Thursday, August 16, 2001

Halloween afloat at Newport Levee

By Terry Flynn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEWPORT — Newport, rapidly becoming the festival center of Greater Cincinnati, will have another new event on the riverfront below Newport on the Levee this fall — the Festival of Fear featuring the USS Nightmare II haunted steamboat.

        The USS Nightmare II, actually a former U.S. Army Corps of Engineers pipeline dredge, is in its ninth season as the area's only floating Halloween attraction. The boat had previously operated near the BB Riverboats headquarters in Covington, but is being brought to Newport's Riverboat Row for a new and larger event.

        From Sept. 28 through Nov. 3, the Nightmare will be available for scary tours on 27 days and nights.

        It will be accompanied by a complete Halloween-themed festival including rides, games, activities, and food and drink. The festival will be non-alcoholic.

        “We began working on this concept last December,” said Tim Eversole, vice president of USS Nightmare II and an employee of BB Riverboats. “It was a joint effort of a lot of people at BB Riverboats. We started with a small plan and it just seemed to grow.”

        BB Riverboats has a new dock at the site of the former Barleycorn's floating restaurant and bar just below the Newport Aquarium, and it was a natural to move the Nightmare to that location.

        “Every other festival the city has held at the riverfront location has been a big success this year,” Mr. Eversole said. That includes the Italianfest, the Newport Arts and Music Festival, and the Great Inland Seafood Festival, which moved to Newport after 12 years on the Cincinnati riverfront.

        The Kentucky State Chili Cook-off and car show, held for many years on Monmouth Street, is scheduled for the riverfront Aug. 26.


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