CINCINNATI— The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber serves up the 32nd annual P&G Taste of Cincinnati USA over Memorial Day weekend, May 29 to 31, on Fifth Street downtown.
The event showcases more than 40 of the region’s top-rated restaurants serving 200 dishes. Approximately 500,000 grazing gourmets are expected to attend this five-star culinary extravaganza. Every entrée is $5 or less and the event is free.
There are several new elements to Taste this year. Five new restaurants join the Taste bill of fare this year: Cock & Bull English Pub, Loving Café, Roberto’s, ZZ’s Pizza and Claddagh Irish Pub, whose Fish & Chips received the “Award of Excellence” in the Seafood category at the “Best of Taste” competition. The winner of “Best of Taste” in the Seafood category, the Seafood Shanghai Noodle from Shanghai Mama’s, also is making its public debut at Taste of Cincinnati.
For the first time, comedy acts will be included in the schedule of entertainment. The acts will appear at the Government Square Stage and will feature comedian Josh Sneed as the headliner. Sneed was the feature performer on his own “Comedy Central Presents” and has appeared on “Premium Blend” and “The Bob & Tom Show.”
The Pampers Stroller Speed Lane, a lane behind the vendor booths for strollers, was introduced in 2009 and returns again this year. In addition, this year the Bounty Quicker Picker Uppers, a dedicated team of germaphobes armed with Mr. Clean spray and Bounty paper towels, will be at each seating area ready to clean up after even the messiest of foodies.
In addition to comedy, this year also features the most electric music lineup in the history of the Taste of Cincinnati. Almost 70 musical acts are performing this year, including more original music and national acts than in recent years. Visqueen, a critically-acclaimed band from Seattle, and American Bang, a band that’s played Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, South by Southwest and Lollapalooza, join the lineup.
Two budding local acts, the Bad Veins and Mia Carruthers of MTV fame, will make their Taste debuts this year. And festival crowd pleasers such as the Rusty Griswolds, the Sonny Moorman Band and the Sullivan Janszen Band will all return to large, singing and dancing crowds.
And as we look ahead, we’ll also remember. The second-annual Katie Reider Spirit of Music Award will be given to Kelly Thomas, a singer and songwriter with a 20-year history on the Cincinnati music scene and a legacy of giving back to the community.
Reider was an up-and-coming singer/songwriter who passed tragically at the age of 30, and the award is presented each year at Taste to a local musician who personifies Reider’s essence and that of the Cincinnati music scene. The award will be presented by Karen Reider, Katie’s partner.
Taste of Cincinnati is the nation’s longest-running culinary arts festival. It started as a one-day fest in Piatt Park– then Garfield Park– with approximately 5,000 attending the first event. The event expanded to two days in 1981, and in 1988 expanded to three days and moved to Central Parkway. 2008 was the first year at its current location on Fifth Street.
The P&G Taste of Cincinnati USA, presented by Time Warner Cable and Miller Lite, is the city’s showcase of music and food and the region’s annual kickoff to summer. Taste features more than 40 area restaurants, more than 75 entertainment acts and approximately 500,000 grazing gourmets in attendance. Taste of Cincinnati USA will ladle up the food, fun and festivities on Memorial Day weekend: Saturday and Sunday, May 29 and 30, from noon to midnight, and Monday, May 31, from noon to 9 p.m. Admission to Taste of Cincinnati USA is free. For more information, visit TasteofCincinnati.com, follow our fan page on Facebook or follow tweets @CincinnatiParty or using the #cincytaste hashtag #