This Fest is Rolling Out All the Punches to Honor Hometown Hero Ezzard Charles

"Ezz Fest" will unfold as the final touches are made to the soon-to-be Ezzard Charles statue

click to enlarge "Ezz Fest" will unfold Oct. 6 at noon.
"Ezz Fest" will unfold Oct. 6 at noon.

Ezzard Charles, aka “The Cincinnati Cobra,” is an undeniable local legend. Just take a quick stroll or drive by Republic Street in Over-the-Rhine for proof. A mural — backdropped in vibrant red and stamp-like cobras — depicts the former heavyweight champion. There’s also a road with his namesake, a stretch between Music Hall and Union Terminal that he once ran along.

Now, the legendary boxer is getting a Cincinnati festival in his name: “Ezz Fest,” an arts, athletics and music festival that will take place Oct. 6 at Laurel Park (500 Ezzard Charles Drive) in the West End. Charles was 9 when he originally came to Cincy, living with his grandmother in the West End. He eventually settled in OTR, where he lived and trained. 

At the fest, sculptors will be working on the soon-to-be-complete Charles statue as Jazz music (Ezzard was also a pretty good Jazz bassist) brims from a nearby stage. Plus, attendees can peruse arts and crafts vendors, check out boxing-related activities and more.

Ezz Fest takes place noon-4 p.m. Oct. 6 and is open to all ages. Click here for more.

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