Maifest about tourism
It raises money to attract more

Monday, May 18, 1998

BY EARNEST WINSTON
The Cincinnati Enquirer

COVINGTON -- For many youngsters who weren't testing their basketball skills Sunday at Maifest, the sport was clearly on their minds.

Take Karrie Reinhart, 13, of Pierce Township. Karrie stood beside her father, Nelson, while he took pictures of passersby at the festival.

"Maybe I'll get lucky and get a good one," said Mr. Reinhart, 54, who is an artist.

But Karrie, donning an oversized red Chicago Bulls' jersey with Michael Jordan's name on the back, sounded as if she would rather be doing something else.

"I'd be home watching the (Bulls-Pacers) game," Karrie said.

What Karrie didn't know was that NBA playoff games were shown on a 10-by-15-foot television at the new Miller Sportsplatz venue. The new attraction featured the NBA Jam Van's interactive basketball games.

T.J. Schatz, 11, of Delhi Township was among dozens of kids -- and grown-ups -- who tested their luck in a 3-point contest.

"I've already won once. I love this game," said T.J., who was partaking in the basketball competition for the third consecutive day.

Tom Ottiger, 79, of Mount Washington decided to be adventurous at the three-day, 19th annual German festival.

Mr. Ottiger tried ostrich meat for the first time.

"I've tried buffalo and I like that. That's what it's all about -- eating something different," said Mr. Ottiger, who hasn't missed a Maifest since its inception.

Big Maifest crowd

Randy and Susanne Dauwe of Ludlow may have taken the biggest risk of all by simply attending the festival. "Her due date was last Monday," Mr. Dauwe said of his wife.

The couple attended the event with their 2 1/2-year-old son, Taylor. More than 225,000 people were expected to attend Maifest on four city blocks and in Goebel Park over its three-day run.

"Sunday's the best day. It's mostly family," said Covington Police Spc. Dean Abner, who worked the festival Sunday.

"All the rowdies are pretty much partied out from Friday and Saturday nights."

Not everyone enjoyed the weekend festival.

"It's a pain. I just don't enjoy it. I never did," said Millie Beebe, 76, as she sat on her West Sixth Street porch with friend Glenda Harlow, 39, of Florence, overlooking the festival.

Both women said they enjoy the people from Maifest each year, but don't care much for the festival itself, which brings traffic nightmares to the neighborhood.

The festival, which also featured food, arts and crafts booths, children's and adult rides, African art and several bands, helps raise money to attract tourists.

Maifest is sponsored by the MainStrasse Village Association.



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