July in Northside means one thing: Rock & Roll (and parades). During the annual Northside Rock N' Roll Carnival, hang out at historic Jacob Hoffner Park for two days of food, talent and sweet, sweet music from local favorites like The Harlequins and Leggy as well as a few out-of-towners like NYC-based The Paisley Fields. The Carnival kicks off with music starting at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Then, the most colorful parade in Cincinnati kicks off at noon on Wednesday. The annual Northside Fourth of July Parade — happening every year since 1970 — is an all-out celebration of independence, community, small business and individuality. Expect to see creative handmade floats from vintage stores, bars and community organizations; local marching bands; drill teams; every politician you’ve ever heard of; ladies dancing with lawn chairs; guys dancing with power tools; and other unexpected and delightful displays of pride and spirit.
The parade culminates with the second day of the carnival in Hoffner Park. Live music starts directly after the parade ends — or you can get to the park early to fuel up for the parade with kegs and eggs at 10 a.m.
The fest continues into the night with more live music, food trucks, a beer garden serving MadTree and Urban Artifact, vendors and more. In between sets, enjoy spoken word pieces showcased by Wordplay Cincinnati and family-friendly activities provided by Happen Inc. As always, the carnival is free for all ages, so even the littlest Punks-in-training can hang with the rest of us.
3 p.m.-1 a.m. Tuesday and 2-10 p.m. Wednesday Carnival. Noon-2 p.m. parade Wednesday. Free. Jacob Hoffner Park, 1618 Blue Rock St., Hamilton Ave., Northside, northsidejuly4.com, northsiderocks.com.