CINCINNATI — The Tri-State’s typical end-of-summer festival is canceled this year due to the pandemic. That means a half million people won’t gather along the Ohio River to watch the Riverfest fireworks.
But there’s still a risk of catching or spreading the illness at holiday gatherings with friends and family if you don’t take precautions.
“We need to remember that this holiday weekend is different than any other Labor Day,” warns Hamilton County Health Commissioner Greg Kesterman.
After the Fourth of July, there was a spike in COVID-19 cases across the country. For those still trying to enjoy the holiday weekend, Kesterman is recommending this:
“Keep your gathering small. Make sure you’re not gathering in groups bigger than 10. And keep your households together. Don’t mix households, so you’re not spreading between houses,” he said.
“Social distance if you’re there. If you can’t social distance, wear your mask.”
Michelle Joesting, private dining manager at the Moerlein Lager House, will miss being in the center of the excitement at The Banks.
“It gets pretty hectic and we love the energy,” she said about the typical Riverfest crowd.
This year, though …
“It’s a little bit of a bummer,” Joesting said.
But given the circumstances, Joesting thinks it’s better to be safe than sorry.
“We were kind of hesitant on what’s going to happen… ‘if it does happen, how are they going to be able to distance it?’ So there was almost a relief that everyone is going to be safe,” she said.
Moerlein is still welcoming patrons this holiday weekend and has taken extra precautions, Joesting said. That includes adding outdoor patio seating and keeping lawn seating socially distanced.
“Stop down, grab a drink, hang out by the river and kind of remember past times,” she said.
Kesterman said if you aren’t feeling well, don’t just brush it off as a cold or allergies. Stay away from friends and family this weekend.