1. 1212 House Party: A Celebration of the Opening of Site 1212
The Art Academy of Cincinnati is throwing a house party this weekend to celebrate a significant campus expansion with the unveiling of Site 1212 – it's new center for community impact – and everyone is invited. Festivities happen along the 1200 block of Jackson St. in Over-the-Rhine and the former site of BarrelHouse Brewing Co. Get a sneak peek at the new space from 6-10 p.m. Friday, which features live music by Wussy Duo and receptions for the new Constance McClure exhibit Never a Day Without Drawing, as well as House Party: Reunion, an exhibition showcasing work of Art Academy alumni.
The party resumes from noon to midnight Saturday with music performances by Cincinnati Music Accelerator and Inhailer Radio, as well as a headline performance by Young Heirlooms. Fans of the former BarrelHouse Brewing co. will get to enjoy micro-crafted vanilla stout created by original BarrelHouse brewmasters Rick Debar and Brian Sprance while viewing a showcase of work by Jim Effler, the original illustrator for BarrelHouse's bottled beer. There will also be vendors, a burlesque show, a fashion show by Lindsey Whittle, and OTR mural tours provided by ArtWorks. You'll find food for purchase from Taste of Belgium, Banging Burgers and Hoff's Pretzel Co. The house party is free and open to the public both days. artacademy.edu.
2. Cincinnati Bengals vs. Miami Dolphins Preseason Game
Here's your chance to get an in-person first look at the team as the Cincinnati Bengals host a preseason game against the Miami Dolphins at 4 p.m. Sunday. You can cheer on the team along with other fans at Paul Brown Stadium (One Paul Brown Way, Downtown), or if you aren't quite ready for a stadium setting, you can watch the game on CBS at home or your favorite watering hole. Tickets to the game start at $35. bengals.com.
3. The Bill Keating Jr. Great Ohio River Swim
This is your opportunity to take a plunge into the Ohio River from the public landing in Downtown, swim to the Kentucky side of the river and back – a distance of approximately a half-mile – while the river is closed to motorized traffic. The Bill Keating Jr. Great Ohio River Swim is a fundraiser for Adventure Crew, a local nonprofit that offers outdoor recreation opportunities for city teens.
New this year, "Double Dippers" can take a 2.5-mile swim downstream along the Ohio shoreline before joining those in the traditional 900-meter course. Double Dippers must commit to raising $500 for Adventure Crew's Swim Training Program. On-site registration opens at 7 a.m., with mandatory open water safety instructions at 8 a.m. followed by the start at 8:15 a.m. Sunday. If river conditions aren't ideal, the swim will be rescheduled for Sept. 19. Registration costs $40, $35 collegiate, $25 ages 12-17. greatohioriverswim.com.
4. Cincy Vegfest
Nationally and internationally known presenters, musicians, authors, artists and chefs converge at Burnet Woods Saturday for Cincy Vegfest, a festival dedicated to compassionate, plant-sourced vegan living and environmentalism. Enjoy world-class vegan food as you mingle with well-known vegan authors, speakers and friends while learning about cooking, nutrition, gardening and more. There will also be eco-living seminars, discussions on the environment, world peace and compassionate living, practices in mindfulness, meditation, yoga and sacred activism. Vegfest runs from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday around the Burnet Woods Bandstand, 3251 Brookline Ave., Clifton. cincyvegfest.com.
In the 12th and 13th centuries, the Mongols swept across the world, lead by a charismatic and powerful leader, crushing all resistance in their path and folding the conquered people into their empire. Now, you the audience, with your town under siege, have the opportunity to plead your case before the Khan himself. But first, you'll need some advice from the Khan's most trusted advisor.
The Know Theatre gives you the chance to step directly into the inner circle of the Great Khan of the Mongol Empire when it brings this world premiere solo show by Adam Tran to Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park & Museum (1763 Hamilton Cleves Road, Hamilton). The outdoor performances take place on grass with a gentle slope. Due to the surge in the delta variant of COVID-19, masks are required for in-person attendance. Showtime is 8 p.m. Thursday to Sunday this weekend, then Wednesday-Sunday through Sept. 12. Tickets run $15-$35. theknowtheatre.com.
Honorable mention: Urban Farming Festival
Great Parks of Hamilton County hosts the Urban Farming Festival from 2-7 p.m. Saturday at Great Parks Nature Center at the Summit (1580 Summit Road, Roselawn), featuring indoor and outdoor activities for all ages. You can learn to incorporate sustainability practices at home, take an urban mini-hike, enjoy live music, yoga and meditation classes, chicken meet-and-greets, vendors, a plant swap, s'mores making and more. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. greatparks.org.
Honorable mention: Lung Album Release Party
Powerhouse art-punk duo Lung celebrates the release of the new album "Come Clean Right Now" – out now on SofaBurn Records – with an album release party Saturday night on Fountain Square (520 Vine St., Downtown). The band – comprised of classically trained opera singer and electric cellist Kate Wakefield and drummer Daisy Caplan, formerly of Foxy Shazam, Babe Rage and Ayin – begins a North American tour with Mac Sabbath and Speedealer on Sept. 1.
The outdoor show starts at 7 p.m. and features openers Paige Beller and Small Reactions. It's free and open to all ages. Fountain Square, 520 Vine St. Downtown. myfountainsquare.com.
Honorable mention: Fur Ball Gala: Disco InFURno
Dust off that leisure suit or flashy disco dress and bone up on your moves! The DJ will be spinning plenty of funky tunes when Society for the Prevention and Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Cincinnati's largest fundraiser turns the Sharonville Convention Center into a Disco InFURno. The evening includes an open bar, plated dinner, live and silent auctions, raffles and a whole lotta boogie on the dancefloor. You might even get to shimmy with puppers from the shelter. The disco ball switches on at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Sharonville Convention Center is located at 11355 Chester Road. Tickets are $250. 513-426-2216; spcacincinnati.org.
Honorable mention: FastForward: CAC Gala + Auction
Also on Saturday, the Contemporary Arts Center (44 E. Sixth St., Downtown) holds its annual art auction and gala fundraiser, FastForward. View and bid on original works of art, prints and more by over three dozen notable artists, enjoy performances and installation art, food and an open bar. Gala tickets also include admission to NewFuture, the afterparty at CAC Black Box. There's no formal dress code for the gala, but guests are encouraged to display their own personal concept of futurism. It runs from 6-10 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $150, $20 afterparty only. showclix.com/event/gala-2021.