13 Things To Do in Cincinnati This Weekend (Oct. 8-10)

From Asian Food Fest and The City Flea to Hamilton's Operation Pumpkin and an entire festival devoted to sauerkraut, here are 13 things to do this weekend.

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click to enlarge Operation Pumpkin takes over Hamilton this weekend. - Photo: facebook.com/operationpumpkin
Photo: facebook.com/operationpumpkin
Operation Pumpkin takes over Hamilton this weekend.

It's October, which means you can visit U-pick pumpkin patches, farm festivals and haunted houses all month long. Here's our list of 10 terrifying Greater Cincinnati attractions to scare you this season, as well as 15 pumpkin patches and corn mazes. Plus an entire Fall Guide to keep you entertained.

But if you're looking for more than just gourds and ghouls, here are 13 other events to check out this weekend.


Friday, Oct. 8

The stars of Cincinnati Shakespeare Company's Romeo and Juliet - Photo: Provided by Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
Photo: Provided by Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
The stars of Cincinnati Shakespeare Company's Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company

The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company opens its season with a tried-and-true classic, the tragic tale of Romeo and Juliet. Star-crossed lovers unite in spite of a family feud. Cincy Shakes says, "Revel in lavish masked balls, rousing street brawls, tragic young love, and some of the most exquisite poetry ever penned, all in a beautiful Italian Renaissance setting. Fall in love again for the first time." Face masks and proof of a COVID vaccination or negative COVID test are required. Through Nov. 13. Ticket prices start as low as $14. 1195 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincyshakes.com.


Electric Citizen at MOTR Pub

Electric Citizen prepares to enter its 10th-anniversary year with a European tour already on the books for next fall (presumably a near carbon copy of the one that was slated for last fall and scratched for reasons all too obvious). Before then, they are hitting MOTR Pub. The band's secret weapon has always been a brilliant sense of melodicism, accompanied by a gift for writing concise heavy Rock songs punctuated by whipcrack riffs and powered by one of the most intensely emotive rhythm sections in the Metal-adjacent categories. For its first local show in close to two years, Electric Citizen will likely debut some of its new songs alongside the Pentagram-meets-Black-Sabbath faves from the band’s first three releases, but two things are certain: It’s going to be as loud as God’s temper tantrum, and you’ll need proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test to get into MOTR Pub. 10 p.m. Oct. 8. Free. MOTR Pub, 1345 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, motrpub.com


Operation Pumpkin

Downtown Hamilton is getting a seasonal makeover during the 10th annual Operation Pumpkin festival this weekend. The fest truly pays homage to all things pumpkin with giant pumpkins from the Southern Ohio Giant Pumpkin Growers, intricately carved pumpkins from different sculptors and a "great wall of pumpkins." Almost 20 different food vendors — and a dedicated Food Truck Alley — will complement a selection of arts and crafts vendors. Other entertainment includes live music, a costumed pet parade, amusement rides, games, a petting zoo and a pumpkin weigh-off. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Oct. 8 and 9; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Oct. 10. Free admission. Downtown Hamilton, Ohio, operation-pumpkin.org.


Saturday, Oct. 9

Asian Food Fest 2019 - Photo: Asian Food Fest Facebook
Photo: Asian Food Fest Facebook
Asian Food Fest 2019


Asian Food Fest

After taking a hiatus in 2020 due to COVID, Cincinnati's Asian Food Fest is celebrating its return and 10th anniversary this year — and moving the weekend-long dining extravaganza to a new location: the recently revamped Court Street Plaza downtown. Court Street will play host to more than 25 food vendors, as well as live music, entertainment and local and Asian beer. As Asia encompasses an extensive collection of cuisines, so too will Asian Food Fest with offerings from China and Japan to India, Laos and the Philippines. In addition, some vendors will be presenting "secret menu" items, which Asian Food Fest has called "a nod to the unlisted menu often found at many Asian restaurants in America." 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Oct. 9; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Oct. 10. Free admission. Court Street, between Vine and Walnut streets, Downtown, asianfoodfest.org.


Ezz Fest

A Cincinnati community festival is kicking off this weekend with the groundbreaking for a statue of Cincinnati hero and world heavyweight boxing champion Ezzard Charles. The 13-foot statue should be fully in place by 2022, but this weekend you can enjoy the fourth-annual Ezz Fest in Laurel Park — where the statue will be located. Cincinnati Parks says the festival began as a celebration of boxer Charles in 2018 and this weekend will include "a community picnic, live music, boxing activities, a family fun area, local vendors, food, and beer for purchase from MadTree Brewing." 10 a.m. Oct. 9. Free admission. 500 Ezzard Charles Drive, West End, cincinnatiparksfoundation.org.


Ohio Sauerkraut Festival

Just a short drive away from Cincinnati is Waynesville, Ohio, home to the 51st-annual Ohio Sauerkraut Festival: an entire weekend (Oct. 9 and 10) devoted to everyone's favorite German cabbage. Started in 1970, the first fest served 528 pounds of sauerkraut to about 1,500 guests. Today, guests — of which there are approximately 350,000 — eat about 11,000 pounds of sauerkraut over the weekend. More than 30 different food booths are offering creative takes on the dish, ranging from sauerkraut-topped bratts and reubens to sauerkraut brownies and the fan-favorite "German sundae," potatoes topped with cheese, bacon, sour cream, sauerkraut and a green olive. And more than 400 juried artisans and vendors from across 25 states and free entertainment will be available all weekend. 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Oct. 9; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Oct. 10. Free admission. Main Street, Waynesville, Ohio, sauerkrautfestival.com.


The City Flea

The City Flea pop-up market is back at Washington Park this weekend for its final market before the December holiday event. Founded in 2011, the City Flea has been a vital part of the small business community of Cincinnati for a decade. Having hosted hundreds of local vendors to date, the market offers a platform for local entrepreneurs and creators to introduce their goods to the community and grow their businesses. From food to plants to jewelry to vintage dealers, there’s something for almost everyone at every market — including food. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 9. Free admission. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, thecityflea.com.


Market Bleu 

Market Bleu is hosting its fall market in the lobby of the Contemporary Arts Center on Saturday. This quarterly indoor pop-up market — unique because it takes place at night — features a slew of artisans and artists. Shop handmade items and grab a cocktail from the bar. 6-10 p.m. Oct. 9. Free admission. Contemporary Arts Center, 44 E. Sixth St., Downtown, facebook.com


Multimagic at Woodward Theater

Cincinnati AltPop group Multimagic was slated to release its debut full-length, Manic Daze, in April 2020. COVID obviously had other plans, and the album drop and associated release show were canceled. The band, fronted by singer/songwriter Coran Stetter, ended up releasing Manic Daze in September 2020, garnering positive reviews from CityBeat and other outlets. Now, they are finally ready to take the stage at Woodward Theater. Manic Daze's 10 solid tracks are bristling with the muted joy and dark abandon of 1980s Synth Pop and contemporary Indie Rock. This Saturday's Woodward show also features Cincinnati producer Bershy and Slacker Pop band JV Golf. The venue requires all concertgoers to provide proof of a vaccination or a negative COVID test result from within 72 hours of the show. 7 p.m. Oct. 9. $15 advance. 1404 Main St., Over-the-Rhine, woodwardtheater.com.


Indigenous Peoples' Day Convergence

Indigenous Peoples' Day is Oct. 11. In honor, the Greater Cincinnati Native American Coalition (GCNAC) is holding an Indigenous Peoples' Day Convergence this weekend. The second annual convergence hosted by GCNAC will be streaming online from 4-8 p.m. on Oct. 9 and 10. The event features eight Indigenous artists and activists, including actress and GCNAC board member Irene Bedard, of the Native Village of Koyuk, as well as First Nations member Gary Farmer, an actor and musician who can be seen on the the FX series Reservation Dogs. Topics will include “Indigenous sovereignty, land and water rights, Indigenous centered art and education and the relationship to resistance movements.” The coalition will also host an Indigenous-led, all-Indigenous art exhibition at 21c Museum Hotel. The exhibition will take place Oct. 8-11 and will feature “15 Indigenous and Native American artists from across Turtle Island.” A potluck dinner takes place Oct. 11 in Northside. Full event details: gcnativeamericancoalition.com.


Sunday, Oct. 10

Second Sunday on Main - Photo: facebook.com/OTRSSOM
Photo: facebook.com/OTRSSOM
Second Sunday on Main

Second Sunday on Main

Over-the-Rhine block party Second Sunday on Main is back this weekend with a "Sustain on Main" theme. In addition to over 100 local pop-up vendors, street performers, food trucks and an outdoor biergarten from Braxton Brewing Co., expect live music from Jess Lamb and the Factory with Siri Imani, Heavy Hinges, Brooklynn Rae and Manah. In keeping with the green theme, attendees can drop off their compost at the Queen City Commons booth in front of Cincy Shirts. Noon-5 p.m. Oct. 10. Free. Main Street, facebook.com/OTRSSOM.


Stricker's Grove Customer Appreciation Day

Stricker’s Grove is a private family-owned and operated, 25-acre old-fashioned amusement park located near Ross, Ohio. It is closed to the public for most of the year, except for Labor Day, the Fourth of July, Family Day (in August) and Customer Appreciation Day — this Sunday. The nostalgia-inducing theme park is home to tons of games and classic rides, including a scrambler, tilt-a-whirl and swinging pirate ship, but it's claim to fame is its two roller coasters. If you seek other family-friendly amusements, the park also has an 18-hole miniature golf course, a shooting gallery, horseshoes and an arcade with video games and Skee-Ball. 1-8 p.m. Oct. 10. $15, free for kids 2 and under. 11490 Hamilton-Cleves Road, Hamilton, strickersgrove.com.


World Pumpkin Pie Eating Championship

Destination Outlets in Jeffersonville, Ohio (about an hour away from downtown Cincinnati) is hosting the World Pumpkin Pie Eating Championship. Attendees are asked to eat a much pie as they can in eight minutes. The most recent record is from 2014, when Matt Stonie ate 20 pounds and 13 ounces of pumpkin pie at the outlet's last competition. This competition is apparently a new offering in Major League Eating's 2021 lineup. World champion competitive eater Joey "Jaws" Chestnut — who just took home the bratt-eating record at Oktoberfest Zinzinnati — will be there, as will food trucks and DJs. Noon-3 p.m. Oct. 10; competition takes place at 1 p.m. Highway 71, 8000 Factory Shops Blvd., Jeffersonville, facebook.com.


BONUS: Monday, Oct. 11

click to enlarge Cincinnati Taco Week tacos from Agave & Rye - Photo: Agave & Rye
Photo: Agave & Rye
Cincinnati Taco Week tacos from Agave & Rye

Cincinnati Taco Week

What's better than Taco Tuesday? A whole week of cheap tacos. And thanks to Cincinnati Taco Week, that's what the Queen City will get Oct. 11-17. All week long, participating eateries will be offering $2 specialty tacos for the fourth-annual Taco Week. Some restaurants will even be serving up three different unique tacos. Select locations will also be offering Karrikin Blaze Agave Spirit margaritas as well. To held guide your taco quest, grab an official Cincinnati Taco Week passport. Get a stamp at each restaurant for each order of tacos (minimum three tacos per order) and an extra stamp for each Karrikin cocktail. Earn a stamp from five or more participating locations on your passport, and be entered to win the grand prize of $250 in gift cards and Karrikin swag. Oct. 11-17. More info and full menus at cincytacoweek.com.


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