Downtown Events

Downtown and Over–the–Rhine Events

Friday, Feb. 8 – Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019

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2019 Cincinnati Auto Expo

Friday, Feb. 8, 11 a.m.–9 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 9, 10 a.m.– 9 p.m.

Sunday, Feb. 10, 10 a.m.– 6 p.m.

Duke Energy Convention Center, 425 Elm St.

The Cincinnati Auto Expo presented by The Enquirer marks 31 years of exhibiting the latest in in the automotive world from the area’s top domestic and import manufacturers.

Returning attractions at the 2019 Auto Expo include Dream Machine Boulevard Presented by General Electric Credit Union; the Ride & Drive Center featuring the hottest models from Toyota, Honda, Chevy, Subaru and VW; Safe Travel Family Zone; and the Beer & Wine Garden.

Dream Machine Boulevard Presented by General Electric Credit Union

The Dream Machine Boulevard debuted in 2016 with a collection of exotic, high-end, luxury vehicles. Back once more by popular demand, these vehicles are some the fastest, most powerful, and most luxurious that you can find in Cincinnati and are a must-see attraction for any automotive enthusiast.

Truckin’ Along—History of the Pickup and SUV

With over a hundred years of evolution, a lot has changed for pickups and SUVs, but they still get the job done. Check out a showcase on the long history of two of America’s favorite segments, right next to the Dream Machine Boulevard.

Ride & Drive Center

Now in its third year, the Ride & Drive Center is back with an exciting lineup. Attendees can get behind the wheel of some of the hottest new vehicles for a test drive right at the show. Chevrolet, Honda, Toyota, Subaru and Volkswagen will have a selection of their exciting lineups available along Fifth and Elm Streets—sign up at the Ride & Drive Center and then take the car, truck or SUV you’ve been eyeing on the show floor out for a spin.

Daisy Jane’s Flower Truck

Meet Cincinnati’s Original Flower Truck. Attendees can pick their own flowers and build a bouquet out of this beautiful 1965 Econoline Spring Special. The perfect souvenir from the show to take home and brighten a cold winter day.

Rising Star RV Park

Check out the Expo’s own mini-RV campsite, brought to you by the Rising Star Casino Resort RV Park. See what it’s like to hit the road in the lap of luxury and what you can expect at the tri-state’s premier destination for a convenient, fun-filled getaway.

Safe Travel Family Zone

Kids 12 and under are always free at the Cincinnati Auto Expo, and there’s a ton of fun activities for them inside. As you enter the show, make sure you pick up your goody bag and passport, which will guide you to the various Family Zone activities throughout the show. Once you complete it, you’ll receive five tickets to enter to win an R/C car of your choice in our raffle. Attractions include the Dragonfly Foundation Firetruck, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Cincinnati Children’s Child Passenger Safety display, Recreations Outlet’s jungle gym and trampolines, as well as face-painting, mascots, balloon animals and the Cincinnati Zoo’s “Zoo On The Move.”

American Muscle Showcase

Over the years, nearly every American manufacturer has produced its entry into the muscle car segment, from Ford’s Mustang to Chevy’s Camaro and everything in between. Check out a collection of some of Greater Cincinnati’s best classic American Muscle cars in the Concourse on Fifth Street.

Cincinnati Concours D’Elegance

Every year, the Cincinnati Concours D’Elegance brings together some of the most spectacular classic and antique collector vehicles in the region in historic Ault Park for a one-of-a-kind car show. Stop by their display to see a preview of some of the incredible vehicles you’ll catch at their show in June.

Beer & Wine Garden

If you need to take a break from the show floor, look no further than the Beer & Wine Garden in the Concourse on Fifth Street. Sample local craft beer and wine offerings, enjoy live music, and recharge before you head out and see everything else the show has to offer.

Custom Corner

If you need even more speed, off-road ability or other customization, you need to check out the Custom Corner, with a showcase of some of the most tuned up vehicles in the area! Whether for the track or the trail, there is something here to satisfy every automotive enthusiast.

Tickets are $9 in advance, $11 at the door and children 12 and under are free.

The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!)

Friday, February 8, 8 p.m.

Saturday, February 9, 2019 5 and 8 p.m.

Continues Feb. 15 and 16

Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St.

The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!) is a musical about musicals! In this hilarious satire of musical theatre, one story becomes five delightful musicals, each written in the distinctive style of a different master of the form, from Rodgers & Hammerstein to Stephen Sondheim. The intimate Fifth Third Bank Theater will be set as a cabaret – with tables, chairs, and a cash bar. It’s the perfect holiday gift for your loved one or an evening out with friends!

Cincinnati Music Theatre (has attracted some of the area’s top local talent and theatre veterans – many of whom have performed in past CMT productions – for its Studio Series 2019 opener.

The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!) is a musical about musicals! In this hilarious satire of musical theatre, one story becomes five delightful musicals, each written in the distinctive style of a different master of the form, from Rodgers & Hammerstein to Stephen Sondheim. The basic plot: June is an ingénue who can't pay the rent and is threatened by her evil landlord. Will the handsome leading man come to the rescue? The variations are: a Rodgers & Hammerstein version, set in Kansas in August, complete with a dream ballet; a Sondheim version, featuring the landlord as a tortured artistic genius who slashes the throats of his tenants in revenge for not appreciating his work; a Jerry Herman version, as a splashy star vehicle; an Andrew Lloyd Webber version, a rock musical with themes borrowed from Puccini; and a Kander & Ebb version, set in a speakeasy in Chicago. The production is directed by Dennis Murphy, who recently directed CMT’s production of Camelot, and produced by Kathy Beiting and Marypat Carletti, with music direction by Linda Abbott and choreography by JV Katz.

The intimate Fifth Third Bank Theater will be set as a cabaret – with tables, chairs, and a cash bar. It’s the perfect holiday gift for your loved one or an evening out with friends!

One of Cincinnati’s oldest and most successful community theaters, CMT is proud of its long history of presenting popular, large scale, award-winning musicals to enthusiastic audiences from across the Greater Cincinnati area.

Tickets are only $25 (inclusive of all fees) and are on sale now at, (513) 621-ARTS [2787], and the Aronoff Center Ticket Office. Group sales of eight or more are available at (513) 977-4157.

Opening Celebration: Archive as Action and Returns

Friday, Feb. 8–11 p.m.

Contemporary Arts Center, 44 E. Sixth St.

Don’t miss the opening celebration for two new exhibitions, Calcagno Cullen, Amanda Curreri and Lindsey Whittle: Archive as Action and Julien Nguyen: Returns .

Archive as Action convenes a trio of Cincinnati-based artists who continuously activate found and historical materials through a performative and participatory lens. In this evolving arena, the stories that live within textiles, garments, recipes, documents and archives become the platform for gatherings of community and collaborators. Calcagno Cullen is an artist, curator, and the executive director of an experimental arts space and socially-engaged residency program that has turned the arts organization into an art practice. Amanda Curreri is an artist and professor whose work is interdisciplinary and interpersonal –mining the politics embedded in textiles to prompt discussions of labor, class and use-value. Fashion and garments are also central to the vivid practice of Lindsey Whittle, a performance/fashion/visual artist whose work revels in color and amplifies the body into a collective being.

Like an early Renaissance painter engaging the politics and popular culture of today, Vietnam-born, Los Angeles-based artist Julien Nguyen employs subjects and compositions from Florentine architecture and Japanese manga to science fiction and Hollywood cinema. In so doing, his work exercises a kind of archaeological grafting that references art history while disrupting the narratives and hierarchies it canonizes. In his hands, practices such as one-point perspective and elongated figuration are applied to deities, politicians, and personal friends alike – collapsing the past and present to conjure hallucinatory allegories that span multiple eras and mythologies.

Majestic Bruckner 8

Friday, Feb. 8 and Saturday, Feb. 9, 8 p.m.

Music Hall, 1241 Elm St.

The expansive sound of Bruckner’s Symphony No. 8 is the perfect way to experience the new acoustics of renovated Music Hall.

Composer Hugo Wolf remarked that “[the Eighth] is the creation of a giant…a complete victory of the powers of light over darkness.”

Conductor Donald Runnicles has been said to keep “orchestral colors shimmering in an ultra-subtle mist” (Washington Classical Review) This concert is part of Series 2.Get inside the minds of composers and to the heart of the music with Classical Conversations, one hour before Friday, Saturday and Sunday Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra subscription concerts.Concert Duration:

African American Read-In

Saturday, Feb. 9, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Reading Garden Lounge, Main Library, 800 Vine St.

Head to the Main Library for a celebration of African American literature. Explore the Library's collection of books created by African American authors and illustrators, enjoy a full day of public readings and performances, and get creative with hands-on activities. Our featured guest is Derrick Barnes, author of the award-winning picture book, Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut. Mr. Barnes will read his book and discuss his journey to becoming an author.All ages welcome! No registration required.

11 a.m. - Derrick Barnes - Reading and presentation

Noon - Author book signing (with books for sale courtesy of Joseph-Beth Booksellers)

1 p.m. - Local author spotlight

2 p.m. - Storytime in Children's Library

2 p.m. - Writer's Circle, facilitated by Women Writing for (a) Change*

Speakers include Derrick Barnes, Terri Bolds, Ashley Aya Ferguson, Christine Gibson, Jan-Michelle Kearney, Annie Ruth, and Arnice Smith.

Derrick Barnes is from Kansas City, Mo. He is the author of the critically acclaimed picture book Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut , which won a multitude of literary awards making it one of the most decorated picture books in the history of children’s literature. The book’s commendations include two 2018 Ezra Jack Keats awards, one for New Writer and an honor for the illustrations. It also a winner at the American Library Association’s Youth Media Awards, taking home four Honor awards: the Coretta Scott King Author Honor, Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor, Newbery Honor, and the Caldecott Honor. In October of 2018, Crown also took home the Kirkus Prize for Young Readers.

*Writer's Circle: Let loose the voice in you! If you love words, join this writing circle led by Women Writing for(a) Change. Together we'll explore a common theme, write a little, share a little (optional) and have an engaging discussion. We might not all think of ourselves as writers, but we all have something to say. Putting it down on paper can be as natural as speaking your truths. See you there!

The African American Read-In is the nation's oldest event dedicated to diversity in literature. It was established in 1990 by the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English to make literacy a significant part of Black History Month..

Opening Weekend: Winslow Homer to Georgia O'Keeffe

Saturday, Feb. 9 and Sunday, Feb. 10, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Taft Museum of Art, 316 Pike St.

Winslow Homer to Georgia O’Keeffe traces a century of the modern creative spirit in the United States, ranging from realistic landscapes to bold abstract forms. Fifty-five works by American masters—including Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Helen Frankenthaler—span the 1860s through the 1960s. Nineteenth-century landscapes and portraits set the stage for light-filled scenes by the American Impressionists. Carefully structured cityscapes by the American Modernists give way to Cubist-inspired works, and, finally, to colorful experimental paintings by the Abstract Expressionists.

The exhibition honors the vision of Duncan Phillips, who transformed his private collection into America’s first museum dedicated to modern art. All works in the exhibition are drawn from The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C., which Phillips established in 1921, just six years before Charles and Anna Taft bequeathed their own collection and home to the people of Cincinnati, founding the Taft Museum of Art.

Exhibition Tour, Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

Join a Taft docent for a half-hour tour of the special exhibition.

FREE for Taft members; regular admission pricing for non-members.

This exhibition has been organized by The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.

The Remus Revival

Saturday, February 9, 7 p.m.

The Butcher and Barrel, 700 Race St.

That’s right, this is the revival of the King of the Bootleggers himself, the man, the myth, the legend, George Remus, and he's coming back for you! On this 67th anniversary of his passing, Butcher and Barrel is reviving the legend for one night only, in the heart of Cincinnati, home to Remus' incredible Prohibition Era bootlegging operation.

Dress in your best themed attire, and join George Remus Bourbon at The Butcher and Barrel, with Cincinnati's favorite mixologist, Molly Wellmann, for a night to remember.

Valentines Treats

Sun, Feb 10, 3 – 5 p.m.

Findlay Kitchen, 1719 Elm St.

Couples will get an introduction to chocolate covered strawberries, apples, and pretzels. The couple with the best completed design will win a prize.

·Dip, drizzle, and decorate (12) strawberries with white/milk/dark chocolate/ assorted sprinkles

·Dip, drizzle, and decorate (2) apples with white/milk/dark chocolate/ assorted sprinkles

·Dip, drizzle, and decorate (6) pretzels with white/milk/dark chocolate/ assorted sprinkles

All items will be packaged upon completion . Beer, wine, and appetizers will be provided.

Findlay Kitchen is a non-profit food business incubator located in the heart of the historic Findlay Market district. They support food entrepreneurs looking to start, grow and scale their business, by providing affordable access to licensed commercial kitchens, wraparound business services, and access to exclusive sales channels and growth opportunities. Findlay Kitchen is a mission-driven organization that places special emphasis on cultivating women, immigrant, and minority-owned businesses. Their Classroom Kitchen also supports their food entrepreneurs whose business model focuses on education and learning through demonstrations and classes open to the community.

Amy Grant with the Cincinnati Pops

February 10, 7 p.m.

Music Hall, 1241 Elm St.

Back by popular demand, cross-genre Grammy winner Amy Grant returns to perform with the Cincinnati Pops for one-night-only. This early Valentine’s Day program will feature hits from Grant’s multi-platinum-selling catalog of hit songs all under the direction of guest conductor and Ohio native Steven Reineke.

Six-time Grammy-winning pop legend Grant brings a selection of her favorite love songs, songs of faith, and her biggest hits including Every Heartbeat, That's What Love is For and Baby, Baby . Sit back and indulge in this sure-to-sell-out and inclusive offering to love, kinship and peace–just in time for Valentine's Day.

This concert is included with the Premier full-series package, or save $10 per ticket when you add it to any other package.

The John Mellencamp Show

Sunday, Feb. 10, 8 p.m.

Aronoff Center for the Arts, 650 Walnut St.

Set to coincide with a highly-anticipated new album release, John Mellencamp will embark on a 2019 tour of “The John Mellencamp Show” which will feature the rock icon’s classics plus some new material

Produced by AEG Presents, “The John Mellencamp Show” will start promptly at and will not have an opening act. Every ticket purchased online will receive a physical copy of Mellencamp’s forthcoming album “Other People’s Stuff.”

Mellencamp’s live shows have garnered huge critical acclaim with the Hollywood Reporter calling it a “triumphant, career-spanning show” and a “superb performance…still full of fiery defiance” by the Boston Globe.His extensive touring and live shows have solidified the Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer’s place at the forefront of American music for the past forty years.

Mellencamp’s career in music, spanning more than 35 years, has seen him transition from pop star to one of the most highly respected singer/songwriters of a generation. Mellencamp is incredibly acclaimed; he is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a Grammy winner, a recipient of the John Steinbeck Award, ASCAP Foundation’s Champion Award, The Woody Guthrie Award and Americana Music Association's Lifetime Achievement Award, and more recently, the Founders Award, the top honor assigned by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers.Additionally, he was recently inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame this past June. He is also one of the most successful live concert performers in the world. In 1985, Mellencamp, together with Willie Nelson and Neil Young, created Farm Aid. The social activism reflected in his songs helped catalyze Farm Aid, the concert series and organization that has addressed the struggle of American family farmers for more than 25 years.

John continues to focus on another facet of his artistic expression: painting. His style has progressed over the years as evidenced by several gallery shows and published portfolios, and in recent years he has increased his output by completing over 100 new works. He had his second solo exhibition this past Spring in New York and a recent exhibit at the famed Butler Museum in Youngstown. Mellencamp continues his journey as the walking embodiment of rock icon; passionate, plain-spoken, and a self-proclaimed rebel. He continues to live and work in Bloomington, Indiana.

Brian Thomas

Brian Thomas

Based in Cincinnati, OH, the Brian Thomas Morning Show covers news and politics, both local and national, from a conservative point of view. Read more


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