‘Pride on Main’ Will Set the Stage for this Month’s Second Sunday on Main Festival

Second Sunday on Main (SSOM) returns to the streets of Over-the-Rhine this Sunday, from 12pm to 5pm, after drawing a record attendance and number of vendors for its first festival of the season last month.

As is the case with all SSOM events, this one will once again feature dozens of local arts and crafts vendors, local food and beer, live music, food trucks, street performers and more.

The event is free and open to the public, so even if you don’t have a bunch of cash to drop, you can swing through for a leisurely stroll and people watch in what is Cincinnati’s oldest and most prominent Open Streets events.

Each month event organizers change up the theme for SSOM; and this month’s event is called Pride on Main. To complement the theme there will be the Missed OTR Drag Queen Contest and the famous Drag and Tryke Races, both of which will have their proceeds go to benefit Pride 2015.

This is the ninth year the OTR Chamber of Commerce has put on Second Sunday on Main. For those who haven’t attended in the past, the event stretches from Thirteenth Street to Liberty Street along, you guessed it, Main Street. There are also small segments of side streets that are closed off and include some additional activities.

There will also be a cooking demo by Chef Jose Salazar and speciality cocktail demo by bartenders Andrew Rettig and Steven Clement at 2pm inside Mr. Pitiful’s. Throughout the day, Art on the Streets will also be working on a crosswalk painting project at Main and Liberty Streets.

A full schedule and list of music performers and other details can be found on SSOM’s website.

EDITORIAL NOTE: UrbanCincy is an official media partner of Second Sunday on Main; and is proud to support the city’s oldest open streets festival.

PHOTOS: Northside Rock N’ Roll Carnival Complimented Independence Day Celebrations

The Northside Fourth of July Parade has been was of the region’s most popular for decades, but this year neighborhood leaders decided to build upon that success with the Northside Rock N’ Roll Carnival.

The three-day event took place at Hoffner Park and began on Thursday and concluded on Saturday night. It included stand-up comedy, live music, various carnival activities and even a BMX and skateboard competition.

Like the parade, the Northside Rock N’ Roll Carnival was put on by the Northside Business Association and sponsored by a number of local businesses including Spun Bicycles, CityBeat, Comet, CoSign, Gaslight Property, Happen, Inc., Milhaus Development, Mt. Carmel Brewing Company, Northside Tavern, N.Y.P.D. Pizza, and Shake It Records.

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While this was the first official year for the carnival festivities, organizers say the three-day event is an extension of the festival that has been put on since the 1980s.

“The Rock ‘N Roll Carnival was initially dreamt up by Chris Schadler in 2005 then carved out, cleaned up and driven home by Leslie Scott & Chris in 2006,” organizers say on the festival’s website.

“The event has endured weather, economy and exhaustion and continues through the work and support of the Northside Business Association and numerous Northside residents and businesses for the sake of showcasing Cincinnati’s most independent neighborhood.”

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EDITORIAL NOTE: All 57 photographs in these galleries were taken by Jake Mecklenborg for UrbanCincy between Thursday, July 3 and Saturday, July 5, 2014.

First Second Sunday on Main Event Draws Large Crowd, Record Number of Vendors

Second Sunday on Main (SSOM) is arguably Cincinnati’s oldest open streets event. Organizers kicked off its ninth season earlier this month and welcomed scores of visitors out into the middle of Main Street through the heart of Over-the-Rhine.

The free event is organized by the Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce and is held once per month from June through October. The first event of the 2014 season included food trucks and street food, live music and art performances, a dog competition, celebrity chef series, local arts and crafts vendors, beer and great weather.

June’s SSOM event included a record number of participating vendors, with organizers citing more than 100 took part in the event. The attendance was also estimated to be higher than average with approximately 2,000 visitors.

As with past years, each of this year’s events will include a distinct theme. For June organizers appropriately played on the idea of it being a neighborhood block party. In July, however, Second Sunday on Main will take on a more colorful feel as it will celebrate Pride on Main Street.

The following 23 photos were taken by Brooke Shanesy from Nostalgia for the Present.

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EDITORIAL NOTE: UrbanCincy is an official media partner of Second Sunday on Main; and is proud to support the city’s oldest open streets festival.

Inaugural We Are Walnut Hills Festival to Take Place This Saturday at Firehouse Row

Those engaged in what is happening in the city are undoubtedly familiar with the positive energy that abounds at the numerous Walnut Hills community events. Community Council meetings are packed with a diverse, engaged group of residents on a regular basis.

This is exactly what the upcoming We Are Walnut Hills Festival on May 17 will celebrate. Event organizers say it will be an opportunity to harness the energy of anyone who lives, works or worships in Walnut Hills for a celebration of community.

Recent events there have drawn attendees from the entire city, including, most notably, the Walnut Hills Street Food Festival, which is now planning for its third year. Last year it was estimated to have attracted more than 5,000 people.

Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation (WHRF) community engagement specialist, DJ Greene, says that the We Are Walnut Hills Festival will seek to look inward toward the neighborhood’s roughly 6,500 Walnut Hills residents.

“The festival is really an opportunity for neighborhood people to learn about each other and engage each other,” Greene explained.

The event will take place this Saturday at Firehouse Row, the open green space in the 700 block of McMillan Street, and Five Points Alley, where there will be special activities for kids, art, games and a grill out. And Greene says that local businesses and organizations will be allowed to set up booths for free.

The festival’s location will help show off Five Points Alley’s remarkable transformation. Through the efforts of volunteers, the junction of urban alleyways was turned from a derelict, litter-strewn area into a community gathering space and home to the popular Five Points Pop-Up Biergarten. Building on last year’s inaugural success, beer garden socials will become weekend-long events on the third weekend of every month.

The We Are Walnut Hills Festival will take place from 12pm to 4pm on Saturday, May 17. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Sarah Dotter at SarahDotter@walnuthillsrf.org. And, of course, you can track all things happening in the neighborhood on social media at #WeAreWalnutHills.

Christkindlmarkt Returns for Three Full Weekends This Holiday Season

Organizers are bringing the Cincideutsch Christkindlmarkt back for its second holiday season this year, starting Thanksgiving weekend and operating each weekend until December 15.

Last year’s Christkindlmarkt took place every weekend on Fountain Square. This year the festive seasonal marketplace will spend its first weekend on Fountain Square and then move for its final two weekends to Essen Strasse on the south side of Findlay Market in historic Over-the-Rhine.

“It was decided to move the Christkindlmarkt to Findlay Market for the following two weekends because it is the most iconic market place in the city, and is representative of Cincinnati’s German culture,” explained Lisa Bambach, marketing and creative director for Cincideutsch. “It is a link not only to Cincinnati’s German past, but also to the vibrant German-American culture which continues to permeate the city today.”

Cincinnati Christkindlmarkt
Visitors at Cincinnati’s inaugural Christkindlmarkt on Fountain Square in 2012. Photograph by Paige Malott.

Christkindlmarkt have been a holiday tradition in town centers throughout Germany and Austria for hundreds of years.

“It is a place for people to get together with family and friends to enjoy the seasonal weather and celebrate the holidays,” explained Olaf Scheil, a native of Lübeck, Germany and president and co-founder of Cincideutsch. “We are thrilled to be able to bring this tradition to the people of Cincinnati for the second year in a row.”

After more than 15,000 people visited last year, Scheil expects a similar number of visitors to come and enjoy the Christkindlmarkt this season. To help keep things interesting and active, organizers have coordinated live music, glass blowing, holiday sweets and baked goods, drink, decorations and crafts for sale within half-timbered houses.

In addition to the European baked goods, a hot spiced wine called Glühwein is also considered to be a holiday favorite amongst visitors. And in Cincinnati and German fashion, there will also be plenty of beer to go around.

“Glühwein is something I look forward to making each year since I first tried it in Switzerland,” Bambach confessed. “The aroma of the spices reminds me of Christmas just like the smell of pumpkin makes me think of Thanksgiving. It is a consistent feature at Christkindlmarkt in Europe, no matter which city you visit.”

Cincinnati’s Christkindlmarkt is sponsored by Christian Moerlein Brewing Company and will kick off in coordination with Macy’s Light Up The Square and DCI’s Downtown Dazzle on November 29 through December 1. The seasonal market will then move to Findlay Market December 6-8 and December 13-15. Both locations will have heaters to help keep visitors warm on cold days.

“We received both positive and negative feedback from 2012, and we have worked diligently to improve visitors’ experiences based on those comments,” Bambach noted. “The market is completely organized and run by volunteers, and in our second year we wanted to expand while also ensuring the growth was manageable.”

The Christkindlmarkt will be open from 11am to 9pm on Friday and Saturday, and 11am to 5pm on Sunday at Fountain Square. The market will then be open in coordination with normal Findlay Market hours when it moves there for its final two weekends.