I give up: There is simply too much going on this weekend for me to keep it to only nine recommendations.
With that in mind, consider this "Top 9" with an asterisk. (*Yes, I can count. But Top 27 just doesn't have the same ring to it.)
It’s Panegyri Time!
Every year, one of my good friends waxes poetic about the chocolate baklava at the Panegyri Greek Festival. And with good reason -- it’s delicious. That’s just one of the reasons to go to this year’s celebration of Greek culture, which also will feature folk dancers, music and plenty more Greek food to eat. Nom nom.
5-11 p.m. Friday; 3-11 p.m. Saturday; 1-8 p.m. Sunday. Holy Trinity-St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 7000 Winton Road. Admission $2 (children 12 and under free). www.holytrinity.oh.goarch.org
Internet Cat Video Festival
My cat is the longest, most successful relationship I’ve ever had. (And yes, I realize how that sounds.) That said, there’s no way I’m missing the Internet Cat Video Festival. Cincinnati Art Museum is hosting this glorious event on Friday and Saturday as part of the programming supporting CAM’s new exhibit, “Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt.”
9:15 p.m. Friday, Seasongood Pavilion, 950 Eden Park Drive; 11 a.m. Saturday, Cincinnati Art Museum’s Fath Auditorium. Free admission. www.cincinnatiartmuseum.org
Here’s a recommendation from WCPO.com beer writer Andy Foltz: The second annual OTR Beerfest is happening Friday and Saturday at Washington Park. It will include live music from acts such as DAAP Girls, Buzz Bin and the Turkeys; food trucks, and a special tent featuring strictly local beers. More than 200 craft beers will be available for purchase.
6-10 p.m. Friday; 2-10 p.m. Saturday. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St. Free admission. Drinking wristband: $5; drink tokens: 3 for $5. VIP ticket $30; VIP designated driver $15; www.otrbeerfest.com
Northside Music Festival
The ninth edition of the Northside Music Festival will bring 16 bands to three stages for two nights of free music. For the first time, the fest will host a hip-hop artist, Open Mike Eagle. Expect to see him and other acts such as the Dopamines, Frontier Folk Nebraska and Alone at 3am.
7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Northside Tavern, 4163 Hamilton Ave. For details, visit the event’s Facebook page.
Celebrate Cincinnati Pride
Following this month’s massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Cincinnati Police plan to boost security at Cincinnati Pride. In the wake of the attack, organizers expect a surge of support to result in the biggest celebration in the parade’s 43-year history. Pride Week includes a slew of events, but my favorite is the Cincinnati Pride Parade and Festival. The Downtown parade is one of the most fun, colorful celebrations of the summer -- snag a seat along the route with a good view. After the parade, the festival will bring food, drinks and two stages of music and more entertainment to Sawyer Point. For a full schedule of events, go to www.cincinnatipride.org.
- Cincinnati Pride Parade: 11 a.m. Saturday. Starts at Seventh Street and Central Avenue, Downtown. Free admission.
- Cincinnati Pride Festival: Noon-9 p.m. Saturday. Sawyer Point, 705 E. Pete Rose Way, Downtown. Free admission.
Hyde Park Blast
Saturday’s Hyde Park Blast is really a daylong series of events to benefit The Cure Starts Now. There’s a 4-mile run/walk (7:30 a.m.), Kids' Fun Runs (9 a.m.), cycling races (noon) and chariot races (7 p.m.) Thousands of people compete in the races, and even more come out to simply watch, cheer and join in the post-race Block Party. It will feature plenty of food and beer, plus live music from the Naked Karate Girls and Flip Cup All-Stars.
All day Saturday. Hyde Park Square, 2700 Erie Ave. To register for races, go to hydeparkblast.org.
Rhinegeist Anniversary Party
Rhinegeist Brewery has grown a lot since opening in 2013. That’s why it plans to celebrate all day long Saturday. Its Three Years of Thirst anniversary party, which will include specialty beer taps, music and themed party rooms at the brewery, will reflect the culture and quirkiness Rhinegeist has built over the past three years. There will be a new beer on tap every hour, live music, DJs and food -- and don’t forget to check out the rooftop.
Starts at noon Saturday. Rhinegeist Brewery, 1910 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. Free admission. For details, visit the event’s Facebook page.
For 15 years the Cheviot Westwood Community Association has transformed Harrison Avenue into a celebration of all things Westside for WestFest. The beer, local food and live music typically draw an estimated 30,000 Westsiders -- and a few Eastsiders, too.
1 p.m.-midnight Saturday; 1-10 p.m. Sunday. 3000 block of Harrison Ave., Cheviot. Free admission. ww.cheviotwestfest.com
Opera in the Park
Can there be a better way to spend a summer Saturday night than sitting outdoors listening to gorgeous songs with the historic Music Hall as a backdrop? Add in food trucks and craft beers, and you've got yourself an evening. Cincinnati Opera is celebrating its 96th season on Sunday with a free night of opera and musical selections in Washington Park by favorite performers from the opera company, the Cincinnati Opera Chorus and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.
7 p.m. Sunday. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St. Free admission. www.cincinnatiopera.org
Chenoweth and Co.
Yes, Kristin Chenoweth won a Tony Award; she won an Emmy, too. She has given solo performances at Carnegie Hall and the Metropolitan Opera House. And she has had four albums and six single releases make it into Billboard’s Top 100. By any measure, Chenoweth is the real deal, and she’s coming to Cincinnati on Saturday for a one-night gig with the Cincinnati Pops.
Kristin Chenoweth and the Cincinnati Pops: 8 p.m. Saturday. Riverbend Music Center. Tickets: $15-$85, $25 lawn. cincinnatisymphony.org
However, Chenoweth is not the only big music name coming to town. Across town at U.S. Bank Arena, R&B singer R. Kelly performs Thursday and pop star Justin Bieber (The Biebs!) performs Friday. Then on Sunday, Riverbend will pack ‘em in again, this time for country stars Rascal Flatts. And Spirit Song, the huge annual Christian music festival, will return to Kings Island this weekend featuring TobyMac, Casting Crowns and more performers.
Bonus I: Reds Hall of Fame Induction Weekend
This is the weekend the Reds will induct Hit King Pete Rose into the Reds Hall of Fame, with all of the pomp and circumstance that comes with that. There are still game tickets left; see the schedule of festivities here.
Bonus II: Now Open
There are three cool new spots you can check out this weekend:
- The Play Library is opening Friday at 1805 Elm St. in Over-the-Rhine. Members will be able to check out toys and games for a nominal fee, and visitors will be able to play with items for free on site.
- New gastropub Nine Giant is opening Saturday in Pleasant Ridge at 6095 Montgomery Road. It's looking to appeal to both beer fans and foodies.
- We Olive, a new wine bar and boutique grocer, will open Saturday at 33 E. Sixth St., Downtown.