18 Events, Activities and Parades to Check Out During Memorial Day Weekend in Cincinnati

We've compiled a list of events going on throughout the city to check out this holiday weekend.

May 25, 2022 at 4:00 pm
click to enlarge Arlington Memorial Gardens Field of Memories - Photo: provided by Arlington Memorial Gardens
Photo: provided by Arlington Memorial Gardens
Arlington Memorial Gardens Field of Memories

From barbecues to parades, Memorial Day weekend ushers in summer while simultaneously serving as a day to remember our community's military members who lost their lives while serving our country. We've compiled a list of events going on throughout the city to check out this holiday weekend. 

Memorial Day Weekend Events:

Skate on a Mobile Roller Rink at Court Street Plaza

This Memorial Day weekend, a mobile roller rink is coming to downtown Cincinnati. Frisch's and 3CDC have partnered together on a three-year project that plans to bring a mobile roller rink to different spots around the downtown area. The rink will offer access to nearly 10,000 square feet of skating space for $2. They will have 150 pairs of outdoor skates available for a $5 rental fee. The first Frisch’s Roller Rink will debut during Memorial Day weekend at Court Street Plaza. May 27-30. E. Court Street between Vine & Walnut, Downtown, facebook.com.

Check out the Giant, Interactive Duct Tape Sculptures at Washington Park

Visitors may find themselves in a sticky situation this weekend when 15 giant duct tape sculptures descend on Washington Park. On view from May 27-30, these colorful life-sized creations made of Duck Tape-brand tape will pay homage to America's pastime with a baseball theme and the exhibit name Knock It Out of the Park. Created by artists from the Art Academy of Cincinnati (AAC), alumni and students from across the city, the works in the exhibit will travel from Cincinnati to the 17th-annual Avon Heritage Duck Tape Festival held outside of Cleveland from June 16-18. May 27-30. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine. The exhibit is free to view.

See the Smashing Pumpkins in Concert

While it may not be the “cool” answer these days, The Smashing Pumpkins remains the only answer for many Xennials. Need to channel your inner teenager? Smashing Pumpkins. Need to ride around I-275 and dwell on your misfortunes? Smashing Pumpkins. Need to just escape into some tunes and forget about literally anything else existing? Pumpkins. They boast eleven studio albums covering a range of topics, mostly related to frontman Billy Corgan’s love and trauma, so there are songs for any vibe you’re feeling, and they are playing Cincinnati this weekend. 6 p.m. May 27. PromoWest Pavilion at OVATION, 101 W 4th St., Newport. smashingpumpkins.com.

Stuff Your Face at Taste of Cincinnati

Get your waistbands ready for Taste of Cincinnati, which has its largest selection of food ever this year. Launched in 1979, this giant food festival will take over Fifth Street in Downtown from May 28-30. This year, there will be 36 restaurants and 18 food trucks participating in the festival, adding up to over 300 different menu items to try. May 28-30. Fifth Street, between Main Street and Sentinel Street, Downtown, tasteofcincinnati.com.

See Kings Island New Fireworks Show that will Include Lazers, Drones and Greg Brady from The Brady Bunch

Celebrations for Kings Island’s 50th anniversary will be kicking off Memorial Day weekend. The park’s nightly fireworks show will soon conclude with 200 synchronized drones, laser projections, fire bursts and plenty of fireworks that will tell the story of Kings Island over the past 50 years. “Fun, Fireworks and Fifty – A Kings Island Nighttime Spectacular," which is set to last for 14 minutes (four times longer than the show lasted in years past), will continue through the summer after its debut on Saturday, May 28. Special guest Barry Williams (aka Greg Brady in the 1970s show The Brady Bunch) will be narrating the history of Kings Island live along with the fireworks during the show’s debut. 10 p.m. May 28. Kings Island, 6300 Kings Island Dr., Mason, kingisland.com.

Celebrate National Burger Day at Frisch’s

Frisch's Big Boy is feeling fancy this National Burger Day by upping the ante — and adding aioli — on some of its offerings. On May 28, the chain, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, will launch a line of new Craft Butcher Burgers. And if you want to sample some for free, head to the Frisch's and 3CDC roller rink pop-up on Court Street Plaza on May 28. From 2-4 p.m., attendees can try the Craft Butcher Burgers. Find a Frisch's location near you at frischs.com.

Love and Light: A Benefit for Local Drag Performer Aaron Losey (Tyese Rainz)

Cincinnati Pride is hosting a benefit for the family of beloved local drag performer Aaron Losey, known by the stage name Tyese Rainz. Losey died suddenly on May 7 following a performance at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts in Hamilton. “The world got a little darker, as we lost one of the brightest pillars in the Cincinnati LGBTQ+ Community,” reads the events description. The benefit will include a silent auction/raffle and performances plus storytellings dedicated to Losey. All donations and proceeds will be given to Losey’s family. May 29, 7-10 p.m., The Cellar, 404 W Pike St., Covington, cincinnatipride.org.

Ways to Honor Veterans During Memorial Day Weekend:

Visit the Field of Memories at Arlington Memorial Gardens

This 7th annual weekend-long event at Arlington Memorial Gardens will honor all who have served in the military. An installation of roughly 1,000 American flags will be displayed all weekend. Each flag will bear the name of a veteran, an active-duty military member, a first responder, someone special buried at Arlington or a person killed in the line of duty. Colored ribbons will indicate the status of the person represented on the flag. Special events on Sunday include a lunch for veterans and the public, a flag-raising ceremony and a professional parachute performance by Team Fastrax. 9 a.m.-7 p.m. May 26-30. Free. Arlington Memorial Gardens, 2145 Compton Road, Springfield, amgardens.org.

Take Part in the Spring Grove Cemetery Tours

Spring Grove Cemetery will have events honoring veterans all weekend long. In addition to a Veterans Tribute showing at the Norman Chapel all weekend long and ceremonies on Monday, Spring Grove Cemetery will offer two guided walking tours, beginning in the Civil War section. Spruce up on your Civil War music history from musician Steve Ball at Spring Grove on Monday. May 26-30. Free. Spring Grove Cemetery, 4521 Spring Grove Ave., Spring Grove Village, springgrove.org.

View the Anderson Township Bell Ringing Ceremony

In honor of those who died during military service, Anderson Township annually hosts a ringing of the bells. The ceremony will include a reading of names of the deceased members of the armed forces. It will conclude with a three-volley rifle salute and a playing of “Taps.” 11:45 a.m. May 30. Free. Anderson Center, 7850 Five Mile Raod, Anderson Township, andersontownship.org.

Others Activities to Enjoy During Memorial Day Weekend:

Enjoy a Mobile Drink at a DORA District Around Cincinnati

DORA districts — or Designated Outdoor Refreshment Areas — are a fun fact of life in Greater Cincinnati. In these specific spaces, you are able to grab an alcoholic beverage to sip while you stroll. The 85-acre DORA at The Banks is a major player, but Loveland, Bellevue and Milford (among others) also have their very own designated areas where visitors can have an open beer or cocktail. Follow the link to find a list of 20 Cincinnati area DORA districts.

Splash Around at Coney Island on its Opening Weekend

Summer is nearly here, and for Cincinnatians, the season wouldn't be the same without a trip to Coney Island. Thankfully, Cincinnatians won't have to wait long to venture to their favorite water park. On Saturday, May 28, Coney Island will officially open for its 2022 season. $21.50 per adult (ages 8-61) and $14.50 per child for all-day admission to the park. coneyislandpark.com.

Catch a Reds Game at Great American Ball Park

The Cincinnati reds are on a slow march back to respectability after a disastrous opening to the 2022 MLB season. The team finally won their first series of the year against the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 7 and 8. Although it may seem like the fans are doing better than their team right now. This week, a fan caught a foul ball in his beer and in April, another fan caught a foul ball while feeding his baby that was strapped to his chest. You could see an amazing moment like that this weekend while the Reds face off against the San Francisco Giants at home May 27-29. Mlb.com.

See the Butterflies of the Nile at Krohn Conservatory

View thousands of butterflies in this year’s Butterflies of the Nile exhibit, celebrating the beauty and mystery of Ancient Egypt. The floral exhibit was "specifically designed to show just how lush and inviting the gardens of ancient Egypt could be," reads the description of the event on the city of Cincinnati's website. Design elements have been lifted from the art found in Egyptian tombs and temples and call to mind imagery like "orchards, palms and fish ponds with lotus plants."$10 adults; $7 youth (5-17 years). Krohn Conservatory, 1501 Eden Park Drive, Mt. Adams, cincinnati-oh.gov.

Stroll Around the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

Enjoy a walk around the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens this holiday weekend. Active and retired members of the military get free admission on Memorial Day plus $5 off tickets for other adults and children so the whole family can enjoy all the zoo has to offer (Hi, Fiona). $15.50 - $22.50 adult; $9.50 - $16.50 child and senior. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, 3400 Vine St., Avondale, cincinnatizoo.org.

Parades to Watch:

70th Annual City of Blue Ash Parade

Lt. Col. Dan Meyers will be the keynote speaker at the special ceremony taking place at Blue Ash Towne Square following the parade. The parade will begin at Reed Hartman Highway and Cooper Road and will end at Bicentennial Veterans Memorial Park. Military members, non-profits, local community groups and others will march along in this popular Memorial Day parade. 10:15 a.m. May 30. Free. Reed Hartman Highway and Cooper Road in Blue Ash. blueash.com.

Loveland Memorial Day Parade & Ceremony

Loveland’s Memorial Day Parade begins at Loveland Elementary School and ends at the town’s veterans memorial. After the parade, there will be a ceremony that includes multiple guest speakers, the presentation of colors, a placing of the wreath by the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary & VFW and a playing of Taps. Senator Terry Johnson, who represents Ohio's 14th district, will also be giving a speech during the event. 9 a.m. May 30. 600 Loveland Madeira Road, Loveland. lovelandoh.gov.

Bellevue-Dayton Memorial Day Parade

This annual parade begins at the Veterans Monument in Dayton, Ky., and ends in Bellevue at the Veterans Club. 10:30 a.m. May 30. Monument Park, 701 Sixth Ave., Dayton, Ky. daytonky.com

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