Top 10 things to do in Cincinnati this weekend: July 12-14

Top 10 things to do in Cincinnati this weekend: July 12-14

1. Cincinnati Celtic Festival

Celebrate Celtic heritage with food, live Celtic music on two stages, and lots of family fun. Enjoy Irish dancing performances, contests for the most freckles, the reddest hair and a Celtic Idol competition. Sunday morning there will be a Celtic Mass at 10 am followed by an optional Irish breakfast served buffet-style.

Details: 5-11pm Friday, noon-11pm Saturday, noon-7pm Sunday, E. Freedom Way, Downtown. Free admission; breakfast is $18.

2. Cincy Blues Fest

Bring your blankets or chairs and prepare to get your groove on at this family-friendly event. Enjoy live music from Blues in the Schools Band, I Dig Pig, Vudu Childe, Ben Levin with Candice Ivory and Sonny Hill, Altered Five Blues Band, Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials, and headliner Noah Wotherspoon. There’s a playground and dedicated Kids Zone with fun and games for the little blues fans, and the Cincy Cool Cars Club will be hosting a car show before the Blues Fest from 9 am-3 pm You’ll find a variety of food and drinks throughout the park, which is a Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (Dora).

Details: 2-10pm Saturday, Village Green Park, 301 Wessel Drive, Fairfield. Free admission and parking.

3. Sun Valley Bluegrass Festival

Bring the whole family to the Joseph J. Stapleton Pavilion at AJ Jolly Park for a fun and affordable day of down-home bluegrass with Willow Creek, Fresh Baked Bluegrass, Ralph Martin Band, Beagle Creek Band, Tweed Donahoe, Marty Dunn and the Danny Davis Band. There will be food, beer and wine for purchase, as well as craft vendors, kids activities and more.

Details: 4-10:30pm Saturday, AJ Jolly Park, 1501 Race Track Road, Alexandria. $5, free ages 12-under.

4. The Negro Motorist Green Book

This Smithsonian-produced exhibition showcases the resilience and ingenuity of African Americans and offers an immersive look at the reality of travel for them in mid-century America. The guide served as an indispensable resource for a rising middle class and an important role in facilitating the second wave of the Great Migration. The exhibition is in collaboration with award-winning author, photographer and cultural documentarian Candacy Taylor, and she will be on-site for a gallery talk at 11 am Saturday.

Details: 10am-5pm Saturday-Sunday, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, 50 E. Freedom Way, Downtown. Runs Jul 13-Oct. 13. Included with museum admission. $16.50, $15 ages 60-up, $11.50 ages 3-12, free ages under 3.

5. Main library reopens

The Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library reopens its main location with three days of fanfare. Highlights Friday include story time with mascots Who Dey, Rosie Red and FC Cincinnati’s Gary the Lion, live music, art making with Pam Kravetz and Indigo Hippo, and a Crosstown Readout with athletes and mascots from Xavier University and University of Cincinnati. On Saturday, be part of the world record attempt for most library card signups, enjoy a Nintendo Super Smash tournament with UC football players, a pickleball tournament, touch-a-truck, live music and more, and on Sunday there’s a preview of Sir Paul McCartney’s “Liverpool Oratorio” with the Cincinnati Opera, panel discussions, artmaking and a tribute to the Cincinnati Music Festival.

Details: 10am-6pm Friday, 10am-8pm Saturday, 1-5pm Sunday, Main Library, 800 Vine St., Downtown. Free.

6. Truth and Innovation Artist Showcase: Film/Visual Arts

Experience visual art, film, dance, music and more by 22 regional artists. The showcase is the “yearly culmination of ArtsWave’s Black and Brown Artist Program, designed to support local BIPOC artists who interpret the themes of our times.” Friday’s showcase highlights film and visual arts and takes place at the Contemporary Arts Center. Saturday’s showcase features visual art in various mediums at Clifton Cultural Arts Center. On Sunday, The Carnegie hosts a series of live performances. The exhibition at CCAC runs through Aug. 8.

Details: 5-9 p.m. Friday, Contemporary Arts Center, 44 E. Sixth St., Downtown; 10 a.m. Saturday, Clifton Cultural Arts Center, 3412 Clifton Ave., Clifton; and 1-5 p.m. Sunday, The Carnegie, 1028 Scott St., Covington. Free.

7. 20th Century Circus

This family-friendly touring tented circus is set in the era of the 1920s and brings old-world circus skills from second-generation circus performers and acclaimed acts from Las Vegas. Shows run Friday-Sunday through July 28.

Details: 7:30-10 pm Friday-Sunday, Renaissance Park, 10542 State Route 73, Harveysburg. $12-$35.

8. Art openings at Manifest Gallery

Manifest Gallery opens several new exhibitions on Friday. Where the Light Comes In: Drawings by Melanie Johnson opens in the main gallery. Kingdom features works by 14 artists on the theme of the animal in contemporary art, and Master Pieces is the 18th annual exhibit of emerging masters and features 17 works by 13 artists. The exhibitions run through Aug. 9.

Details: 6-9 p.m. Friday, Manifest Gallery, 2727 Woodburn Ave., Walnut Hills. Free.

9. Advancing Health

This new permanent exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center lets you take a ride on the cardiovascular superhighway and explore its functions with interactive stations. The exhibit is organized into nine zones: Heart, blood, lungs, muscles, bones, brain/nerves/spine, mental health, immune system and digestion.

Details: 10am-5pm Friday-Monday, Cincinnati Museum Center, 1301 Western Ave., Queensgate.

10. Brady Block Party: Price Hill

Bring your own lawn chairs, blankets and coolers and enjoy music from the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, with a special guest appearance from 13-year-old cellist Sonya Moomaw. The event also includes art activations, a free cookout with a variety of food options, and a popcorn and cotton candy machine.

Details: 7:30pm Sunday, Dunham Recreation Center, 4356 Dunham Lane, Westwood. Free.

Honorable Mention: Shopping galore

  • Newport East Row Yard Sale: There’ll be bargains galore throughout Newport’s historic East Row neighborhood this weekend. Treasure hunt for furniture, household items, child and adult clothing, toys, tools, antiques, books, original artwork and more.
  • Vendor & Craft Fair: Approximately 20 crafters will be on hand, plus there will be food and silent auctions. Held indoors and air-conditioned.
    • Details: 10am-3pm Saturday, Mason Masonic Lodge, 733 Western Row Road, Mason.
  • The OFF Market: Browse small businesses, artisans, brewers, bakers, farmers and more.
    • Details: 10am-4pm Saturday, Summit Park, 4335 Glendale Milford Road, Blue Ash. Free.
  • Market Blue: This quarterly night market features some of the region’s most unique handmade products.
    • Details: 6-10pm Saturday, Contemporary Arts Center, 44 E. Sixth St., Downtown. Free.
  • Cin City Reptile Show: Reptile enthusiasts can shop for exotic pets and supplies.
    • Details: 10am-4pm Sunday, Holiday Inn, 5800 Muhlhauser Road, West Chester. $10, free ages 5-under.
  • Second Sunday on Main: 20th Anniversary: Shop local makers, crafters and vintage goods, and enjoy live performances by Naked Karate Girls.
    • Details: noon-5 pm Sunday, Main St., Over-the-Rhine. Free.