Top 9 things to do in Cincinnati this Fourth of July weekend: June 29-July 4

Posted at 5:36 PM, Jun 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-04 11:20:37-04

Here are a mix of patriotic -- and just plain fun -- ways to enjoy the long Fourth of July weekend.

LaRosa’s Balloon Glow

Brilliantly colorful hot-air balloons will light up the sky during the 17th annual LaRosa’s Balloon Glow at Coney Island. There also will be live music and fireworks, and Coney’s rides will stay open until 11 p.m. You can swim longer, too: Sunlite Pool will stay open until 9:30 p.m.

8-10 p.m. Sunday. Coney Island, 6201 Kellogg Ave. Balloon Glow is free; usual rates apply for rides and Sunlite Pool.

‘Dressing Downton’

Heads-up “Downton Abbey” fans: An exhibit of period costumes from the popular PBS Masterpiece show is opening Saturday at the Taft Museum of Art. “Dressing Downton: Changing Fashion for Changing Times” will showcase nearly 40 costumes designed for the show’s aristocratic Crawley family and its servants, showing the evolution of fashion from 1912 to 1923. Costumes featured in “Dressing Downton” include country tweeds and riding outfits, servants’ uniforms, evening gowns and jewelry.

Opens at 10 a.m. Saturday. Taft Museum of Art, 316 Pike St., Downtown. Members, free. Non-members: adults, $20; children ages 6-12, $15; children 5 and under, free. 

Northside Rock N' Roll Carnival

Northside cranks up the music for its free four-day Rock N' Roll Carnival. Starting Friday, more than 40 bands, including the Yugos, Leggy, Pop Empire, Tweens and more, will perform in Hoffner Park. There will be other kinds of performers, too -- watch out for jugglers, sword swallowers and fire breathers -- and plenty of food and beer. Make sure to catch Northside’s Fourth of July Parade, starting at noon on Monday.

Starts at 6 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, and noon Monday. Hoffner Park, 4104 Hamilton Ave., Northside. Free admission.

Related: 6 ways to celebrate the Fourth

Cincinnati Summer Jam

I lived in Atlanta for four years and kept T.I. and Jeezy on repeat the whole time. So I can’t wait for the Cincinnati Summer Jam at BB&T Arena on Sunday. It’ll include performances from the rap stars above, as well as DJ Drama, 2 Chainz, Migos, Lil Durk and Dae Dae. (And if you know the history behind the name Summer Jam, trust that it’ll be a hot show.)

7 p.m. Sunday. BB&T Arena, 500 Nunn Drive, Highland Heights. $40-$120.

Red, White and Blue Ash

Red, White and Blue Ash is one of the biggest celebrations in the Tri-State, averaging more than 100,000 people each year. Expect to see the largest crowd when Styx takes the stage at 8:15 p.m. Monday. But that’s not the only entertainment: Hotel California performs first, and fireworks cap off the night.

4-10:35 p.m. Monday. Summit Park, 4335 Glendale-Milford Road. Free admission.

Paradise on the Point

Free family fun lands at Sawyer Point this Friday and Saturday with the first Paradise on the Point music and arts festival. The festival, organized by Essential Productions, will highlight area bands, craft beers, local food, vendors and art. There also will be a kids zone and an obstacle course, as well as after-parties at the Madison Theatre and Madison Live! in Covington.

4-11 p.m. Friday; 1-11 p.m. Saturday. Sawyer Point, 705 E. Pete Rose Way. Free.

4th of July Jam  

Music will fill Washington Park during Saturday’s 4th of July Jam. The China Catz, Majestic Man, Strange Mechanics, Love Alive and Subterranean will perform throughout the day. There also will be food trucks, craft beer from MadTree, Rhinegeist, Taft’s Ale House and Christian Moerlein Brewing, carnival games and Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks.

3-10 p.m. Saturday. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. Free admission.

Patriotic Pops

The Cincinnati Pops and conductor John Morris Russell will celebrate the holiday by partnering with the USO for its 75th anniversary celebration on Saturday. Expect to hear a variety of patriotic classics, and stick around for fireworks after the show. Bonus: Ticket-holders get free admission to Coney Island’s rides all day.

8 p.m. Saturday. Corbett Pavilion, Riverbend Music Center, 6295 Kellogg Ave. Tickets start at $15 ($5 for active military; kids 17 and under free on the lawn). 513-381-3300;

Art On Vine 

Art on Vine, a monthly showcase of more than 60 local artists, is taking over Fountain Square every first Sunday through October. Shop till your heart’s content, snack on A Tavola pizza and take advantage of the full bar, too.  

Noon-6 p.m. Sunday. Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine streets, Downtown. Free admission.

Bonus: See Cincinnati on the Big Screen

“Marauders,” the bank heist film set and filmed in Cincinnati, opens at the Esquire Theatre in Clifton this Friday. The action movie, which stars Bruce Willis, David Bautista, Adrian Grenier, Chris Meloni, Johnathon Schaech and Northern Kentucky native Alyshia Ochse, was shot here last year. Director Steven C. Miller loved our city so much he rewrote the script to have the movie take place in Cincinnati instead of the outskirts of Chicago. Expect to see Queen City landmarks like Dixie Terminal and the brewery tunnels in Over-the-Rhine.

12:30 p.m. Friday first showing. Esquire Theatre, 320 Ludlow Ave., Clifton. $6.50 matinee.