Top 10 Things to Do in Cincinnati This Weekend: July 12-14

Top 10 Things to Do in Cincinnati This Weekend: July 12-14


1. Cincinnati Celtic Festival

Celebrate Celtic heritage with food, live Celtic music on two stages and lots of family fun. Enjoy Irish dancing performances, competitions for most freckles, reddest hair and a Celtic Idol competition. On Sunday mornings there is a Celtic mass at 10am followed by an optional Irish breakfast buffet.

Details: Friday, 5-11 p.m., Saturday, noon-11 p.m., Sunday, noon-7 p.m., E. Freedom Way, Downtown. Admission is free; breakfast is $18.

2. Cincy Blues Festival

Bring your blankets or chairs and get ready to groove at this family-friendly event. Enjoy live music from Blues in the Schools Band, I Dig Pig, Vudu Childe, Ben Levin featuring Candice Ivory and Sonny Hill, Altered Five Blues Band, Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials, and headliner Noah Wotherspoon. There’s a playground and a special Kids Zone with fun and games for little blues fans, and the Cincy Cool Cars Club will be hosting a pre-Blues Fest car show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. You’ll find a variety of food and beverages in the park, which is a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (Dora).

Details: Saturday, 2-10 p.m., Village Green Park, 301 Wessel Drive, Fairfield. Free admission and parking.

3. Sun Valley Bluegrass Festival

Bring the whole family to the Joseph J. Stapleton Pavilion at AJ Jolly Park for a fun and affordable day of down-home bluegrass with Willow Creek, Fresh Baked Bluegrass, Ralph Martin Band, Beagle Creek Band, Tweed Donahoe, Marty Dunn and the Danny Davis Band. There will be food, beer and wine for purchase, as well as craft vendors, kids activities and more.

Details: Saturday, 4-10:30 p.m., AJ Jolly Park, 1501 Race Track Road, Alexandria. $5, free for kids 12 and under.

4. The Green Book of the Negro Motorist

This Smithsonian-produced exhibition celebrates the resilience and resourcefulness of African Americans and offers a compelling glimpse into the realities of travel for them in mid-century America. The guidebook served as an indispensable resource for an emerging middle class and played a key role in facilitating the second wave of the Great Migration. The exhibition is a collaboration with award-winning author, photographer, and cultural documentarian Candacy Taylor, who will be on site for a gallery talk at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Details: 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat–Sun, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 50 E. Freedom Way, Downtown. Runs July 13–Oct. 13. Included with museum admission. $16.50, $15 for ages 60 and up, $11.50 for ages 3–12, free for children under 3.

5. Main library reopens

The Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library is reopening its main location with three days of fanfare. Highlights on Friday include storytime with FC Cincinnati mascots Who Dey, Rosie Red and Gary the Lion, live music, art-making with Pam Kravetz and Indigo Hippo, and a Crosstown Readout featuring athletes and mascots from Xavier University and the University of Cincinnati. On Saturday, compete in the world record attempt for most library card registrations, enjoy a Nintendo Super Smash tournament featuring UC football players, a pickleball tournament, touch-a-truck, live music and more, and on Sunday there’s a preview of Sir Paul McCartney’s “Liverpool Oratorio” with the Cincinnati Opera, panel discussions, art-making and a tribute to the Cincinnati Music Festival.

Details: Friday, 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.–8 p.m., Sunday, 1–5 p.m., Main Office, 800 Vine St., Downtown. Free.

6. Truth and Innovation Artist Showcase: Film/Visual Art

Experience visual art, film, dance, music and more from 22 regional artists. The showcase is the “annual culmination of ArtsWave’s Black and Brown Artist Program, designed to support local BIPOC artists who are interpreting the themes of our time.” Friday’s showcase highlights film and visual art and takes place at the Contemporary Arts Center. Saturday’s showcase features visual art in various media at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center. On Sunday, The Carnegie will host a series of live performances. The exhibition at CCAC runs through August 8.

Details: Friday, 5-9 p.m., Contemporary Arts Center, 44 E. Sixth St., Downtown; Saturday, 10 a.m., Clifton Cultural Arts Center, 3412 Clifton Ave., Clifton; and Sunday, 1-5 p.m., The Carnegie, 1028 Scott St., Covington. Free.

7. Circus of the 20th century

Set in the 1920s, this family-friendly traveling tent circus showcases old-school circus skills from second-generation circus artists and acclaimed Las Vegas acts. Shows run Friday through Sunday through July 28.

Details: 7:30-10 p.m. Fri-Sun, Renaissance Park, 10542 State Route 73, Harveysburg. $12-$35.

8. Art openings in Manifest Gallery

Manifest Gallery opens several new exhibitions on Friday. Where the Light Comes In: Drawings by Melanie Johnson opens in the main gallery. Kingdom features works by 14 artists focusing on the animal in contemporary art, and Master Pieces, the 18th annual exhibition of emerging masters, features 17 works by 13 artists. The exhibitions run through August 9.

Details: Friday, 6-9 p.m., Manifest Gallery, 2727 Woodburn Ave., Walnut Hills. Free.

9. Promote health

This new permanent exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center lets you take a ride on the cardiovascular superhighway and explore its functions with interactive stations. The exhibit is organized into nine zones: Heart, Blood, Lungs, Muscles, Bones, Brain/Nerves/Spine, Mental Health, Immune System, and Digestive System.

Details: Friday through Monday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Cincinnati Museum Center, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate.

10. Brady Block Party: Price Hill

Bring your own lawn chairs, blankets, and coolers and enjoy the music of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, featuring a special guest appearance by 13-year-old cellist Sonya Moomaw. The event will also include art activations, a free BBQ with a variety of food options, and a popcorn and cotton candy machine.

Details: 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dunham Recreation Center, 4356 Dunham Lane, Westwood. Free.

Honorable Mention: Shopping Galore

  • Newport East Row Yard Sale: Bargains abound this weekend in Newport’s historic East Row neighborhood. Go on a treasure hunt for furniture, housewares, children’s and adult clothing, toys, tools, antiques, books, original artwork and more.
  • Sellers and craft fair: There will be approximately 20 artisans in attendance, plus food and silent auctions. Held indoors and in air conditioning.
    • Details: Saturday 10am-3pm, Mason Masonic Lodge, 733 Western Row Road, Mason.
  • The OFF market: Browse small businesses, artisans, brewers, bakers, farmers and more.
    • Details: Saturday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Summit Park, 4335 Glendale Milford Road, Blue Ash. Free.
  • Market Blue:This quarterly evening market features some of the region’s most unique handmade products.
    • Details: Saturday, 6-10 p.m., Contemporary Arts Center, 44 E. Sixth St., Downtown. Free.
  • Reptile Show in Cin City:Reptile enthusiasts can come here for exotic pets and supplies.
    • Details: Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Holiday Inn, 5800 Muhlhauser Road, West Chester. $10, free for children 5 and under.
  • Second Sunday on Main: 20th anniversary: Shop vintage items from local makers, artisans and enjoy live performances by Naked Karate Girls.
    • Details: Sunday, noon-5 p.m., Main St., Over-the-Rhine. Free.