CINCINNATI — Bust out the sunscreen and antacids. It's Memorial Day weekend – the unofficial start of summer in the Queen City.
To kick off the season, thousands of people will eat their way through the 41st annual Taste of Cincinnati, dive into Coney Island's Sunlite Pool or attend one of these other holiday-weekend events.
FOOD AND DRINK
Margarita Madness: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Thursday. Purple People Bridge, 1 Levee Way, Newport. $40. I'm not quite sure how smart it is to start the holiday weekend with tequila-infused drinks. The seventh annual Margarita Madness will feature just that, along with food, music and a chance to vote for your favorite margarita. (Thank goodness most of us will have an extra day to recover.) margaritamadnesscincy.com
Cabana on the River: 8 p.m.-midnight Friday. Cabana on the River, 7445 Forbes Road, Sayler Park. I can't be the only person who gets the Barry Manilow song "Copacabana" stuck in my head whenever I think about Cabana on the River. The funky little bar on the Ohio River will kick off its live summer music series on Friday. cabanaontheriver.com
The Wiedemann Mile: 11:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Saturday. Wiedemann's Fine Beer, 4811 Vine St., St. Bernard. $30 adult registration; $10 for each four-person relay team member; free kids run. Oof. If the distance doesn't get you, the beer you chug while running probably will during the inaugural Wiedemann Mile. The event includes three events. There is an all-ages 1-mile run, a kids run open to children age 7 and under and, finally, a four-person team .36 Beer Relay. Participants (all age 21 and older) must chug a beer during their .36-mile leg before they can pass a baton to a teammate. runsignup.com
Taste of Cincinnati: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday. Fifth Street between Main and Sentinel streets, Downtown. This year, 53 local restaurants and food trucks will serve more than 300 items at the 41st Taste of Cincinnati. The festival also will feature live music, drinks and the inaugural Eat & Run 5K on Sunday. tasteofcincinnati.com
Furry Friends Festival: 6-10 p.m. Friday; noon-6 p.m. Saturday. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. Free. Looking for a dog-friendly event this Memorial Day weekend? Washington Park is the place to be. The Furry Friends Festival will feature bluegrass music, food, dog-friendly fun and plenty of craft beer on tap. For more information visit the Facebook event page.
Coney Island Opening Day: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday. Coney Island Amusement Park, 6201 Kellogg Ave., Cincinnati. $11.95-$21.95 daily general admission. Dive right into summer during opening day of the 2019 season at Coney Island. The park's rides will be rolling and the classic Sunlite Pool will open. Unfortunately, the scheduled debut of the park's latest attraction, Cannonball Cove was delayed last minute for finishing touches. coneyislandpark.com
Hello Kitty Cafe Truck: 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday. Kenwood Towne Centre, 7875 Montgomery Road, Sycamore Township. The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck will return to the Kenwood Towne Centre on Saturday. The cafe on wheels first visited the town center in April 2018. The cafe once again will sell Hello Kitty cookies, packet pies, macarons and plush toys. New items include a sprinkle T-shirt, four-piece mini-cake set and sequin bow headband. For more information visit the event Facebook page.
MUSIC, THE ARTS & MORE
Apocalyptica: 8 p.m. Thursday. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown. $25-$55. Bang your head to covers of classic Metallica Thursday-Saturday evening at the Taft Theatre. By "classic," l mean both the music of the uber-famous heavy metal band and how the four cellists of Apocalyptica perform covers. tafttheatre.org
Summer Music on the Levee: 7-10 p.m. Thursdays through Sept. 5. Newport on the Levee, 1 Levee Way, Newport. Free. Summer on the Levee is returning to Newport on Thursday with a free concert by Cincinnati cover band The Menus. Bands such as Naked Karate Girls (June 20), Zack Attack (July 18) and Doghouse (Aug. 29) will rock the river each Thursday through Sept. 5, when Moonbeau and This Pine Box close out the series of free shows. newportonthelevee.com
The Soul Pocket Band: 7-10 p.m. Friday. Fountain Square, 520 Vine St., Downtown. Free. Dance and enjoy the evening as R&B trio Soul Pocket performs a free concert on Fountain Square. For more information visit the event Facebook page.
Bands in the Burbs: 3-8 p.m. Sunday. Fretboard Brewing, 5800 Creek Road, Blue Ash. Bands in the Burbs has a lot to offer – good food, craft beer and live music, all for a good cause. Fretboard is hosting the event, part of a charitable series organized by The TEnderle Foundation. The nonprofit brings people together through music to support worthy causes. Blues musician Lisa Mann will perform and organizers will auction off a guitar signed by Bootsy Collins. Proceeds will benefit the Michael W. Bany Music Scholarship Fund. www.bandsintheburbs.org
Memorial Day Events
In the midst of festivities take a moment to reflect and remember the true reason for the holiday with these community events:
Newport Memorial Day Parade: 9-11 a.m. Monday. For more information visit the event Facebook page.
Silverton/Deer Park Memorial Day Parade: 9:45 a.m.-12:45 p.m. Monday. For more information visit the event Facebook page.
Park Hills Memorial Day Parade: 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Monday. For more information visit the event Facebook page.
Florence Memorial Day Parade: 10 a.m.-noon Monday. For more information visit the event Facebook page.
West Chester Township Memorial Day Parade: 10-11:30 a.m. Monday. For more information visit the event Facebook page.
Fairfield Memorial Day Parade & Ceremony: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday. For more information visit the event Facebook page.
Green Township Memorial Day Ceremony: 2-2:30 p.m. Monday. Veterans Park, 6303 Harrison Ave., Green Township. For more information visit the event Facebook page.
Village of Fairfax Memorial Day Ceremony: 11 a.m.-noon Monday. For more information visit the event Facebook page.
Blue Ash Memorial Day Parade and Ceremony: 10:15-11:15 a.m. Monday. For more information visit the event Facebook page.
Blue Ash Memorial Day Concert: 7-8:30 p.m. Monday. Blue Ash Towne Square. For more information visit the event Facebook page.
Fourth Annual Field of Honor: 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Thursday-Monday. Arlington Memorial Gardens, 2145 Compton Road, Springfield Township. Free. healingfield.org