CINCINNATI — The heavy hitters of summer fun will come out swinging this weekend in Greater Cincinnati.
Fifty West Punch Out Round Four will take place in Columbia Township, bourbon and bacon will take over Riverboat Row in Newport, classic airplanes will be on display at Lunken Airport and a free concert will rock Braxton Brewing Co. in Covington.
Cocktails for Conservation: 6:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale. $30-$80 non-zoo members. Things are about to get wild(er) at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden. The zoo will host its annual Cocktails for Conservation on Thursday. The event will feature food, along with margaritas, mules and cocktails crafted by local mixologist Molly Wellmann. Zoo members can receive discounted tickets. VIP tickets include free food samples and a 5:30 p.m. admission to the event. cincinnatizoo.org
Bacon, Bourbon and Brew Festival: 5-11 p.m. Thursday and Friday; noon-11 p.m. Saturday; noon-9 p.m. Sunday. Festival Park, Riverboat Row, Newport. Free. Which pairs better with bacon — bourbon or beer? The answer may require careful study and tasting. Luckily, the annual Bacon, Bourbon and Brew Festival, sponsored by Braxton Brewing Co., will offer ample opportunity to help you decide. This event will feature a bourbon bar, brew house and plenty of pork made with one or both drinks for sale. There also will be live music and a little something new this year: the Bluegrass Craft Market, featuring the wares of local craft vendors. www.cincinnatifestivalsandevents.com
Fifty West Punch Out Round Four: 6-11:30 p.m. Saturday. Fifty West Production Works, 7605 Wooster Pike, Columbia Township. $20 advance or $25 day-of general admission; $40 advance or $50 day-of ringside reserved seating. Fifty West Brewing Co. will present "Punch Out: Round Four” on Saturday at its Production Works. This annual event pits employees and owners of area breweries against one another in the boxing ring. This year’s Punch Out once again will feature live music, local food vendors and more than 80 local craft beers available on draft from breweries around Greater Cincinnati. fiftywestbrew.com
Cincinnati Beer 5K: 5-8 p.m. Saturday. Sawyer Point, 705 E. Pete Rose Way, Downtown. $20-$50. Run, walk, but don’t crawl your way through this 3.2-mile beer tasting Saturday afternoon. The Beer 5K and Quarter-Mile Walk combines sampling local and regional craft brews while taking in the great outdoors. There are race options for non-drinkers and non-runners as well. The race will start and finish in Sawyer Point Park. www.beer5k.com
Cincinnati Kosher BBQ Cook-Off & Festival: 2-7 p.m. Sunday. Adath Israel Congregation, 3201 E. Galbraith Road, Amberley Village. Come one, come all for food, friendly competition and family fun this Sunday during the third annual Cincinnati Kosher BBQ Cook-Off & Festival. Not only will this year’s fest feature kosher takes on smoked meats, it also will bring together people from different faiths and communities through friendly cooking competition between local chefs and those from Israel. www.cincinnatikosherbbq.com
AirPower History: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursday-Sunday. Cincinnati Municipal Lunken Airport, 262 Wilmer Ave., East End. Airplane ramp access: $10 adults; $5 children ages 10-17; free for children ages 9 and under. Check out some of the coolest airplanes to ever grace the wild blue yonder at Lunken Airport this weekend. The AirPower History touring air show will feature a World War II-era B-29 Superfortress, P-51 Mustang Gunfighter and T-6 Texan. For a small admission price, people will be able to walk up a ramp to get a close-up look inside these legendary airplanes. For a little more money, folks also can take to the sky inside these planes. www.airpowersquadron.org
IHM Summerfest: 6 p.m.-midnight Friday; 5 p.m.-midnight Saturday; 4-10 p.m. Sunday. Immaculate Heart of Mary, 5876 Veterans Way, Burlington. Free admission. This is one of the bigger Catholic parish and school summer festivals in Northern Kentucky. IHM Summerfest will feature a grand raffle worth an estimated $30,000, plenty of carnival rides, food, drinks and live music. www.ihmfestival.com
St. Pius X Summer Festival: 6 p.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday; 4-10 p.m. Sunday. St. Pius X Church, 348 Dudley Road, Edgewood. Free admission. If one Catholic parish festival in Northern Kentucky isn’t enough, here is another one taking place this weekend. The St. Pius X Summer Festival in Edgewood will feature a $25,000 grand raffle prize, live music, games, food and drinks, too. www.nkybestfestival.com
Festival in Sycamore 2019: 6 p.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday. Bechtold Park, 8710 Plainfield Road, Sycamore Township. Free admission. Sycamore Township is going to rock and roll this weekend during the 27th annual Festival in Sycamore. Legendary rockers The Fabulous Thunderbirds will perform at Bechtold Park on Friday, followed by Jefferson Starship on Saturday. There also will be plenty of food, rides and fun to be had at the festival. For more information visit the event Facebook page.
Flying Pig and FC Cincinnati Friendly: 7 p.m. Saturday. The Banks, Second Street and Joe Nuxhall Way, Downtown. $40. What’s blue, orange and pink all over? The Banks this Saturday evening when thousands of runners and walkers take to the streets for the inaugural Flying Pig and FC Cincinnati Friendly three-mile run/walk. The race will start and end on Second Street. There will be food and beer vendors, along with a big screen for a post-race watch party at The Banks as FC Cincinnati takes on Chicago Fire starting at 8 p.m. Race participants also will receive a drink and food ticket, shirt and finisher medal. fccrace.com
Second Sunday on Main: Noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Main Street between 12th and Liberty streets, Over-the-Rhine. Free. Come and get your kicks in Over-the-Rhine during this month’s Second Sunday on Main street party. The theme for July’s festivities celebrates the 1950s and '60s with live music by Ricky Nye, the Queen City Sisters and Keith Jones & the Makeshifts. The Cincinnati Baila Dance Academy also will perform salsa and polka dancing. There will even be a muscle car show featuring hot rods from the era. For more information visit the event Facebook page.
Paradise Music & Beer Festival: 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday; 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Saturday. Braxton Brewing Co., 27 W. Seventh St. Covington. Free admission. This event features three of my favorite things: beer, live music and free admission. Braxton Brewing is hosting the second year of the Paradise Music & Beer Festival this weekend. This free festival will feature music from The Infamous Stringdusters, Keller Williams and more performers over two days. And of course, there will be plenty of Braxton beer on tap for purchase, too. paradise-fest.com
Peter Frampton: "Finale - The Farewell Tour”: 7:30 p.m. Friday. Riverbend Music Center, 6295 Kellogg Ave., Cincinnati. $29.50-$350. Legendary guitarist Peter Frampton will take the stage at Riverbend Music Center this Friday as part of his “Finale – The Farewell Tour.” Special guests Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening will join Frampton during his tour stop in the region he used to call home. (Frampton lived in Indian Hill from June 2000 until he moved to Nashville in March 2014.) www.riverbend.org
85 South: 7 p.m. Friday. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown. $40-$125. We could be living in the golden age of podcasting. Want proof? Look no further than the 85 South Comedy Show. The Atlanta-based podcast features up-and-coming comics from the South through weekly episodes. The show hosted by DC Young Fly, Karlous Miller and Chico Bean currently has more than 690,000 YouTube and 30,000 Apple podcast subscribers. Friday's live performance at the Taft Theatre will be recorded and aired as an upcoming 85 South podcast episode. tafttheatre.org
2019 Cincinnati Blues Fest: 4-11:30 p.m. Saturday. Smale Riverfront Park, 124 E. Mehring Way, Downtown. Free. Get rhythm this Saturday during the 2019 Cincinnati Blues Fest taking place at the Schmidlapp Event Lawn and Stage. (The lawn is located next to the Moerlein Lager House at The Banks.) This year’s Blues Fest lineup will feature a mix of seven local, national and international acts. Those acts include local blues musician Ben Levi, Columbus-based Troubled Waters and Brazil's Blues Beatles band. cincybluesfest.org
Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson: "Twins of Evil 'Hell Never Dies' Tour 2019”: 7 p.m. Saturday. Riverbend Music Center, 6295 Kellogg Ave., Cincinnati. $35-$113. Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson plan to raise some Hell along the Ohio River this Saturday. The hardcore rockers will take the stage at Riverbend as part of their 2019 “Hell Never Dies” tour. Canadian glam rock band Palaye Royale will open for Manson and Zombie. www.riverbend.org
“Welcome to Night Vale”: 8 p.m. Saturday. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown. $28-$38. “Welcome to Night Vale” is a episodic, twice-monthly podcast described as equal parts spooky, funny and charming. A live version of the show will be performed Saturday at the Taft. Newcomer story podcast “Dreamboy” also will perform a live episode of the show about a Cleveland musician swept into a story about dreams. tafttheatre.org