EVENT: HAMILTON COUNTY FAIR
Amid a sea of industry and commerce is 30 acres of Carthage green space, home to the Hamilton County Agricultural Society. For five days this oasis will be transformed into the hustle and bustle of the Hamilton County Fair. Take a lesson in “Agriculture 101” and try your hand at milking a cow, or ride a donkey in the donkey races. If you’re here to stuff your face, Graeter’s is holding an eating contest, but there are also belly dancers, professional wrestlers, the famed demolition derby and bull riding, classic fairground rides and much, much more. Around 30,000 visitors are expected to partake. 4-11 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday; noon-10 p.m. Sunday. $7; $5 parking. Hamilton County Fairgrounds, 7700 Vine St., Carthage, hamiltoncountyfair.com.
EVENT: GREAT INLAND SEAFOOD FESTIVAL
A miracle of modern refrigeration: a smorgasbord of seafood miles away from an ocean. The 29th-annual Great Inland Seafood Festival features whole Maine lobsters for $10.95 (while they last) plus tons of dishes featuring shrimp, crawfish, crab legs, oysters and more from area food vendors. Also expect cold beer and live local music all weekend. 6-11 p.m. Thursday and Friday; noon-11 p.m. Saturday; noon-9 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. Festival Park, Riverboat Row, Newport, Ky., 513-477-3320, searchable on Facebook.
MUSIC: THE REVEREND PEYTON’S BIG DAMN BAND
Josh “The Reverend” Peyton is the poster boy for second medical opinions. The Rev learned guitar at 12 in his central Indiana hometown, then formed a band with younger brother Jayme on drums. He was made aware of his Bluesy playing style and began absorbing the work of electric and acoustic Blues masters, particularly the catalog of Charley Patton, whose fingerpicking technique he loved but couldn’t emulate. After a high school graduation gig, searing pain in Rev’s hands sent him to a doctor, who told him he’d never fret his guitar with his left hand again. He abandoned music for a year, but was eventually recommended to a hand specialist in Indiana who removed a knot of scar tissue in his left hand. After the operation, not only could he play guitar again, he discovered he was able to play in the elusive fingerpicking style he so admired. So if you want to witness a miracle of the universe — and experience one of the most compelling live shows you’ll ever see — get right with the Rev and the biggest, damnedest band you’ll ever love. 8:30 p.m. Friday. Free. Fountain Square, Fifth and Vine streets, Downtown, myfountainsquare.com.
EVENT: POKÉMON GO BACK TO SCHOOL BATTLE AT CONEY ISLAND
Vying to be the very best? If so, travel not so far across the land to Coney Island this weekend, where local Pokémon trainers of all ages will coalesce for a special Pokémon GO event. The park is a hot spot for the insanely popular mobile game, which uses augmented reality to allow users to “catch” Pokémon in the real world. The grounds contain 10 PokéStops, areas at which users can collect items like Pokéballs, and a gym where players can battle one another. Dubbed the “Pokémon Go Back to School Battle,” the event includes Pokémon-themed meals, contests and giveaways. “Lures” — in-game items that attract Pokémon to a specific location — will be active throughout the day. Noon-4 p.m. Friday. Free with park admission: $25.95 ages 5 and up; $13.95 kids 2-4. Coney Island, 6201 Kellogg Ave., California, coneyislandpark.com.
MUSIC: CINCY BLUES FEST
Cincy Blues Fest — which presents its 24th-annual event this Friday and Saturday on three stages along the riverfront at Sawyer Point — always brings in some nationally known touring Blues acts to headline. But it has also been the place to sample Cincinnati’s best artists in any given year. If you look back at the local musicians in past lineups, you’d see snapshots of what the local Blues scene looked like in each year the fest has been presented. This year is no exception. 5 p.m.-midnight Friday; 4:30 p.m.-midnight Saturday. $20 per day; $35 two-day pass. Sawyer Point, 705 E. Pete Rose Way, Downtown, cincybluesfest.org.
MUSIC: MUSIC FOR MARIA
Earlier this summer, local guitarist/singer/songwriter Maria LeMaster passed away unexpectedly. She was only 29 and, of course, her sudden loss hit her many friends hard, including many from the local music community. So those musician friends are doing what local musicians so often do when a member of the community passes away or suffers a serious hardship — they’re banding together to support LeMaster’s family and celebrate her life. Friday night at the Southgate House Revival numerous local acts will perform in LeMaster’s memory and raise money for her family. Local artists scheduled to appear include SS-20 (LeMaster once played rhythm guitar for the veteran Punk group), The Tigerlilies, Lovecrush 88, Dead Man String Band and more. Massachusetts Punk legend Gang Green (which has featured players from Cincinnati in recent years) also performs. T-shirts will be available to raise more money. 9 p.m. Friday. $10 donation. Southgate House Revival, 111 E. Sixth St., Newport, southgatehouse.com.
John Kander and Fred Ebb wrote some of the greatest musicals of the late 20th century, and Chicago might be their best. Set in the Windy City in the Roaring ’20s, it’s the satirical tale of chorus girl Roxie Hart who offs a faithless lover and convinces Amos, her nebbish of a husband, to take the rap — until he wises up. But she knows publicity could be her ticket off Death Row and lead to fame and fortune if she can outdo another “Merry Murderess,” Velma Kelly. The show brims with iconic tunes, including “All That Jazz,” “Mr. Cellophane” and “Razzle Dazzle.” Through Sept. 4. $29 adults; $26 students and seniors. Warsaw Federal Incline Theater, 801 Matson Place, East Price Hill, cincinnatilandmarkproductions.com.
CLASSICAL MUSIC: SUMMERMUSIK
In one of the more notable recent attempts to find new audiences for Classical music, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra last August introduced Summermusik, a multi-week festival featuring imaginative programming and some unusual settings. Designed to fill a gap between the end of the Cincinnati Opera season and the start of Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s, it offered traditional concerts, featuring the full chamber orchestra, at Corbett Theater in the School for Creative & Performing Arts. But it also offered casual variations — “chamber crawls” with small ensembles in area bars and afternoon performances in more intimate venues. They were all well attended, and there was buzz that the orchestra might be turning a corner in its four-decade history. Now the orchestra hopes to continue that momentum with its second Summermusik festival, which begins Saturday and continues through Sept. 1. There are a lot of events — 14 in all — and several are already sold out. The lineup includes Classical music, Jazz and Rock and features outstanding soloists and trendy locales. It also offers opportunities to sample beer, wine, coffee and pastries along with the listening experience. Through Sept. 1. Prices vary. Find a full list of events at ccocincinnati.org.
ONSTAGE: SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARK
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company pushes the idea even further, with its free Shakespeare in the Park tour, now in its 10th season. Rather than limiting performances to one park, Cincy Shakes tours three productions to more than 30 locations across the Tristate. Performances of Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, featuring six actors in streamlined renditions, began July 29. They’ll travel around Southwest Ohio, Northern Kentucky and Southeast Indiana until Sept. 1. This year’s shows have new costumes and scenic designs. Using body microphones, actors’ voices are amplified so audiences can hear them in non-acoustic, open-air spaces. Shows have been trimmed to be less than two hours and made suitable for families and children of all ages. Actors play multiple roles, carefully defining each one with costumes, wigs and voices that make it clear who they are. Upcoming performances of Romeo and Juliet happen Saturday at the Dunham Arts Center (2 p.m.) and Eden Park’s Seasongood Pavilion (7 p.m.). Macbeth will be performed on Wednesday at Clifton Cultural Arts Center, on Thursday at Boone Woods Park in Burlington, Kentucky, on Friday at Vinoklet Vineyard in Colerain Township and on Sunday at the Harry Whiting Brown Lawn in Glendale. Most performances start at 7 p.m.; there are a few 2 p.m. matinees. Find a full schedule at cincyshakes.com.
MUSIC: TINSLEY ELLIS
Georgia born and Florida raised, Tinsley Ellis was attracted to Blues/Rock by way of the British Invasion bands he heard as a teenager. But it was a B.B. King show that lit the fuse on his Blues ambitions. Ellis played in a band while a student at Atlanta’s Emory University, but stepped up to the next level with The Alley Cats, a rambunctious Blues outfit that included future Fabulous Thunderbirds bassist Preston Hubbard. Ellis’ love of scorching electric Blues was forged in the ’60s and he’s been offering up his own visceral take on the genre for the past four decades with a voice that smokes like Delbert McClinton, a guitar that shrieks and soothes like the Vaughan brothers and a soul that understands pain and redemption. His road consistency and the passion his loyal fans have for the music seems to be referenced on Red Clay Soul’s “Circuit Rider,” as Tinsley sings, “I’m a circuit rider, I go from town to town, healing peoples’ sickness, as I make my rounds.” 7:15 p.m. Saturday. $20; $35 two-day pass. Sawyer Point, 705 E. Pete Rose Way, Downtown, cincybluesfest.org.
MUSIC: WALTER TROUT
When renowned Blues guitarist Walter Trout toured Europe last year, he was playing with a palpably renewed vigor. Trout’s rejuvenation almost seemed like a physical presence within the band, and for good reason — in 2013, after a long period of fatigue and balance problems, he was diagnosed with hepatitis C, leading to a liver transplant, a horrifying parade of complications and a long, painful rehabilitation. By 2015’s European tour, Trout was fully recovered and bursting with energy, clearly evident from his incendiary performance on Alive in Amsterdam, recorded on the tour’s Amsterdam date at the venerable Royal Theatre Carré. He’s kicking off his U.S. tour in Cincinnati this weekend. Then it’s another European tour, a holiday break and a return to the studio to record what Trout describes as Full Circle Vol. 2, a sequel to his acclaimed, star-studded 2006 album. Trout’s health scare has made him deeply appreciative of where he is now in life. 10:15 p.m. Saturday. $20; $35 two-day pass. Sawyer Point, 705 E. Pete Rose Way, Downtown, cincybluesfest.org.
EVENT: STARLIT PICNIC
Wine and cheese under the stars. Head to the Cincinnati Observatory for an incredibly romantic evening of al fresco dining, live music from Jake Speed and the Freddies and dessert by the light of the moon. You bring the blanket, food and drinks; the solar system provides the stars and other heavenly bodies; and the observatory provides tours of their historic buildings and a chance to view the night sky up close through the oldest telescope in the western hemisphere. 7-10 p.m. Saturday. $30; RSVP required. Cincinnati Observatory, 3489 Observatory Place, Mount Lookout, cincinnatiobservatory.org.
EVENT: WAVE POOL POOL PARTY
Camp Washington’s Wave Pool gallery celebrates summer with its annual fundraiser, the Wave Pool Pool Party. Do you like wearing swim trunks in public? What about drinking Rhinegeist and eating Eli’s BBQ? Then this is the party for you. Dance, drink and eat your way through Saturday with music from local bands, a dunk tank, a pool installation from Working Girls Co. and an auction of art (which has been underway since Aug. 1 and will be finalized at the end of the night) from the likes of Amanda Checco, Wave Pool owners Skip and Cal Cullen, Andy Marko, Michael Stillion and more. Funds raised go to support the mission of Wave Pool. 3-7 p.m. Saturday. Free admission. Wave Pool, 2940 Colerain Ave., Camp Washington, wavepoolgallery.org.
MUSIC: ZIG ZAGS
Los Angeles trio Zig Zags came together in 2010 and crafted a magnetic sound that blends classic Punk, Thrash and Stoner Rock ideals, but doesn’t really fit neatly into any one of those categories. The band has come far in a relatively short period of time — the threesome collaborated with Iggy Pop on a cover of Betty Davis’ “If I’m In Luck I Might Get Picked Up” for the Light in the Attic label’s 10th-anniversary single releases, recorded its self-titled debut full-length for In the Red Records with Ty Segall helping as producer and, earlier this year, released its excellent new album, the grinding, grimy Running Out of Red, for Castle Face, the label founded by John Dwyer of the popular Rock crew Thee Oh Sees. The fact that the band has been supported by so many other quality artists with very good tastes in music should be enough to draw you to the group’s show this week, but the compellingly heavy sound of Zig Zags will have you downloading everything you can find by the trio as soon as you get home after the gig. Cincinnati bands RIVE and Head Collector open this weekend’s show. 9 p.m. Saturday. $5. Northside Yacht Club, 4227 Spring Grove Ave., Northside, northsideyachtclub.com.
EVENT: NATIONAL ROLLER COASTER DAY/STRICKER’S GROVE FAMILY DAY
Fun fact: National Roller Coaster Day is celebrated every year on Aug. 16, the day Richard Knudsen and J.G. Taylor received a U.S. patent for the wooden roller coaster in 1878. The holiday is commemorated by amusement parks across the country, including Kings Island, which offers behind-the-scenes photoshoots and exclusive nighttime rides to active members of the American Coaster Enthusiasts and other coaster-related groups. Thankfully, thrill aficionados without such membership cards have another way to celebrate: Stricker’s Grove, the family-owned and -operated private amusement park, is opening its doors Sunday for its annual Family Day. Admission includes access to all rides — like the park’s two wooden coasters, the Teddy Bear and the Tornado — plus free soft drinks and parking. Park hours: 1-9 p.m.; ride hours: 2-5 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. Sunday. $12.50; free kids 2 and under. Stricker’s Grove, 11490 Hamilton Cleves Road, Hamilton, strickersgrove.com.
In reality, it’s not always easy to track down something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. The Bridalrama showcase is here to help. This event is designed to help you design your dream wedding in one day. With panel topics ranging from cake toppers and bridal registries to wedding insurance and photobooths, there will be an array of experts on hand to make the biggest day of your life a breeze. Two runway fashion shows will also be on display throughout the afternoon. This groom-friendly, parent-friendly and even in-law-friendly afternoon has been the area’s premiere wedding and bridal planning event for the past 12 years. 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Sunday. $10. Duke Energy Convention Center, 525 Elm St., Downtown, bridalrama.net.
EVENT: SECOND SUNDAY ON MAIN
This month, Over-the-Rhine’s eclectic street festival’s theme is MAINevent, which celebrates merchants past and present that make Main Street a vibrant place to live, shop and play. More than 100 vendors will descend on the street with all manner of arts, crafts, jewelry, plants, produce, clothing and accessories, plus live music and food trucks throughout the day. Noon-5 p.m. Sunday. Free admission. Main Street between 12th and Liberty streets, Over-the-Rhine, secondsundayonmain.org.
COMEDY: BRIAN SCOLARO
“My stuff is universal with an edge,” says comedian Brian Scolaro. “I grew up watching George Carlin, and I liked the way he divided his set into blocks. ‘Here’s a block that’s serious, here’s one that’s silly, here’s a block about farts.’ There’s a part of my show where I talk about how to kill someone and get away with it and also a bunch of one-liners.” Though he can be dark, Scolaro doesn’t consider himself particularly edgy, nor is he a family act. The closest he gets to being political, for example, is when he tells an audience how society and businesses treat overweight people like they’re dumb. “There’s no Fat Rights leader,” he says. “There’s no Martin Luther Burger King coming to defend us.” Thursday-Sunday. $8-$14. Go Bananas, 8410 Market Place Lane, Montgomery, gobananascomedy.com.