Tasting, Tweeting and Tributing

This weekend, as is Memorial Day weekend tradition ’round these parts, the Taste of Cincinnati brings good grub and music to the streets of downtown (Fifth Street, between Race and Broadway, to be exact). Original local bands like Marshwiggles, The Swarthy Band, The Chocolate Horse, the Tracy Walker Band and The Fairmount Girls will perform alongside the usual mix of cover bands, Blues/R&B aces and Country music up-and-comers. (See the full lineup here or pick up the current CityBeat to see the official program.)

But the real musical star of this weekend’s events is an artist no longer with us, Katie Reider. —-

A petition campaign helped get a stage at the Taste named after Reider, a locally bred singer/songwriter who passed away last year and had years of experience playing the fest. The “Katie Reider Tribute Stage” will be in the P&G Gardens (in front of the P&G building) and feature most of the aforementioned original acts. Saturday will also be proclaimed “Katie Reider Day” in Cincinnati; Saturday would also have been her 31st birthday.

On Saturday starting at 4 p.m., there will be a special tribute to Katie on the newly-christened stage. First up, the proclamation and comments from friends and family about Katie’s life, then a video tribute and the presentation of the first (of what will be an annual occasion at the Taste) Katie Reider Spirit of Music Award, honoring a local musician who best represents Katie’s life, work and, obviously, enduring spirit.

At 5:30 p.m., Reider’s band will take the stage with various guest singers (including Kelly Thomas and Donna Moragrove) to perform several of Katie's songs. She'll also be honored by “3 Tweets 4 Katie: The World's Largest Tweet-Up”  — here's an explanation from the press release:

“Tens of thousands of tweets are expected to fill the Twitterverse over the Memorial Day weekend in honor Reider’s life and music. The Friends of Katie Reider encourage peeps around the world to adopt new Twitterminology and embrace a Reider family tradition: '3' means 'I love you' and '4' means 'I love you too.' With tweets limited to 140 characters on Twitter, '3 Tweets 4 Katie: The World’s Largest Tweet-Up' organizers believe the Reider family tradition of '3' and '4' might likely gain a global following as new Twitter shorthand.”

The goal is to get people to download Katie’s music at the "500K in 365” site here for $1. Money raised will go to help Katie’s wife and children. To join the Twitter campaign and learn more, go here.