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This weekend's Taste of Cincinnati showcases 85+ vendors, its most yet

from background to foreground: cincinnati skyline, leafy green trees, and a street filled with people and red and white striped tents
Cincinnati Chamber
Taste of Cincinnati in 2019.

All weekend long, local restaurants, chefs, and food trucks will offer their signature dishes along 5th Street, east of Main in Downtown, for Taste of Cincinnati.

Amy Fitzgibbons, vice president of marketing and communications with the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, says more than 85 food vendors — the most ever — and 20 beer stalls will set up along 5th Street, between Main Street and Sentinel.

She says there’s also more seating, shade, and picnic areas this year.

“We’ve extended the footprint of Taste a little bit. The picnic area will actually be in the newly opened Lytle Park, which is just right off 5th Street and Pike Street. We encourage people, if they want, to bring blankets and be able to hang out.”

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Fitzgibbons says it's a good idea to look at the list of vendors and entertainers ahead of time and plan which you want to experience.

“Cincinnati has become a real foodie town, and whoever the organizers were 45 years ago kind of had to have foresight to want to lift up our culinary culture, and really showcase it to everyone in the region,” she says. “I just think it’s such a nice opportunity for people to find new places to eat.”

Fitzgibbons says Taste of Cincinnati helps support small businesses and makes Downtown a more vibrant place.

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Another Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber event, Oktoberfest Zinzinnati, is leaving Downtown this year. Fitzgibbons says Taste of Cincinnati isn't moving any time soon.

“It’s been a tradition to have Taste on Fifth Street Downtown. It’s the best way — this time of year especially — to accommodate the crowds. There’s always a lot of summer programming happening in the parks down at Sawyer Point and other places,” she says. “This is just the best spot that we have found so far.”

According to the Chamber’s website, Taste of Cincinnati started in Piatt Park, as a one-day event. It grew to two days in 1981, and added a third day in 1988 and moved to Central Parkway. “Taste of Cincinnati was the brainchild of Karen Maier, vice president of marketing for Frisch’s Restaurants Inc.," the website says. "Maier cooked up the idea after reading about Taste of the Big Apple in the Nation’s Restaurant News, an industry trade publication.”

Taste of Cincinnati runs Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Monday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Several Downtown streets closed to accommodate the event

  • Fifth Street, closed between Walnut Street and Columbia Parkway
  • Columbia Parkway closed between Downtown and the Sixth Street ramp
  • Sycamore Street closed between Sixth Street and Fourth Street (access maintained to garages)
  • Broadway- closed between Fourth Street and Sixth Street
  • Broadway converted to a temporary two-way traffic pattern between Seventh Street and Sixth Street
  • Sentinel Street closed
  • Lawrence Street closed

A detour will be in place and marked, directing motorists to northbound I-71 and to I-471.
Most streets should be open again by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.