What To Do This Week in Cincinnati (Sept. 5-11)

Pentatonix; Harvest Home Fair; Vinoklet's 20th-annual Art & Wine Fest; Jukebox the Ghost; Red Bull's Soabox Derby; and more

Share on Nextdoor


click to enlarge Pentatonix - Photo: Jiro Schneider
Photo: Jiro Schneider

MUSIC: Pentatonix

Craving some dreamy a capella? A fan of smooth Pop? Got a teen who loves Pitch Perfect or Glee? Or maybe a grandparent who thinks modern, wholesome music doesn’t exist? Aye, Pentatonix is the answer. Catch the three-time Grammy winning, multi-platinum-selling, five-piece group serve up some fresh, stunning vocals sans instrumental accompaniment. The modern Pop group may be mostly associated with Christmastime, but you don’t have to limit your magic intake. Earlier this year they released a volume of modern Pop covers, so expect to hear some a capella takes on tracks like “Finesse,” “Despacito,” and “Havana.” 8 p.m. Wednesday. $21.50-$126. Riverbend Music Center, 6295 Kellogg Ave., California, riverbend.org.

FILM: Indian Film Festival

This festival is Greater Cincinnati’s only film fest focused specifically on Indian cinema. Catch premieres of feature, documentary and short films either made in the Indian subcontinent — aka Southern Asia, which includes countries like India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tibet Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutun and Sri Lanka — or about the people that reside there. Things will kick off Wednesday and continue until Sept. 10. Beyond flicks, peep some post-watch chats and award ceremonies. The festival is organized by Cincinnati Sister Cities and the Cincinnati Art Museum with the objective of bringing awareness to Indian culture within the Greater Cincinnati community. On opening night, they’ll screen James Ivory’s 1983 Heart and Dust at the museum, in which a woman discovers a family scandal involving her deceased grandmother. The evening includes a cocktail reception. Through Sept. 10. Various prices and locations, iffcincy.com.

ART: War Gastronomy: Recipes of Relocation at the Contemporary Arts Center uses cuisine to tell personal stories of change. Read more here.

MUSIC: Folk band Birds of Chicago brings exquisite musicianship and stellar harmonies to the Taft Theatre. See Sound Advice here.


click to enlarge Harvest Home Fair - Photo: Provided
Photo: Provided
Harvest Home Fair

EVENT: Harvest Home Fair

“The Biggest Little Fair” in Ohio is back and taking over downtown Cheviot for the 159th year. The four-day fest starts with a parade on Thursday from the intersection of Harrison and Frances avenues to Harvest Home Park, where the rest of the weekend’s activities take place. Through Sunday, fairgoers can check out live entertainment, carnival rides, 4-H animal and horticulture exhibits and horse, flower and art shows. There will be quaint contests with cash prizes for the best homemade beer, chili, salsa and wine, as well as prizes for the best in show in both sweet and bread baking, canning, needlework and more. Check out the fair kitchen for classic snacks like hot dogs, french fries and LaRosa’s by the slice, plus a Friday fish dinner, Saturday roast beef special and Sunday three-piece chicken dinner from nearby favorite Ron’s Roost. Well-behaved leashed dogs are welcome and, don’t worry, there will be alcohol available for sale. 6 p.m. parade and fair 7 p.m. Thursday; 5-11 p.m. Friday; noon-11 p.m. Saturday; noon-9:30 p.m. Sunday. Free Thursday; $5 adults and free for children 12 and under the rest of the weekend. Harvest Home Park Fairgrounds, 3961 North Bend Road, Cheviot, harvesthomefair.com. 

COMEDY: Sam Evans

Sam Evans is a native of Perrysburg, Ohio. He moved to the Queen City to major in English at the University of Cincinnati but soon discovered he liked stand-up comedy much more than any career path his degree could have led him down. After performing around the Tri-State for a few years, including some time in the sketch comedy show called Underbelly, he headed to New York City where he is currently based. At first his jokes centered on his post-graduation struggles. Now, he’s expanded into jokes about relationships and his family. “My brother got married,” he tells an audience. “He’s a religious guy and had a lot of church-going people in his wedding party.” The groom hired a party bus to go from the ceremony to the reception. “If you put a bunch of church-going people on a party bus, it will suck the party out of the bus, and then it just becomes a regular bus.” Through Sunday. $8-$14. Go Bananas, 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, gobananascomedy.com.


click to enlarge Jukebox the Ghost - Photo: Provided
Photo: Provided
Jukebox the Ghost

MUSIC: Jukebox the Ghost

Formed 15 years ago while the members were college students in Washington, D.C., Jukebox the Ghost’s discography is one of the most consistent in contemporary Alternative Pop. The trio — pianist Ben Thornewill, guitarist Tommy Siegel and drummer Jesse Kristin — moved to Philly after graduation and its debut album, Let Live & Let Gives, caught a lot people’s attention, including Ben Folds, one of the band’s more obvious influences (Queen is the other artist referenced in every single JtG write-up, including, now, this one) who took the group on tour. The band’s hyper-melodic sound — danceable and technologically modern, but timeless in its Pop song structuring — was even more fully realized on 2010’s Everything Under the Sun, JtG’s first album for the Yep Roc label, which helped push the group into the national consciousness. Though they never stopped touring to satiate their fervent devotees across the country, the band took some time shaping the follow-up to its 2014 self-titled debut. The wait for new recorded material was over this year, though; in late March, the band dropped Off to the Races, its fifth full-length effort. The album hit No. 5 on Billboard’s Heatseekers Albums chart (and No. 13 on the Independent Albums listing) and Pop Matters called it a return to the band’s “weirder” roots and JtG’s best album since Everything Under the Sun. 8 p.m. Friday. $20 advance; $22 day of. Taft Theatre Ballroom, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, tafttheatre.org.

EVENT: Greater Cincinnati Tattoo Arts Convention

We get it, Cincinnati is cool now. Well, Cincinnati is about to became even cooler thanks to the inaugural Greater Cincinnati Tattoo Arts Convention happening this weekend, hosted by Villain Arts, the “world’s largest and most successful tattoo arts convention tour.” While at the convention, guests can walk-up and get a tattoo or book an appointment to get some fresh ink from the 150-plus artists in attendance. Tattoo contests covering a range of categories including Best Portrait, Best Lettering and Best Traditional will take place throughout the weekend, and sideshow-style entertainment acts like Alakazam: The Human Knot and Live Human Suspension will be there to distract you from the pain. 2 p.m.-midnight Friday; 11 a.m.-midnight Saturday; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday. $20 per day; $40 for a three-day pass. Northern Kentucky Convention Center, 1 W. RiverCenter Blvd., Covington, Ky., villianarts.com.

click to enlarge Art & Wine Festival - Photo: Vinoklet
Photo: Vinoklet
Art & Wine Festival

EVENT: Art & Wine Festival

Vinoklet’s annual Art & Wine Festival turns 20 this year as live bands and more than 60 art vendors get ready to take over the vineyard grounds all weekend. Friday’s kick-off event features MC Steve Sommers, music from Red Hot Dancing Queens and Vernon McIntyre & Appalachian Grass and food and wine. There will be more Bluegrass and Americana-inspired acts playing music all weekend, while shoppers can browse the art booths or purchase tickets to sample wine, cheese and more. Reservations are required for the restaurant, but there will also be a special Sunday fried chicken dinner ($12) available in the on-site gazebo. 7-11 p.m. Friday; noon-11 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free admission; tickets required for tastings and food. Vinoklet Winery & Restaurant, 11069 Colerain Ave., Colerain, vinokletwines.com. 

EVENT: Ruya Coffee Grand Opening

A good cup of coffee can transcend culture. At least, that’s the premise behind Ruya Coffee, the brainchild of Melissa Aydogan, one of People’s Liberty’s 2018 Globe Grant recipients. She’s a first-generation Turkish-American. Through Rua  — a pop-up Turkish coffeehouse that will be open from Sept. 7 to Nov. 18 — she hopes to lend a positive voice to a generation of Middle-Easterners marginalized by the media. Attend the grand opening and you can expect cozy ground seating, warm Turkish rugs, dangling lanterns and traditional music. Oh, and really robust, thick black coffee. Opening reception 6-9 p.m. Friday. Through Nov. 18. Free admission. Ruya Coffee, 1805 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, ruyacoffee.com. 

CLASSICAL: Star Wars: A New Hope with the Cincinnati Pops

In a galaxy far, far away there was really, really rad music. Scored by composer John Williams, the music of Star Wars: A New Hope soundtracked the childhoods of an entire generation. Sink into nostalgia as the Cincinnati Pops perform the score live as Leia, Luke and Han Solo fight for the resistance on the big screen. 7-10 p.m. Friday. $25-$105. Music Hall, 1241 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, cincinnatisymphony.org.

EVENT: Listermann Brewing Co. 10th Anniversary Party

Listermann is celebrating its 10th birthday with a weekend’s worth of events and activities. Things kick-off with a ticketed event on Friday, featuring brews from more than 20 of the brewery’s “distinguished, delightful and stupendous friends” from around the country to provide a special and rare beer list. Friday’s event also features food vendors. Tickets (there are only 300 of them available) include 30 four-ounce drinks, two food items and a commemorative glass. Saturday, Listermann gets into the Oktoberfest spirit with a Bavarian taproom takeover; expect local brews, German food, games and more. Then on Sunday, events get family-friendly with games, activities, face painting, beer (for grown-ups) and visits from the Cincinnati Zoo’s animal ambassadors (12:30-1:15 p.m.). 6:30 p.m. early bird and 7:30 p.m. regular admission Friday; noon-11 p.m. Saturday; noon-8 p.m. Sunday. Tickets $79.99 early bird for Friday and $59.99 regular admission; free for Saturday and Sunday. Listermann Brewing Co., 1621 Dana Ave., Evanston, listermannbrewing.com.


click to enlarge Red Bull Soapbox Race - Photo: Rooted Media House
Photo: Rooted Media House
Red Bull Soapbox Race

EVENT: Red Bull Soapbox Race

Red Bull’s Soapbox Race returns to Mount Adams for an afternoon of daring downhill racing. Experienced and amateur racers are invited to construct their own vehicles out of whatever material they have available. Use your imagination to create the fastest or most interesting racer. Points will be awarded based on speed, creativity and showmanship. Sixty teams have already been selected to participate — 35 of which are from Ohio and range from “dad and daughter teams to mechanical engineers, Reds fans to chili connoisseurs, first timers to reigning champions,” says Red Bull. If you aren’t racing, secure a spot on the sidelines to watch the action. The family-friend (but not pet-friendly) event features all-day racing, with an awards ceremony at 4 p.m. Food and beverage vendors will be on hand serving up snacks so do not bring your own food, water, alcohol or coolers. Pits open 10 a.m. Saturday; racing begins at 11 a.m. Free. Eden Park, Mount Adams, soapboxrace.redbull.com. 

EVENT: Great American Beer Rush

Bored with just drinking your beer? Need a little adrenaline addition to that Saturday suds buzz? Taft’s and Fifty West are hosting the Great American Beer Rush, an Amazing Race-style scavenger hunt bar crawl that takes interested drinkers through downtown Cincinnati for an afternoon of clues, brews and mental and physical challenges. The Beer Rush begins at Washington Park, where teams will get their first clue. Then it’s off to six different destinations, where you’ll face formidable challenges and also drink beer. The winning team will get a grand prize from each brewery. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday. $25 per person; teams consist of four people. Washington Park, 1230 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine, facebook.com/taftsbeer, facebook.com/fiftywestbrewingcompany. 


click to enlarge Second Sunday on Main - Photo: Max Larson
Photo: Max Larson
Second Sunday on Main

EVENT: Second Sunday on Main

Over-the-Rhine’s monthly summer street festival gets a King Records upgrade this month with a special Second Sunday on Main celebration during September’s King Records Month. As per usual, there will be vendors, food and beer stops, live music and other arts programming lining the street, but keep an eye out for a special pop-up record fair as well as performances from the likes of the Afrochine Studio Orchestra and Comet Bluegrass All-Stars. Noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. Main Street between 12th and Liberty streets, Over-the-Rhine, secondsundayonmain.org.


MUSIC: Jimmie Dale Gilmore and Dave Alvin bring some hippie Country to the Southgate House Revival. Read an interview and get show details here.

MUSIC: Bit Brigade bridges the gap between music and video game sounds at the Southgate House Revival with an interactive live show featuring instruments and a Nintendo Entertainment System. Read more and get show details here.


Scroll to read more Culture articles


Join CityBeat Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.