MASON -- The city of Mason will ring in its 200th birthday this weekend with a two-day lineup packed with festivities for the whole family. All events will be held at the Mason Municipal and Community Center campuses at 6000 Mason-Montgomery Road unless noted. Bonus: Nearly all of the events are free.
Here are the top five things to enjoy:
Friday night lights: The festivities kick off at 5 p.m. Friday with a tailgate party featuring food vendors and family-friendly activities in front of Mason High School at 6100 Mason-Montgomery Road. The Mason High School Comets take the field at 7 p.m. against Colerain High School at Mason's Atrium Field. Tickets are $7 at the gate.
Fireworks extravaganza: What's better than 200 birthday candles? Nightly laser light shows and fireworks displays, of course, beginning at 9:35 p.m. Friday and 9:45 p.m. Saturday.
Party like it's 1815: Who doesn't like a free concert? On Friday, check out live performances by the Jessie Brown Band (6 p.m.), the High South Band (6:45 p.m.) and The Orchestra (8 p.m.), starring former members of the symphonic rock band ELO. The live entertainment continues on Saturday, with the Mason Community Band (noon), School of Rock (1:30 p.m.), UPSHOT (6 p.m.), Flynnville Train (6:45 p.m.) and the classic rock band REO Speedwagon (8 p.m.).
Heritage Parade: A parade gets the party started at 10 a.m. Saturday. The parade route begins on Main Street in Mason's historic business district, winds east before turning south on Mason-Montgomery Road and ends at Corwin Nixon Park, just south of the Mason Municipal Center campus.
Festival fun: It's a birthday bash for the ages, complete with a bounce house, Ferris wheel and circus trapeze, among other rides and activities. The festival kicks off at 5 p.m. Friday and continues at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Prepare to be amazed by jugglers, magicians, fire performers and motorcyclists performing death-defying stunts at the show arena on Saturday. The shows are free to the public; however, an additional cost is required for rides. Single-day wristbands are $5 and two-day wristbands are $8.
Parking is available at seven nearby businesses and organizations, with free shuttle access available. For a list of parking sites and traffic detours, go to www.mason2015.org. For event information, call the bicentennial hotline at 513-229-8508 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.