12 Things To Do In Cincinnati This Weekend (July 23-25)

From live opera in the park to the Isley Brothers at Cincy Soul: The Black Taste and plenty of county fairs, there's much to do this weekend.

click to enlarge Grand Carnivale at Kings Island - PHOTO: PROVIDED BY KINGS ISLAND
Photo: Provided by Kings Island
Grand Carnivale at Kings Island


FRIDAY, JULY 23

Grand Carnivale at Kings Island — Kings Island's Grand Carnivale parade and party is back for 2021 after being canceled last year due to the pandemic. The 16-day festival started on July 17 and runs nightly through Aug. 1. Grand Carnivale celebrates the food and cultures of China, Germany, France, India, Italy and Spain with a Spectacle of Color parade, live entertainment and fireworks — plus plenty of international eats. 5 p.m. nightly through Aug. 1. Free with admission to Kings Island (adult tickets start at $54.99). Kings Island, 6300 Kings Island Drive, Mason, visitkingsisland.com. 

Cincy Celtic Fest — Celebrate Celtic culture with a weekend of food, music and family-friendly fun. There will be Scotch and Irish whiskey tastings, Highland dancers, Celtic bands, storytelling, Sunday mass and food ranging from bangers and mash and shepherds pie to green cotton candy and Guinness-battered fish and chips. 5-11 p.m. July 23; noon-11 p.m. July 24; noon-7 p.m. July 25. Free admission. East Freedom Way in front of Great American Ball Park, The Banks, cincycelticfest.com.

Cincinnati Opera's Tosca at Summit Park — Cincinnati Opera is back onstage, returning to its roots with outdoor performances this summer. The series includes three classic operas — CarmenTosca and The Barber of Seville — presented in roughly 90-minute productions at Summit Park in Blue Ash, featuring stellar casts, accompaniment by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and a 36-member chorus. CityBeat reviewer Anne Arenstein called this production of Carmen — with remaining shows July 26 and 30 — fierce, and said everyone is at the top of their game. Tosca (July 23, 27 and 31) marks the company debut of acclaimed soprano Ana Maria Martinez as the tempestuous diva. The antic Barber of Seville (July 24 and 29) rounds out the season, with Christopher Kenney as the wily barber Figaro, mezzo Rihab Chaieb as the feisty Rosina and tenor Aaron Blake returns to sing her suitor Count Almaviva. Tickets are limited or sold out, but seem to still be available for $50 for the July 23 production of Tosca. Summit Park, 4335 Glendale Milford Road, Blue Ash, cincinnatiopera.org.

A.M. Nice Virtual Fundraising Concert for the Southgate House Revival — On Friday, Punk band A.M. Nice and its label, Phratry Records, will stream a virtual concert from Southgate House Revival with all proceeds going to the concert venue. “Morrella Raleigh and the staff at the Southgate House Revival have given so much to A.M. Nice, Phratry Records and countless others who, like us, work, live, create and experience music in this region,” says Jerry Dirr, head of Phratry Records and drummer for A.M. Nice. “Whether it’s allowing performers to try out new material on a weeknight open-mic, run whole-house shows, pairing local bands with national touring acts, or allowing countless loud, obnoxious, raucous noisy nights, the Southgate House Revival is a venue that has allowed so many to congregate, commiserate, create, glow and celebrate.” In May, A.M. Nice filmed a special 30-minute set at Southgate House Revival. Donations to the Southgate House Revival can be made during or after the streamed concert through links to Venmo and PayPal. All proceeds will go to the venue. Stream the show on Phratry’s YouTube channel at 9 p.m. July 23.

Warren County Fair — Expect (tons of) animal shows, drag racing, live music, barnyard olympics and a beer garden Wednesday through Saturday. July 19-24. $5; free for ages 8 and under; free for military and seniors on Tuesday. Warren County Fairgrounds, 665 N. Broadway, Lebanon, warrencountyfairohio.org.

SATURDAY, JULY 24

Rose Lavelle mural at The Banks - PHOTO: NICK SWARTSELL
Photo: Nick Swartsell
Rose Lavelle mural at The Banks


Rose Lavelle Watch Party — The Lavelle family is hosting a special U.S. Women's Soccer Olympics watch party at Silverton's MVP Sports Bar & Grille, with beer sponsor Yuengling. The early-morning event lets fans cheer on the women's team — and local sports hero Rose Lavelle — as they take on New Zealand. Expect food and drink deals and "special surprises throughout the game," says a release. 7:30 a.m. July 24. Free. MVP Sports Bar & Grille in Cincinnati, 6923 Plainfield Road, Silverton, facebook.com/mvpbarandgrille.

Cincy Soul: The Black Taste — Head over to Sawyer Point Park and Yeatman’s Cove on July 24 for Cincy Soul: The Black Taste, which will offer a wide selection of soul foods by Black-owned businesses in the Cincinnati area. Immerse yourself in African American cultures, heritage and traditions that will not only educate but also provide an entertaining experience. There will also be special live performances from the Isley Brothers, Ari Lennox and SWV. 7-11:30 p.m. July 24. $60-$250 (includes a live concert by the Isley Brothers). Sawyer Point Park & Yeatman’s Cove, 7705 E. Pete Rose Way, Downtown, universe.com. 

Clive Farrington at Bircus Brewing Company — The lead singer of the 1980s band When In Rome will make an appearance at the Ludlow, Kentucky, brewery as a part of Bircus’ "80’s Summer Concert Series." Known for the song “The Promise,” Farrington will perform that hit in addition to the group’s other dance tunes. Dublin Defense, a local band, will follow Farrington in the concert series on Aug. 7. 7 p.m. July 24. $15-$50. Ludlow Theatre, 322 Elm St., Ludlow, bircus.com.

Pride Night Party and Drag Show at Coney Island — Pride Month may technically be over, but one local group is celebrating all summer long. On Saturday, July 24, local event organization FUNKē Presents is throwing a Pride night party at Coney Island's massive Sunlite Pool. The 21-and-up nighttime pool/dance party, dubbed "Pride Island Wet Party," welcomes the LGBTQ+ community — and their family, friends and allies — to join in an inclusive celebration. There will be a drag show by local performers Brock Leah Spears, P.H. Dee and Sarah Jessica Darker, as well as headliner Kylie Sonique Love, who may or may not be on this season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, the release teases. 8:30 p.m.-midnight July 24, with the drag show kicking off at 9:30 p.m.Tickets can be purchased in advance for $25 or can be purchased $30 at the door on the night of the event. Coney Island, coneyislandpark.com/events.

SUNDAY, JULY 25

Andrew J Brady ICON Music Center - PHOTO: HAILEY BOLLINGER
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
Andrew J Brady ICON Music Center


Andrew J Brady ICON Music Center Open House — The Andrew J Brady ICON Music Center at The Banks is the new music venue on Cincinnati's riverfront from Music & Event Management, Inc. (MEMI) — and it's ready for its close-up. MEMI is inviting the public into its state-of-the-art venue for an open house. The open house will, of course, include live music from local acts. Concessions will offer everything from Skyline coneys and Papa John's pizza to beer and non-alcoholic beverages. Photo ops and face painting will be available. 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Sunday, July 25. Free. 25 Race St., Downtown, iconmusiccenter.com.

Clermont County Fair — Events include bicycle races, an antique machinery show, rodeo, live concert from Tracy Lawrence, a lip sync contest, plenty of fair rides and games and a roaming "monkey man" — an "old school organ grinder with a live (capuchin) monkey." July 25-31. $10; $3 senior citizens July 28; free for veterans and service members. Clermont County Fairgrounds, 1000 Locust St., Owensville, clermontcountyfair.org.

Butler County Fair — The Butler County Fair promises plenty of animal shows, as well as fine art and needlework displays, a demolition derby, pie and cake auction, yeast bread judging, flower show and men's bake off. July 25-31. $8 (includes parking); $3 ages 6-12 with paying adult. Butler County Fairgrounds, 1715 Fairgrove Ave., Hamilton, butlercountyohfair.org.


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