By Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer
SYMMES TWP. - If more food and activities for kids means more fun, Symmesfest might guarantee a good time this weekend.
A visit from Cincinnati Zoo animals - and favorites such as face-painting and roving clowns who can magically transform latex and air into works of art - are some of the new or expanded attractions at the three-day event that runs 6-11 p.m. today through Sunday at Symmes Park, 11600 Lebanon Road.
"You have to be able to attract the whole family. You have to have a variety of things from the youngest to their parents," said organizer Candy Cook.
IF YOU GO
What: Symmesfest, sponsored by the township and Loveland-Symmes Firefighters Association.
When: 6-11 p.m. Friday through Sunday
Where: Symmes Park, 11600 Lebanon Road.
Highlights: Zoo animals visit at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, with music, fireworks, rides, games and face-painting nightly.
Information: 683-6644; Web site.
Some of the wilder rides are geared to the teenage set, while a performance by the Procter & Gamble Big Band on Sunday is a favorite of the older crowd, Cook said.
The fifth annual event, which draws from 15,000 to 20,000 people, is sponsored by the township and the Loveland-Symmes Firefighters Association.
It is meant to celebrate the end of summer, bring residents and visitors together and showcase local businesses and restaurants, Township Administrator Gerald Beckman said.
The township and nonprofit firefighters association splits the cost of the event, paying about $5,000 apiece. Corporate sponsorships for entertainment and booth fees offset much of the costs, event organizers said.
Popular bands will be featured nightly with Robin Lacy & DeZydeco playing 7-10 p.m. today, Ooh La La & the Greasers 7-10 p.m. on Saturday and the Procter & Gamble Big Band 8-10 p.m. on Sunday.
Fireworks by Rozzi's will cap off the festival each night at 10 p.m.
Beer, soft drinks, hot wings, pizza, ice cream and traditional grilled burgers and dogs are among the samplings from an expanded number of food booths.
Proceeds from soft drink sales, sponsored by the township Historical Society, will be used to relocate a recently donated 1800s log cabin.
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