If you forgot to make escape plans for the long weekend, you certainly won't be lacking for things to do around Cincinnati this Memorial Day weekend, otherwise known as the unofficial kick-off to summer.
In this edition of the WVXU "Do" List -- a round-up of culinary, arts and music events we think public radio listeners might enjoy making time for -- you'll find food, films, festivals and, oh yeah, plenty of parades and memorials. Here's what's on deck for May 24 - 28:
Thursday, May 24
- Starting at 9 a.m., Arlington Memorial Gardens (2145 Compton Road) opens its "Field of Memories" tribute, an annual event where 3 x 5-foot flags are raised over 10 acres in honor of the men and women who have defended our nation. Events happen all weekend long, including fireworks, a memorial photography exhibit, a professional parachute team performing a patriotic flag jump and "Lunch With A Veteran," featuring guest speaker P.G. Gentrup, a Vietnam veteran from Lawrenceburg, IN. Find a detailed schedule of events at www.amgardens.org.
- Photographer Michael Wilson and musician Ric Hordinski, along with the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation, have produced two short films, the first of which debuts Thursday at The Monastery (766 William Howard Taft Road). "Signs&Wonders" features the fading advertising signs painted on the sides of brick buildings throughout Walnut Hills, many dating back to the 1940s or earlier.
- "Star Wars" fans will want to attend the 6 p.m. showing of "Solo: A Star Wars Story" at Regal in Mason (5500 Deerfield Blvd.). While there, guests will receive a poster, collectible buttons and a $5 combo that includes popcorn and a soft drink in a limited-edition "Star Wars" cup.
- If music is on your mind, options include Ricky Nye at Brew River Gastropub (2062 Riverside Drive) from 6-9 p.m. and Zappa, Meyers, & Burkhead from 9 p.m. - 12:30 a.m. at Schwartz's Point (1901 Vine Street).
Friday, May 25
- The Nowhere Else Festival kicks off and continues through Sunday. Billed as "an extended musical family reunion," it features such bands as Red Dirt Boys, Mary Gauthier, Over the Rhine, Daniel, Daniel, and many others, as well as writing workshops, a nature photography exhibit, a farm-to-table picnic and more. Ticket prices and the full schedule can be found at www.nowhereelsefestival.com.
- The May Festival, Cincinnati's annual celebration of classic music and song, nears its end with Maurice Ravel's ballet symphony "Daphnis et Chloé" at Music Hall at 8 p.m. George Frideric Handel's "Messiah" closes out the festival Saturday, May 26 at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $15.
- On Friday, and again on Sunday, Queen City Opera puts on "Iolanta," Tchaikovsky's final opera. In it, the title character is blind, so the company is presenting the performance -- conducted by Price Hill resident Isaac Selya -- with the Cincinnati Association for the Blind, which will provide audio descriptions for those with visual impairments. Friday's performance starts at 8 p.m. and Sunday's at 3 p.m, both at the Arts Center at Dunham (1945 Dunham Way). Tickets start at $25.
- Friday through Sunday, the Jockey Club hosts a 30th anniversary weekend celebration, featuring punk and rock music by Nine Pound Hammer, SS-20, The Dummy Ups, The Jimmy D Three, all emceed by "Handsome" Clem Carpenter. Tickets start at $10 for the all-ages event at the Southgate House (111 E. 6th Street).
- Shelter from the Storm, a People's Liberty project grantee, puts on a free interactive public art experience Friday through Monday from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. with "Weave Yourself Into the Social Fabric" at Music Hall Plaza at Washington Park (1230 Elm Street). Through the use of hands-on weaving panels and a gazebo, artist Geralyn Sparough hopes to show participants how we are all woven into Cincinnati's social fabric through such identifiers as "I feel safe in my neighbordhood" and "I am a Tri-State native." Community conversations take place each day at 11 a.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.
Saturday, May 26
- The 40th annual Taste of Cincinnati takes over four blocks of Fifth Street between Main and Sentinel streets starting at 11 a.m. Saturday until 9 p.m. Monday, featuring more than 250 culinary treats by local restaurants and food vendors, plus five stages of live music by the likes of The B-52s, Rick Springfield, and the Cincinnati Pops. The event and performances are free; all you have to pay for is the food.
- It's Opening Weekend at Coney Island (6201 Kellogg Avenue) and the first day to ride the "Wheely Big" SkyWheel, which towers 155-feet above the park offering 360-degree views of the Ohio River and beyond.
- Also at Coney Island from 6-11 p.m., the Lindy Society presents its Warbirds USO Dance on the park's Moonlight Pavillon. The Tom Daugherty Orchestra plays, and attendees can enter a raffle for the chance to win a bomber ride. Admission is $20 at the door, $12 if purchased through the Lindy Society.
Sunday, May 27
- It's the last night of the Fairfield Community Art Center's (411 Wessel Drive, Fairfield) presentation of "I Love You, You're Pefect, Now Change," an off-Broadway musical comedy about love and loss. Tickets start at $15.
Monday, May 28
- The Fairfield Memorial Day Parade starts at 10 a.m. and features veterans groups, military units and the Fairfield High School marching band, as well as community groups and the Fairfield police and fire departments. The parade starts at Express Scripts (4865 Winton Road); heads south on Hicks Blvd.; turns right to head west on Nilles Road; turns left onto Bibury Road; and turns right onto Wessel Drive to end at Veterans Memorial Park (701 Wessel Drive).
- Starting at 11 a.m., Spring Grove Cemetery (4521 Spring Grove Avenue) welcomes The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, the 6th Ohio Volunteer Infantry and the Sister Anthony O'Connell Auxillary to the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War to present their annual Memorial Day service. This year's guest speaker is Major General John Harris, Ohio assistant adjutant general for the Army. Monday may be the main event, but Spring Grove has Memorial Day happenings all weekend.
- Eden Park's Vietnam Veterans Memorial (950 Eden Park Drive) will holds its annual Memorial Day ceremony at 10 a.m. where Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 10 invites attendees to place flags in honor of the fallen, see a rifle salute and listen to music and a guest speaker.