Riverfest Fireworks to Return in 2021 with Giant Labor Day Pyrotechnic Display Over the Ohio River

Should we just go down and claim our spot now?

Riverfest - Photo: CityBeat Archive
Photo: CityBeat Archive

Riverfest is back, baby.

Launched more than four decades ago to celebrate the 10th anniversary of radio station WEBN (102.7 FM), this Labor Day bash officially signals the end of summer with a series of colorful explosions in the sky.

In addition to food, music, major traffic jams and one of the largest firework displays in the Midwest set to music from host WEBN (you are 100% guaranteed to hear “Smoke on the Water”), festgoers can expect to see half a million other humans and a river full of boats.

Last year's events were canceled because of COVID-19 -- well, the part where we all stuff together like sardines along the Ohio River was. The 2020 fireworks show was instead detonated from a top-secret location and broadcast live on Local 12 and its Facebook page

This year's 45th-annual celebration will take place Sunday, Sept. 5. Sponsors/hosts WEBN and Western & Southern say the party will kick off at noon at Sawyer Point and Yeatman's Cove, with Rozzi's Famous Fireworks starting at 9 p.m.

During the lead-up to the big show, the Freestore Foodbank hosts its 27th-annual Rubber Duck Regatta, dropping as many as 200,000 yellow duckies from the Purple People Bridge into the Ohio River in a race to benefit the foodbank (buy a duck, feed a child, possibly win a car and $1 million).

Ducks cost $5 and provide 15 meals each; they launch into the river at 3 p.m.

Noon-10 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 5. Free; $5 per duck. Sawyer Point, 705 E. Pete Rose Way, Downtown, webn.iheart.comrubberduckregatta.org. 

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