Cincinnati Riverfest Won’t Be Televised For First Time Since 1984

Riverfest Cincinnati

For the first time since 1984, the Cincinnati Riverfest will not be televised, according to WCPO. If you’re traveling to the Queen City to catch a glimpse of the annual display of fireworks and music, expect larger than usual crowds. Cincinnati’s Riverfest is one of the largest in the Midwest.

There are many things that make Cincinnati weird, for those who venture into the city adorning the Ohio riverbank. Cincinnati traditions like Larosa’s pizza, Goetta, chili on top of spaghetti, and pigs that fly are a few things that make visitors scratch their heads. They are traditions most Cincinnati natives are fond of. But the 30-year tradition of airing the Western & Southern / WEBN Fireworks has come to an end.

Riverfest, the yearly Cincinnati Labor Day weekend bonanza, happens at Sawyer Point and Yeatman’s Cove. It features music, food, games, face painting, and all around family fun. The event ends with a spectacular fireworks display by Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks. The pops and booms are synchronized to a soundtrack provided by WEBN radio station.

Cincinnati’s Riverfest has been an annual event for 39 years. The fireworks display draws over 500,000 people to the riverbanks, and hundreds of boats pack the river. But the Riverfest committee couldn’t find a broadcast partner to televise the event.

In a statement to the Cincinnati Enquirer, Justin Tabas, director of integrated marketing for iHeartMedia Cincinnati and WEBN-FM promotions director, confirmed that Riverfest would not be on the air.

“While we were unable to secure a TV broadcast partner for the fireworks this year, it has allowed us to fully focus on the whole live experience on September 6. In 2016, we will work on potential ways to involve a new TV broadcast partner. Our focus continues to be on creating an unforgettable live event on the banks of the Ohio River. We have added many attractions throughout the day that will make this year’s event a must see.”

If you are planning on attending the Cincinnati Riverfest, Tabas recommends getting to the banks a little early. Because of the anticipated record crowds, finding a prime location will be harder than usual. Both sides of the Ohio River are expected to be jam-packed with spectators from across the country.

[Photo via Jathan & Heather]