May 2007 Issue
Revel by the River
A full season of fun starts this month in Cincinnati.
Summer in Cincinnati?
It can mean anything from fine dining to fine art, from jazz to Juneteenth, from flying pigs to fireworks. Folks in the Queen City and its hilly environs know their riverside roost is a fine place to spend the summer months, when it comes to having enough fun stuff to do - but for the rest of you, here's a quick look at some of the big events in greater Cincinnati this summer.
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
zoo babies are back!
For more than 20 years, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden has provided folks with a peek into the rhythms of wild-animal family life with its popular "Zoo Babies" exhibition, which each year includes the newest additions to the zoo family. This year, Zoo Babies runs each weekend May 12â€“28, with entertainment including concerts by Zak Morgan and Thaddeus Rex, a meet and greet with Curious George and the "Monkey See, Monkey Do!" show from Madcap Puppet Theater. The event is free with zoo admission.
Looking for more to do at the zoo? This year, check out Meet-A-Keeper, which gives you a backstage look at how the zoo crew takes care of the animals, or visit Lorikeet Landing, an open-air aviary in which you can hand-feed hundreds of lorikeets and parakeets that are just waiting for you to stop by and visit.
The zoo is at 3400 Vine St. For information, call 513/281-4700 or 800/94-HIPPO, or visit www.cincinnatizoo.org.
Flying Pig Marathon
in for the long run
Sure, we all know that in Cincinnati pigs can fly. But ... can they run? The best way to find out will be to have a look at the annual Flying Pig Marathon and its many side events, which fill up the Queen City on the weekend of May 4â€“6. The main race is Sunday the 6th, ending at Sawyer Point downtown, but there are other race events - a 10K and a 5K on Saturday along Pete Rose Way, a Kid's Run and health expo, and a half-marathon and four-person relay on Sunday.
Like to run? Check out www.flyingpig marathon.com or call 513/721-PIGS (7447) for more information.
celebrating age-old heritage
The history and culture of the mountains have long run strongly through this river city on the edge of Appalachia. The 38th annual Appalachian Festival happens at Coney Island (west of Cincinnati at 6201 Kellogg Ave., off I-275 at exit 72 (www.coneyislandpark.com) on Mother's Day weekend, May 11â€“13. It's one of the Cincy area's most popular festivals, and this year features the bluegrass music of the excellent Claire Lynch Band, the Kenny and Amanda Smith Band, and the dance, storytelling and folk arts that make Appalachia special.
For details, call 513/251-3378 or visit www.appalachianfestival.org.
Cincinnati May Festival
classical sounds abound
So, classical and choral music are more your thing? Well, Cincinnati gets pretty heavily into those during the May Festival - which, at age 134, claims to be the oldest continuous choral music fest in North America. We won't argue. The May Festival Chorus and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra are the center of all the attention over the two weekends of the event, which this year runs May 18, 19, 20, 25 and 26 at Music Hall, 1241 Elm St. downtown.
For times, admission and more, visit www.mayfestival.com or call 513/621-1919.
Taste of Cincinnati
eat in the street
Cincy folks say that their very own Taste of Cincinnati is the longest-running "culinary arts festival" in the United States. It started in 1979, making one wonder, perhaps, what folks called it when they ate outdoors in great numbers before then. Whatever... the main thing to know is that Taste of Cincinnati runs for three days over Memorial Day Weekend, and you'll have to drive a long way to find a better, more succulent selection of dining choices. Some 40 of the Queen City's restaurants bring out their best to show off, while a wide variety of music is going on in the background.
It's all happening May 26â€“27 - Saturday noonâ€“midnight, Sunday noonâ€“9 p.m. - in downtown on the streets surrounding Fountain Square. Visit www.taste-of-cincinnati.com.
getting jazzy with twyla tharp
The ballet's dancers have the good fortune to team up this year with famed choreographer Twyla Tharp, who is joining the Cincinnati Ballet for the first time with her piece "Baker's Dozen." It will be on a program that includes work from choreographers Jorma Elo and Devon Carney on May 18â€“19 at the Aronoff Center's Procter & Gamble Hall downtown.
For tickets and times, visit www.cincinnatiballet.com or call 513/621-5219.
find your heart's objet d'art
Lots of cities, large and small, have arts festivals. But only Cincinnati has Summerfair, a truly arts-crazy blowout of paintings, ceramics, sculpture, metalwork, glasswork, photography - in fact, just about any kind of artwork in any kind of medium you can imagine, or would want to buy. And you will want to buy. Summerfair draws hundreds of exhibitors from all over the country, and has done so for more than 40 years, bringing national recognition and crowds to Coney Island park on the Ohio River, at the intersection of I-275 and Kellogg Avenue.
This year's festival is June 1â€“3; admission is $9 and parking is free. For hours and more info, including a lineup of performing artists, check out www.summerfair.org.
Red, White & Blue Ash
the place for fireworks
Planning on being in the Cincy area on the Fourth of July? Red, White & Blue Ash calls itself the biggest Independence Day fireworks event in the region (note that in a city with September's famous Riverfest fireworks extravaganza ... see page 127 ... they're careful to qualify). The festivities include music, food and fun, and get started at 2 p.m. The fireworks start at 10.
The event is free and open to the public at the Blue Ash Sports Center, 11540 Grooms Rd., Blue Ash. For directions or more information, call 513/745-8550 or visit www.blueash.com
Macy's Music Festival
bringing hip tunes downtown
Cincinnati has had a reputation for downtown jazz, soul and R&B festivals for decades, embodied this summer in the Macy's Music Festival at Paul Brown Stadium on the riverfront July 27â€“28. The festival traces its roots to 1962, when it was an all-jazz event at a local fairgrounds.
It's since evolved into a showcase for some of the top pop, hip-hop, jazz and contemporary R&B acts in the nation. Past acts have included such lights as David Sanborn, Grover Washington, Jr., Patti LaBelle, Nancy Wilson and Al Jarreau.
Keep an eye out for this year's lineup announcement and other info at www.qlzprod.com.
Great Inland Seafood Festival
Say your city is on an inland river - that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the bounty of the ocean, does it? Of course not ... as anybody who's attended the Great Inland Seafood Festival can tell you. Right across the Ohio River from downtown Cincinnati in Newport, Kentucky, the festival, August 9â€“12, features primo seafood dishes from greater Cincinnati chefs - accompanied by all kinds of good music. Pass the cocktail sauce, would you?
Located on the Newport riverfront. Call 513/477-3320 or visit www.cincynorth.com for more information.
Contemporary Arts Center
blending light and sound
Art of an up-to-date sort will be on display at the Contemporary Arts Center May 18â€“September 17. Joao Paulo Feliciano "explores the architecture of space and sound" with an exhibit called "The Blues Quartet." It'll involve an installation in the CAC's street-level lobby that draws together sound, light and sculpture, all timed together and promising effects you won't expect.
The Contemporary Arts Center is at 44 E. Sixth St. For more on Feliciano's work or the CAC's other exhibits, call 513/345-8400 or visit www.contemporaryartscenter.org.
so long, summertime
What's the perfect way to bid farewell to the warm summer season? Why, that would be Riverfest. This year's free event returns to Sawyer Point on Sunday, September 2, from noon to 10 p.m. - with events all day leading up to the massive fireworks display along the river, slated to start at 9:05 p.m. sharp. As many as 500,000 people commonly show up for this giant event, so plan ahead and arrive early.
For details, visit www.cincynorth.com.
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