Arts & Entertainment News

VIDEO: Springtime in Cincinnati Along the Banks of the Ohio River

April is winding down, and our good friend Brian Spitzig put together a time lapse video for us all to enjoy.

The nearly two-minute video showcases a number of unique perspectives, including breathtaking views of the Ohio River and its boat traffic. The video concludes at the banks of the river in Covington; looking back north toward a dazzling fireworks display at the conclusion of a Reds baseball game. Enjoy!

News Opinion

Is Cincinnati in the midst of a contemporary golden age?

Cincinnati is a city that lacks significant amounts of either in- or out-migration. This results in a relatively stable population base, and relatively predictable social trends. What it also means is that people often linger on the “good” or “bad” times they remember most.

The Cincinnati of today is one notably different from the Cincinnati of the past 20 years, however, many Baby Boomers reminisce about the golden years of downtown – that is the time when new office towers were being constructed and both the Reds and Bengals were winning.

Between 1970 and 1990, downtown saw the construction of 29 new buildings with at least ten floors. During the same time, the Reds won three World Series championships and the Bengals went to two Super Bowls. One could argue that these were the most recent boom times in Cincinnati history and, as a result, those that experienced the time period first-hand have written a narrative that it was a high point followed by precipitous decline.

2012 Reds Opening Day outside of Great American Ball Park. Photograph courtesy of The Banks.

This narrative was mostly true until the past half-decade. Cincinnati’s 21st century got off to a tumultuous start, but has otherwise been defined by success throughout the urban core. New hotels, office towers, residential midrises, nightlife, and shops have sprung up all throughout the Central Business District, and Over-the-Rhine is in the midst of one of the most dramatic urban transformations in American history.

At the same time, non-urban enthusiasts have been reinvigorated by the success of the Reds and Bengals on the field which has been now joined by the emergence of the University of Cincinnati as a major division one athletics program.

The combination of these two seemingly non-connected movements was perhaps most evident on Reds Opening Day this past Thursday. It was estimated that the largest crowd in history – 100,000 – gathered for the93-year-old Findlay Market Opening Day Parade. Many of those baseball revelers then conveyed at The Banks for what turned into a massive block party outside Great American Ball Park where a record crowd gathered to watch the Reds beat the Marlins on day one of the 2012 season.

Several new office towers, residential midrises and hotels are scheduled to be built in the coming years. This is in addition to the ongoing work on the Cincinnati Streetcar, Horseshoe Casino, Smale Riverfront Park, 21c Museum Hotel, and continued transformations in historic Over-the-Rhine.

All of this bodes well for continued success throughout the rest of the decade. And while it may still be early, Cincinnati’s Gen Xers and Millennials may eventually look back on the time between 2005 and 2025 as the golden years for their generation in the Queen City. The Baby Boomers established Cincinnati’s center city as an economic powerhouse regionally, and it appears that their children are positioning Cincinnati to be a diverse, resilient city for generations to come.

The city’s back. Back the city.

Arts & Entertainment News

Cincinnati Reds to rally on Fountain Square Monday afternoon

The 2010 National League Central Division champion Cincinnati Reds will take to Fountain Square tomorrow afternoon to celebrate the club’s 91-71, and its first playoff appearance since 1995.

The Reds Rally on the Square will take place from 2pm to 6pm and include the entire team and coaching staff, legendary broadcaster Marty Brennaman, President and CEO Bob Castellini, General Manager Walt Jocketty, Hall of Famer Joe Morgan, and more.

Reds officials say that the team will appear on Fountain Square around 3:30pm before they depart for Philadelphia for the National League Division Series. Many of the players and team leaders will give brief speeches to the crowd.  Event organizers also say that food and drink will be available, and that live music will be provided by Funky G and the Groove Machine. Gapper, Mr. Redlegs, Rosie Red, and the Reds Rally Pack will also be on-hand to entertain the crowd.

“This is a unique opportunity for Reds fans to send off their team as we take the first step in the 2010 Postseason,” Bob Castellini said following the Reds final victory of the season Sunday afternoon. “It’s sure to be an exciting experience for our fans, and we want to show our players, coaches and staff that all of Reds Country is behind them as they begin their playoff run.”

Reds fans first gathered on Fountain Square immediately following the teams division-clinching performance against the Houston Astros on Tuesday, September 28. Following that game hundreds of fans gathered on Cincinnati’s central gathering space to celebrate the big win and meet several players who celebrated at Mynt Martini later that night.

The Reds (91-71) will face the Philadelphia Phillies (97-65) in the first-round of the playoffs. Philadelphia will hold home field advantage, and host the Reds on Wednesday, October 6 at 5:07pm and Friday, October 8 at 6:07pm.  The Reds are scheduled to host the Phillies on Sunday, October 10 in game three of the NLDS.

Arts & Entertainment News

Cincinnati Reds win NL Central championship, clinch 13th playoff birth

Baseball’s oldest professional franchise will return to the playoffs for the first time since 1995, and the for the 13th time overall.  The Cincinnati Reds won the National League Central Division championship on Tuesday, September 28 on a walk-off home run from Jay Bruce.

The playoff clinching, walk-off home run by Bruce was only the fifth of its kind in the history of Major League Baseball, and it thrilled an electric crowd of more than 30,000 at Great American Ball Park.

As of now the Reds would face the Philadelphia Phillies in the first-round of the playoffs. Should the Atlanta Braves lose the National League Wild Card birth, then the Reds would face either the San Francisco Giants or San Diego Padres. Playoff tickets are on sale now and can be purchased online.

Arts & Entertainment Business News

Guide to a Successful Reds Opening Day

As the city with the first all professional baseball team, we Cincinnatians take our baseball very seriously. We cherish Opening Day, and treat it like a holiday. Heck, some of us even skip work to go to the game or participate in all the festivities.

With all that will be happening downtown on Monday, we know that it can be hard to track down all the details. Fear not. Below you will find a step-by-step guide that will help you make the most of Cincinnati’s other spring holiday.

Fountain Day at Fountain Square:
Each year to celebrate the return of spring and the start of the baseball season, Fountain Square hosts a ceremony in which the water in the fountain will be turned back on. This year’s Fountain Day will be this Saturday from 6pm to 9pm. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. The event is free and open to the public.

Rock cover band 4th Day Echo and Local 12’s “Good Morning Cincinnati” anchor Bob Herzog will provide entertainment throughout the evening. The water will ceremoniously begin flowing from the Genius of Water on the Tyler Davidson Fountain around 7:45pm after an official announcement by Cincinnati Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls. Fireworks sponsored by Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble are planned to follow.

Findlay Market Opening Day Parade:
An unparalleled Cincinnati tradition, the 91st annual Findlay Market Opening Day Parade will be held Monday, April 5th. The parade begins at the Race Street entrance of historic Findlay Market at 10:30am and will proceed south on Race before turning east on 5th Street past Fountain Square. It will end at the corner of 5th & Sycamore streets, just steps from Great American Ball Park. You can plan your location along the parade route now, but be sure to get there early for the best spots.

This year’s Grand Marshal will be none other than legendary Reds Hall of Fame catcher Johnny Bench. Mr. Bench will be joined by the retired FOX Sports Ohio play-by-play announcer George Grande, Miss Ohio Amanda Tempel, Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo, and a host of other legendary Cincinnatians, including Mr. Cincinnati himself, Jim Tarbell.

Fountain Square:
All day beginning at 9am, Fountain Square will serve as the hub of all activity. The traditional Findlay Market Opening Day Parade passes by the Square in the late morning, and there will be giveaways and activities throughout the day from Local 12, Q102, PNC Bank, H Meyer Dairy, Servatii Pastry Shop, Skyline Chili, Eichler Golf Cars, Crock of Love, and Cincinnati Tan.

Fountain Square’s video screen will broadcast the game live beginning with the first pitch at 1:10pm. Young professionals from Give Back Cincinnati will be hosting a party on Fountain Square that will last into the evening. Live music from Charlie Hustle, The Symphonics, and Jason Ludwig & Hannah Ray will be joined by food from Mythos Grecian Grill and Senor Roy’s Taco Patrol. Christian Moerlein beer will also be available for consumption.

Reds fans enjoy an expanded Fountain Square on 5th Street during last year’s Civil Rights Game [LEFT]. People relax on Rock Bottom Brewery’s comfortable outdoor patio on Fountain Square [RIGHT].

Pre-Game at the Ballpark:
Gates to Great American Ball Park will open at 11:10am, and early fans will be treated to live music from The Goshorn Brothers and Pete Wagner Dixieland Band who are scheduled to perform pregame concerts in the ballpark.

Honor Guard units from the Navy, Air Force, Marines, Army and Coast Guard will comprise a Parade of Colors on the field. Four F-16’s from the 178th Fighter Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard based in Springfield, Ohio will perform a pregame flyover. Haiti Relief volunteers from the American Red Cross and Matthew 25: Ministries will hold a giant American flag in the outfield during the singing of our National Anthem.

Recording artist, former Bengals tight end and 2006 Super Bowl Champion Ben Utecht will sing the National Anthem before the game. Saxophonist Elan Trotman will perform God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch.

Miss Ohio USA 2010 Amanda Tempel, St. Bernard native and Roger Bacon High School alum, will deliver the official game ball to the mound to be used by Opening Day starting pitcher Aaron Harang who will deliver the first pitch of the 2010 Reds baseball season at 1:10pm. Just before that, the ceremonial First Pitch will be thrown by former Reds broadcaster, George Grande who was the television play-by-play voice of the Reds for the past 17 years, and is scheduled to return to the booth in September for a few games.

One of the few things that Cincinnatians have historically taken as serious as baseball is beer which Cincinnatians consumed to the tune of 40 gallons per person every year in the early 1900s. Much of our city’s architecture was built to facilitate brewing and many of those beautiful structures remain as a reminder to this day. It is only fitting that the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade begins in Cincinnati’s historic Brewery District.

Seldom will you find a gathering that does not include the enjoyment of this great fermented malt nectar, if in fact the event was not planned only to provide the excuse to savor a craft beer in the first place. When Baseball and Beer combine forces on Opening Day, there is no truer representation of Cincinnati’s passions. In fact, in 1880 the Cincinnati Reds were kicked out of the National League in part because they refused to stop selling beer during baseball games. Sprinkle in some beautiful weather and it truly nears perfection.

Before the game starts there will be a variety of pregame places to check out for the special events. Arnold’s Bar & Grill (210 E. 8th St) is Cincinnati’s oldest tavern and is an Opening Day staple that will feature a litany of events. The all day long Jake Speed’s Opening Day Extravaganza is presented by WNKU and Hudy will include special menus, live music, giveaways, and more. JeanRo Bistro (413 Vine St) will open at 9am with brunch and $3 drafts of craft beer from a great rotating tap selection. In the Backstage Entertainment District, Nicholsons (625 Walnut) will open at 10am and offer ballpark food (dogs & burgers etc) and 25 total taps including two special releases in Cask (hand drawn, British Pub Style). A limited amount of the hard to get 21st Amendment “Monk’s Blood” Dark Belgian-style Ale may still be available. Rock Bottom Brewery (Fountain Square) will have brewmaster Mitchell Dougherty tap his “Catcher In The Rye” Ale in honor of the new baseball season. They will open at 9am for breakfast, and will be serving locally brewed beers all day inside and on their patio space directly on Fountain Square.

At the ballpark itself, the powers that be have made a concerted effort to make craft beer offerings more available to all areas of the stadium, including well placed taps of Bells Brewery’s Oberon American Wheat, which is widely known as “Baseball Beer.” Bells will also have their Oberon on tap in sections 110, 140, 430 and 419. Christian Moerlein’s OTR Pale Ale will be available in Sections 135, 110, 140 and 430, while Moerlein’s Lagerhouse Helles will be available in sections 126 and 104. Great Lakes Burning River Pale Ale will be available in Club Red and section 135.

In addition to these great draft selections, there are other notable beers available in cans and bottles at the The Pub, Machine Room, Scouts Alley and the Champion’s Club, including beers from local brewery Mt. Carmel, as well as Great Lakes and a brewery that is brand new to the state of Ohio, 21st Amendment. This Bay Area, CA microbrewery will be offering both “Brew Free or Die” IPA and “Hell or High WaterMelon” Wheat in its signature cans.

For your post game fun it will depend on the direction you are heading, but Hoperatives has a great list of options to continue your appreciation of craft beer throughout the Greater Cincinnati area. Wherever the rest of your day may take you, please be safe and responsible and make it a point to use public transportation, hail a cab, plan for a designated driver or even grab a hotel room downtown. Enjoy yourself on this true Cincinnati celebration. Cheers!

David Ben, Dave Rolfes, Bryon Martin & Randy Simes all contributed to this story.