Did you know that Cincinnati has its very own version of the Olympics? Kind of. The Cincinnati Neighborhood Games brings the city's 52 neighborhoods together to engage, compete and connect while battling for their hood's bragging rights.
Beginning this spring, neighborhoods participated in qualifying rounds with 16 different competitions in order to see who would represent their community in the games. The competitions consisted of field-day-like activities including hula-hoop endurance, chess, a 40-yard dash and more. Residents of all ages were welcome to participate and were placed in either youth and adult categories. In order to be involved in the neighborhood you wanted to represent, you had to either work, live, attend school or worship in that neighborhood. No participants were permitted to represent more than one neighborhood.
Now that the qualifying rounds have been completed, neighborhood representatives are ready to fight.
To kick off the official Cincinnati Neighborhood Games, the organization has teamed up with local bike-sharing service Red Bike for a Torch Bike Relay that will travel through all 52 neighborhoods with one rider representing each neighborhood (and carrying a fake torch). The relay begins at Sayler Park at 1 p.m. on Friday, July 20 and will make 17 stops before coming to an end in College Hill around 7 p.m. The following morning, the relay will recommence at 7 a.m., making 35 stops — and traveling a two-day total of 84 miles — before finishing at Washington Park at 6 p.m., where a real torch will be lit and the Opening Ceremonies will begin.
Emceed by WLWT's Megan Mitchell and Assistant City Manager John Juech, the Parade of Neighborhoods will start the ceremonies, with athletes from all 52 neighborhoods joining together at the park, following their flag (yes, each neighborhood has their own flag). The celebration will include live music, options for food and drinks, and games like Jenga and Cornhole.
Final Competitions begin Sunday, July 22 and continue through July 28 with multiple competition locations throughout the city. At each competition, neighborhood representatives will compete for a medal and the neighborhood with the most medals wins.
Closing ceremonies will be held at Yeatman's Cove on July 28, beginning at 9 a.m. with final competitions and award ceremonies running through 4:30 p.m., when Mayor John Cranley will host the Neighborhood Cup.
For more info, click here.