Behold the Great American Ball Park. On Tuesday, Cincinnati hosts its fifth Major League All-Star Game. There were two (1938 & 1953) in Crosley Field and two more (1970 & 1988) in Riverfront Stadium. This is the first in what would be the best named stadium in the country if that name weren’t bought and paid for by the Great American Insurance Company. I remember both the 1970 and ’88 games and I attended the latter. Neither of those games had anything even remotely comparable to the hoopla and pre-game activities of this one.
That hoopla includes twenty bench sized moustaches scattered around the area and many other marked photo ops, too. A multi-day Fanfest started Friday in Convention Center and there are game related events throughout the weekend including many in communities fairly distant from downtown and the stadium.
And even in the stadium’s neighborhood, the All-Star Game isn’t the only reason for celebration. I’m on the Kentucky side of the river not only so I can afford to park my car ($20 to $30 is currently the going rate in downtown Cincinnati) but also because there is a riverside party there as part of Covington’s bicentennial. It was just opening when I was there so it wasn’t overly raucous yet but Bucket (Lee Rolfes, Bam Powell, & Bob Nyswonger) had the crowd dancing with their first song.
John Roebling may appear to be directing attention to the ball park in this article’s first picture but he is really gesturing toward the first bridge to connect Ohio and Kentucky (and the one featured in this blog’s banner). He was responsible for the design and construction of this engineering marvel in the 1860s. This is also the weekend of the 11th annual Roebling Fest which this year has been somewhat blended into the bicentennial celebration. Covington-Cincinnati Suspension Bridge Committee members offer tours of the bridge, the nearby murals, and a number of riverside statues during the festival and, yes, I did learn something. The family in the center of the second photo have just finished a Color Run in which participants become very colorful by the end of the 5K event. Just one more piece of the All-Star party. In the picture’s background, a Roebling Bridge light and the Scripps-Howard building can be seen in their All-Star get-ups.
I had planned on visiting Cincinnati later but, since the bridge tour ended in the middle of the river, decided that I might as well complete the crossing now. Signs of the approaching game are everywhere and preparations continue.
I have yet to visit the river level portion of Smale Park but something new catches my eye every time I walk past/over it. Today it was the recently completed chimes. Operated by the big keyboard below them, they have been called the “Riverfront Foot Piano” though I don’t know if that name will stick. The building above and behind the chimes contains Carol Ann’s Carousel which I rode at its official opening. Don’t you wish your city was cool like mine?