Sunday, September 03, 2000

Riverfront ready to rock

Sunny skies and 500,000 people expected

By Walt Schaefer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[photo] Belay that labor: Dan Papucci and his wife, Kelly, relax Saturday after anchoring their boat in between the Roebling Suspension Bridge and the Taylor Southgate Bridge in anticipation of tonight's fireworks.
(Ernest Coleman photo)
| ZOOM |
        The annual Labor Day weekend Ohio River armada grew from a few early arrivals Saturday morning to nearly 100 watercraft as dusk approached.

        Boaters will clog the Ohio today. Crowds will jam Sawyer Point and the shores on both sides of the river.

        And, cars will cram the newly opened downtown highway system as Riverfest kicks off at noon today and continues through the WEBN fireworks tonight.

        To keep the crowd from making a mass exit, music will continue at the Serpentine Wall after the fireworks, and concessions will remain open for about an hour.

  If you are heading downtown for Riverfest, special express buses are available. Information about the festival and bridge closings can be found below.
 Other summer-ending events this weekend:
 • Ohio Renaissance Festival, on 30-acre village re-created in flavor of 16th-century England, Ohio 73 in Harveysburg in Warren County, today and Monday, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m.
 • Nativity Fall Fest, Ridge and Woodford roads, Peasant Ridge, 4-11 p.m. today.
 • Hamilton Oktoberfest, Liberty Home Germany Society, Ohio 128 in Ross Township, 1-11 p.m. today. Admission $2.
        “We expect a crowd of 500,000,” said Dianne Hoover, superintendent of recreation for the Cincinnati Recreation Commission.

        “It's going to be an exciting event, and Rossi's (Famous Fireworks) has some new special effects — a few surprises.”

        The day, however, will be one demanding patrons drink plenty of liquid. The forecast calls for a sunny, hot and humid day with highs in the upper 80s with an overnight low in the mid-70s.

        Event rules prohibit alcohol, liquid and frozen beverages, glass, metal or aluminum containers.

        Ms. Hoover said the Cincinnati Water Works will have three free water distribution centers set up. Concessions will sell bottled water for $1.50 and soft drinks for $2.

        Ms. Hoover said staff at the entrances to Riverfest will make inspections to ensure alcohol and other beverages and glass containers are not carried into the event.

        However, inspectors have been trained to recognize special needs of some people such as infants, pregnant women, diabetics and others who need to bring containers in.

        “We just ask that they don't bring glass containers,” she said.

        Here's a roundup of what Riverfest visitors need to know before heading out:

        • Where: Along the Ohio River in Cincinnati, Newport and Covington.

        • When: Sunday, noon until conclusion of fireworks, which begin at 9:05 p.m.

        • Admission: Free.

        • Information: 621-9326, 749-3764,;

        • Bus service: In Cincinnati, Metro provides regular Sunday routes for 50 cents one way.

        Riverfest Express: $3 round trip; exact change only. Buses depart 2-6 p.m. from Park & Rides, with drop-off points downtown.

        • Anderson Township

        Park & Ride/Beechmont Mall, 7954 Beechmont Ave., drops off at bottom of Monastery Street near Sawyer Point.

        • Raymond Walters Technical College, 9555 Plainfield Road, Blue Ash, drops off at Sentinel and old Sixth Street, off Broadway.

        • Western Hills Plaza, 6100 Glenway Ave., drops off at East Mehring Way and Central Avenue, west side of Paul Brown Stadium.

        • General Electric, Neumann Way, Evendale, drops off at East Mehring Way and Central Avenue, west side of Paul Brown Stadium.

        Note: No drop-off at Cinergy Field plaza. Return trips originate from drop-off point. Information: 621-4455.

        In Northern Kentucky, TANK will run regular Sunday routes for 50 cents one way. The Southbank Shuttle runs 10 a.m.-11 p.m. for 25 cents with an additional stop at Sawyer Point's Butler Street drop-off.

        TANK Riverfest shuttles: $3 one way; $1 for children (exact change only). Buses leave from Northern Kentucky University, Buttermilk Park & Ride, Buttermilk Crossing, Crescent Springs and Florence Bigg's.

        Note: No drop-off points in Cincinnati; riders must transfer to Southbank Shuttle.

        NKU bus drops off at Fifth and Central, Newport; Buttermilk Park & Ride and Florence Bigg's at Third and Court streets, Covington. Return originates from drop-off point. Information: (859) 578-6943.

        Return service: Begins immediately after fireworks.

        • Parking/viewing for disabled: Parking available in Cincinnati — 50 spaces at the East Garage next to One Lytle Place; 30 spaces at Sawyer Point. Special pass required, call 352-4569. Drivers responsible for parking fees; handicap placard must be displayed in lower left-hand corner of driver's side window.

        Viewing area: Public Landing Overlook, Broadway and Mehring Way.

        For information on viewing areas and parking in Kentucky, call 261-1233 or 292-2151.

        • Rules: No alcohol, umbrellas, liquid or frozen beverages, glass, metal or aluminum containers, pets, skateboards, mechanical or motorized vehicles and open-fire cooking devices. In addition, no coolers in Newport only. Soliciting is prohibited.

        • TV coverage: 8-10 p.m on WKRC-TV (Channel 12). Offered in HDTV.

        • Street closings

        8 a.m.-midnight: Riverboat Row, Second Street between Columbia and Monmouth in Newport.

        1:30 p.m.: Cincinnati streets south of Seventh Street between Central Avenue and Broadway. Inbound Columbia Parkway at Torrence.

        3 p.m.: Streets in Mount Adams.

        5 p.m.: Covington streets north of Fourth; cars parked in this area may not be moved until after the fireworks.

        7 p.m.: Columbia Parkway access from Fort Washington Way.

        7:30-10:30 p.m.: Cowens Drive from Washington to Riverboat Row, Interstate 471 Exit 5 (north- and southbound ramps), Park Avenue between Third and Cowens, and Monmouth between Third and 11th streets, all in Newport.

        8:30 p.m.: Fort Washington Way, I-71 southbound at Taft exit.

        • Bridge closings

        L&N: 9 a.m. vehicles, 3 p.m. pedestrians

        Taylor Southgate: Northbound lane and eastern walkway close to vehicles and pedestrians at noon; southbound lane closes at 5 p.m.

        Roebling Suspension: Northbound vehicles and pedestrians, 1:30 p.m.; southbound closes after the Reds game.

        Clay Wade Bailey: Southbound, 9-10:30 p.m.

        Daniel Carter Beard: (I-471) Southbound 8-11 p.m.

        Brent Spence: (I-75/71) Open.

        Bridges reopen about 11 p.m.

        • River restrictions

        Ohio River closed to boat traffic 7-10 p.m. between the I-471 bridge and the Suspension Bridge.

        New this year: Licking River from the mouth up to the 0.3 mile mark closed.

        Specific anchorage areas have been designated for boats. Look for the white buoys with orange stripes. No mooring or anchoring on the Ohio side between the Suspension Bridge and the Showboat Majestic.

        More on Riverfest

Drivers may help explain why officer, boy died
In lieu of a town square . . .
Maps don't tell where danger lies
Parents aren't always to blame
High-stakes state tests raise stress, controversy
Buses' brakes to be inspected
Electronic classroom offers curriculum via the Internet
Luck, chance and modern medicine save man
- Riverfront ready to rock
Tower jumper hung up on sport
DEMALINE: Season's quantity matched by quality
More theater, on the road
Theatre season a packed house
University companies lead way to diversity
AK Steel to celebrate 100th year
Artwork the ticket for transit center
ATVs added to township's law-enforcement arsenal
Boat driver charged in girl's drowning
Breath test oft refused
CBS outmaneuvers NBC in TV games
A matter of opinion
Delta's hub at N.Ky. airport targeted in smoking complaint
Kinder, gentler jail of the future?
Marketing firm closes amid state investigation
No wrongful imprisonment
Ohio a battleground state again
Report: Ethics tangled
SAMPLES: Taking prayer to the streets
Survey: Increase parkland
BRONSON: Aarrrgh
CROWLEY: Handicapping political races
DAUGHERTY: Justin is already living with his 'real parents'
Get to it
Pig Parade: Slide of Ham
Tristate A.M. Report