Photo: CityBeat Archive
It’s Labor Day weekend in Cincinnati, which means it’s time to ring in the end of summer with the annual Riverfest all-day party and firework display. Looking for something less explosive? And less crowded? There are also lots of festivals: the Ohio Renaissance Festival, the Nowhere Else music festival and a barbecue festival in Newport.
FRIDAY, SEPT. 3
Nowhere Else Festival
This Labor Day weekend, Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist of Folk greats Over the Rhine will again present their Nowhere Else Festival, a three-day celebration “overflowing with music, art, earth, sky” on their rural Clinton County farm, less than 50 miles east of Cincinnati. Headliners include Over the Rhine, of course, as well as Patty Griffin, Joe Henry, Mary Gauthier, Allison Russel and more spread across the 23-acre farm and in an open-air tent. The schedule also includes a VIP farm-to-table picnic, workshops, readings and art exhibits. COVID precautions will be in place. Detweiler and Bergquist are asking everyone to bring proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours of the fest for entry. 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 3 for VIP ticketholders; 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 4 and Sunday, Sept. 5. Single day passes start at $90 for adults and $50 for students, active military and teens.190 Townsend Road, Martinsville, Ohio, nowhereelsefestival.com.
Smoke on the River BBQ Fest
If your mouth waters for meat, grab a pile of napkins for this weekend’s Smoke on the River BBQ Festival at the new Covington Plaza. Expect live music and food, from barbecue goetta balls and Cajun chicken on a stick to Kentucky bourbon cake. 5-11 p.m. Sept. 3, noon-11 p.m. Sept. 4 and noon-9 p.m. Sept. 5. Free admission. Covington Plaza, 144 Madison Ave., Covington,cincinnatifestivalsandevents.com.
Katy Kirby at MOTR Pub
Katy Kirby was not raised on The Beach Boys, The Beatles, nor any of the Classic Rock bands that so many of our parents have passed down to our ears. For her evangelical Christian family in Spicewood, Texas, the house music was a little different. “My parents don’t know bands, but my dad loves barbershop quartets and they listen to a lot of worship music,” Kirby said in a Feb. 26 interview with TexasMonthly. These early singing sessions were part of what first drew Kirby to music, an attraction that would eventually lead to her blossoming career as a Post-Folk artist. In February, Kirby released her debut album, Cool Dry Place, with Texas-based label Keeled Scales. The nine-track record calls to mind the sweet, effortless vocals of early Jessica Lea Mayfield and the simple, expressive arrangements of Big Thief. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or proof of a negative COVID-19 test from the prior 72 hours is required. 10 p.m. Sept. 3. Free. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, motrpub.com.
SATURDAY, SEPT. 4
Photo: Adam Doty
Ohio Renaissance Festival
Grab your stein and your corset: the Ohio Renaissance Festival will return to Waynesville’s Renaissance Park this fall. The annual event was cancelled last year due to the pandemic, but — despite cases growing once again due to the Delta variant — the outdoor fest, “like a phoenix,” will rise again this year, the website says. Themed weekends like Fantasy Weekend, Pirates Weekend and Romance Weekend take place throughout the season. Enjoy bites from more than a dozen vendors ranging from Mediterranean eats and pizza to bourbon chicken and mac-and-cheese-stuffed bread bowls, plus there will be plenty of giant turkey legs to nom on. There will also be beer, wine and mead. 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 31. $23 ages 13 and up; $21 seniors; $10 children; $3 parking (cash only); discounts available online. 10542 East State Route 73 Waynesville, renfestival.com.
After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, all your favorite monster trucks finally will roll back into town Sept. 4-5 at Heritage Bank Center, and we’re ready to rev our engines with them. Just in case you’ve managed to go your whole life without seeing a truck the size of a building before, Monster Jam is a high-energy, competitive event in a dirt arena with 12,000-pound trucks heading off in freestyle, skills and racing competitions. Fans will be able to vote in real-time for the winners using their smartphones. According to Monster Jam’s website, each truck is 10.5 feet tall and 12.5 feet wide, and each consumes three gallons of methanol fuel per minute. “Monster,” indeed! The drivers are “trained, world-class male and female athletes” chosen for their physical strength and dexterity, which is a must for controlling the trucks, says a press release from Monster Jam. 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sept. 4; 1 p.m. Sept. 5. Tickets start at $15. 100 Broadway, Downtown, heritagebankcenter.com.
Lunken Airport Days
Step back in time this Labor Day weekend with Lunken Airport Days. Check out military and civilian planes and vintage vehicles, take a ride in a helicopter or watch a color guard ceremony each day at noon. The Experimental Aircraft Association will also have its World War II B-25 Mitchell on site. The bomber is a “powerful twin engined and twin tailed aircraft…used by every branch of the United States military. It is the only US military aircraft to ever be named after an individual, air power advocate General Billy Mitchell.” The public can take flight in the B-25 at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. Sept. 3-6. Flights cost $360-$400 and can be booked at flytheb25.org. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 4 and 5. Free admission. Lunken Airport, 262 Wilmer Ave., East End,warbirds.clubexpress.com.
SUNDAY, SEPT. 5
Art on Vine
Art on Vine is returning to Fountain Square for another round of showcasing local artists and their wares. Art on Vine began in 2012 as a class project for a college course that James Jenkins was taking, with the intent of being a way to provide a unique, customer-to-artist buying experience. Now, Art on Vine hosts more than 70 local artists and looks to work with a different nonprofit every month. Artists who participate in Art on Vine get the chance to build relationships with returning customers and fellow artists, have a monthly platform for selling their art and insider intel into upcoming arts events. Noon-6 p.m. Sept. 5. Free admission. Fountain Square, 520 Vine St., Downtown, artonvinecincy.com.
Cincinnati Hispanic Festival
The first Cincinnati Hispanic Festival took place in 1994, and 27 years later this annual event is still celebrating Hispanic food, entertainment, culture and more with the wider community. This year’s event promises family-friendly fun, food, beer, dancing and music. Noon-10 p.m. Sept. 5. Free admission. St. Boniface Church, 1750 Chase Ave., Northside, facebook.com/CincinnatiHispanicFestival.
Launched more than four decades ago to celebrate the 10th anniversary of radio station WEBN (102.7 FM), this Labor Day bash officially signals the end of summer with a series of colorful explosions in the sky. This year’s 45th-annual celebration will take place Sunday, Sept. 5. Sponsors/hosts WEBN and Western & Southern say the party will kick off at noon at Sawyer Point and Yeatman’s Cove, with Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks starting at 9 p.m. During the lead-up to the big show, the Freestore Foodbank hosts its 27th-annual Rubber Duck Regatta, dropping as many as 200,000 yellow duckies from the Purple People Bridge into the Ohio River in a race to benefit the foodbank. NOTE: Due to high water levels as a result of Hurricane Ida, boats will not be allowed on the river during Riverfest. Noon-10 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 5. Free; $5 per duck. Sawyer Point, 705 E. Pete Rose Way, Downtown, webn.iheart.com, rubberduckregatta.org.
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