How to Enjoy Labor Day Weekend in Cincinnati, Ohio, WEBN Fireworks
The United States Department of Labor says “Labor Day…is a creation of the labor movement…[and] constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country,” (DOL History of Labor Day, 2011) Many cities throw parties and celebrations for people along with private parties by local citizens. Federal employees are given the first Monday in September off as Labor Day and many private business, doctors, and dentist also close allowing employees time to celebrate and enjoy.
For many, Labor Day is the unofficial end to summer. Children are back in school, local outdoor pools close, and other recreational activities are ended. Getting together with friends, family members, and coworkers is a great way of enjoying the weekend. The following will provide a great idea if you are visiting Cincinnati, Ohio over the Labor Day weekend.
Labor Day in Cincinnati
One of the largest firework displays in the Midwest happens along the banks of the Ohio River between Cincinnati, Ohio and Newport, Kentucky on Sunday before Labor Day Monday. For over 30 years WEBN has teamed up with Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks, other sponsors such as Cincinnati Bell and Toyota, and the cities along the banks of the river to produce a free display topping off a day long party at Sawyer Point in Cincinnati, Ohio called Riverfest. The party starts at 12 noon on Sunday before Labor Day and the fireworks are scheduled for 9:05 pm. Rozzi’s shoots fabulous fireworks from barges on the river and from the bridges connecting Ohio and Kentucky.
Tips on Attending Riverfest and the WEBN Fireworks
Tip 1: Plan for the banks of the river to be crowded. The event draws at least a half a million people on each side of the river. This means lots of people and lots of traffic.
Tip 2: Arrive early. Arriving early will help eliminate problems with traffic, finding a parking place, and help to avoid any road closures/rerouting that occurs to control traffic during the event.
Tip 3: Have a meeting place if your group becomes separated. Cell phones are often unable to work because the network is busy. With a million people in one location this is bound to happen.
Tip 4: Bring things to do: cards, Frisbees, and other games. This will help the day go by more quickly.
Tip 5: Bring a radio. WEBN, the local radio station that sponsors the show, plays a coordinated musical accompaniment as the fireworks go off. The more radios in the crowd the better.
Tip 6: Leave your alcoholic beverages at home. Both sides of the river are alcohol free events to support a family atmosphere. You may be escorted off the banks of the river or sited for public intoxication if you are caught drinking.
Tip 7: Have everything you need with you by about 3 pm. Access to your vehicle may be cut off based on closures of certain access points to the river banks until after the show. This helps to maintain the flow of people.
Tip 8: Be prepared to leave late. Everyone tries to rush out to beat the crowd, but if you have small children or older adults it may be best to take your time to get to your vehicle. You can avoid wasting gas while sitting in traffic by letting the crowd clear before you make your attempt. Drive safe.
Tip 9: Carry an umbrella if you are sitting on the riverbank all day. This can help with the heat of the sun or protect you in the event of a summer rain.
Tip 10: Finally, have fun. People break rules, a few may act obnoxious, but for the most part people attend the event with happy intentions. Don’t cause trouble by moving someone’s tarp or blanket and be respectful of others around you.
What to Expect
Various food venders, live entertainment, and novelty booths are set up for people similar to a large festival. Skyline Chili, Papa John’s pizza, BBQ, Coca-Cola and Pepsi booths, funnel cakes, shaved ice, and more are available for purchase on both sides of the river. Commemorative t-shirts are for sale along with Mardi-Gras beads, face painting, and night time novelties such as glow sticks.
Expect a friendly atmosphere where people have come to enjoy the last big weekend of the summer. Many people there consider it a tradition and attend the fireworks annually. Families and friends gather together to party all day.
Attending the P&G Riverfest (Cincinnati side) or the Party at Newport (Kentucky side) are both exciting and fun. There is no smoking on the Serpentine Wall in Cincinnati and as mentioned, no alcohol is permitted on either side of the river. Plan to spend the day in Cincinnati or Newport and enjoy one of the most memorable fireworks displays you can witness.
What are your favorite memories of the WEBN fireworks? Do you have any attendance tips for someone visiting from out of town or attending for the first time? Feel free to make comments below.
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