additionally, the CSO will present Rachmaninoff’s Symphonic Dances. Go here for tickets and more information.

Ohio native and fashion photographer Rob Deaton has teamed up with Laura Kirkpatrick (America’s Next Top Model runner-up, ANTM All-Stars contestant and Kentucky native) to present Fashion Angels, a charity event benefiting the Freestore Foodbank, American Cancer Society and Dyslexia foundation Beautiful Minds. Taking place at Loveland’s Receptions Banquet Center, Fashion Angels runs Friday-Sunday featuring runway shows by more than a dozen designers. VIP ticket holders will enjoy cocktail parties and a meet-and-greet with Deaton and Kirkpatrick.

If bar hopping is on your schedule this weekend, be sure to read this week’s Drink column for tips on how to step up your cocktail game this year.

For more art openings, theater shows, concerts and other events, check out our full calendar.

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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List: 11/9-11/11]]> Tattoos and body art have been a part of various cultures for thousands of years. The concept came to the States in the late 19th century, when ink could be found on soldiers and people living on the fringe of society. Today, the medium’s popularity makes it more difficult to find people without any tattoos. While we’ve all witnessed unfortunate ink, the real pros exhibit amazing talent. Ink is now a celebrated art form (and, oddly, the basis of several TV shows) and tonight, fans of both visual art and tattoos have a chance to meet legendary tattoo artist and historian Lyle Tuttle. Beelistic Tattoo on Short Vine welcomes Tuttle for an art show of his iconic work. Tuttle began tattooing at age 18 in 1949 and has inked the likes of Janis Joplin, The Allman Brothers, Paul Stanley and countless others. Meet the artist, peruse his work, enjoy free drinks and plan your next tat from 5-10 p.m.

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.

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<![CDATA[Your Weekend To Do List: 11/2-11/4]]> Kick off the weekend with some shopping you can feel good about at Ten Thousand Villages’ tenth anniversary event. The O’Bryonville retail store specializes in fair trade gifts, home décor and accessories from around the world. Ten Thousand Villages works with artisan groups from 38 countries and is a founding member of the World Fair Trade Organization. On Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., conscientious shoppers will get to hear stories about artisan groups from Uganda, Bangladesh and Guatemala throughout the day as belly dancers and musicians perform around the space, all while receiving 10% off purchases. Find a full event schedule and learn more about Ten Thousand Villages here.

Sardonic 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.)

Japp’s is 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.

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