Roeblingfest expands to include focus on food & music

Photo provided by Paul Collett

This weekend marks an annual celebration for one of Cincinnati’s most iconic landmarks, The John A Roebling Suspension Bridge. Roeblingfest, now in it’s seventh year, will take place this Saturday in the area just south of the bridge named Roebling Point. The festival which started as a midday celebration on a Sunday afternoon has now gown into a full day event on Saturday to be closed out by Rozzi Fireworks. As the festival has grown, so has the vision as it now features not only a focus on history, but also a focus on local food and local music among other things. It is a true mix brought forth by a collaborative effort of organizers from the Covington-Cincinnati Suspension Bridge Committee (the CCSBC) as well as the businesses in the Roebling Point Entertainment District.

This well known landmark is featured everywhere from the backdrop of local newscasts to the logo of your favorite site that talks about all things in the urban core. The bridge was just painted for the first time in almost thirty-five years and new lights have begun the process of restoring the bridge to its true glory. The CCSBC is dedicated to doing even more to modernize the lighting and maintaining the flags on the bridge, and while memberships are available via the web on an ongoing basis, this festival marks one way for the group to raise money annually.

As the roots of the festival focused on the history of the Roebling Bridge, a prototype for New York’s Brooklyn Bridge, there will be walking tours given of the bridge, the floodwall murals, and other historical Covington landmarks for $5 per tour. The tours are scheduled to go off on an hourly basis from 1p through 4p. It should be noted that there are no tours of the bridge that will allow folks to go to the top, but there will be a silent auction for such a trip which includes dinner for four at Keystone Bar & Grill.

In addition to a historical focus, this year’s event features quite a food selection. Of course all the local establishments that are part of the Roebling Point Entertainment District will be out including Keystone, Blinkers, Sidebar, The Down Under and Molly Malone’s. This year too features a few less traditional vendors including Covington’s Amerasia as well as both the Dojo Gelato cart and (making their inaugural outdoor appearance) Pho Lang Thang from Findlay Market. Add in a Roebling Porter from Rivertown Brewing and a special small batch Moerlein Roebling Fest Lager and there are plenty of special drinks to go around too.

Additionally, this year’s festival also features quite a line-up of music that is scheduled to run from 1pm to 1015pm. With the focus being on local & original music, this is one area that Roeblingfest 2011 has really differentiated itself from years gone by. With the stage located in the heart of the square at Court Street and Park Place, it will be a definite focal point throughout the day featuring bands from all across the region and it will have a true mix of genres too.

1pm to 1:45p – Perfect Sequel
2pm to 2:45pm – The Crick Gypsies
3:15pm to 4:15pm – Supermassive
4:45pm to 6pm – The Spookfloaters
6:30pm to 7:15pm – The Chocolate Horse
7:45pm to 8:45pm – The Dukes
9:15pm to 10:15pm – The Lions Rampant

Add in an art show as well as the finish line for the 2011 Covington Quest and the 2011 Roeblingfest has a little something for everyone. As parking could be challenging, the use of public transportation is most definitely recommended and the TANK Southbank Shuttle will be more than sufficient. Taking the shuttle will allow festival goers to park in downtown Cincinnati, Newport, or other parts of Covington and get to and from the festival for only $1 each way.

  • I’m dumber than a 5th grader I guess. They had a question about the first steel suspension bridge in the US designed by Roebling and completed in 1883 (?)
    I knew that was later than the Cinti/Cov bridge so I figured they meant the Brooklyn Bridge. So what are the cables here made of? copper? zinc?
    Wiki just talks about the manufacturer of the wire.

  • Take a tour this Saturday & I’m sure you’ll get your answer!

  • Jake Mecklenborg

    The first (lower) set of main cables is most definitely steel. The individual wires that came to comprise the cables were manufactured in Manchester, England in 1864-65. The second set of main cables were added in 1896 when the bridge was almost entirely rebuilt.