Good times in the 513

On Saturday, June 20 thousands of people converged onto Over-the-Rhine to participate in the GoOTR 5k and enjoy the festivities at the first annual OTR Summer Gateway Celebration afterwards.

I can honestly say that the 5k was exhausting in that heat. I averaged an 11 minute mile which is not much better than a brisk walk, but I raised money for the Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce and got to hang out with lots of fun people in OTR all day.

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The Summer Celebration was a great addition this year as in past years people seemed to hang around looking for something to do after the 5k. In addition to the awards ceremony from Rookwood Pottery and drinks from Christian Moerlein, this year had tons of local vendors selling food, crafts and other items.

On the other side of Vine Street some neighborhood children set up a lemonade stand to take advantage of the perfect business opportunity. There was even a stage for music and dance performances that kept the crowd entertained at 12th & Vine all day long.

A couple of drinks, a mett and a wood-fired pizza later I was ready to head south towards Fountain Square to check out the Civil Rights Game Youth Summit festivities that were ongoing.

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There were lots of out-of-towners and lots of people enjoying the interactive areas for the kids (pitching area, batting cage, etc). Earlier some Reds players spoke to the youth baseball players and fans at Fountain Square.

The day was truly special and will hopefully be just as good, if not better next year with the second annual OTR Summer Gateway Celebration and the second consecutive year of the Civil Rights Game being held in Cincinnati.

By Randy A. Simes

Randy is an award-winning urban planner who founded UrbanCincy in May 2007. He grew up on Cincinnati’s west side in Covedale, and graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s nationally acclaimed School of Planning in June 2009. In addition to maintaining ownership and serving as the managing editor for UrbanCincy, Randy has worked professionally as a planning consultant throughout the United States, Korea and the Middle East. After brief stints in Atlanta and Chicago, he currently lives in the Daechi neighborhood of Seoul’s Gangnam district.