Sunday, October 19, 2003

Tall Stacks stokes fires for grand finale

Ten things to do before riverboats leave

By Larry Nager
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Time is running out. Today is the fifth and final day of the Tall Stacks Music, Arts & Heritage Festival. Here are 10 things you have to do before Tall Stacks steams off until 2007.

• 10. Get the blues and get some religion. Today is Tall Stacks world-class blues and gospel fest - B.B. King (6:30 p.m., P&G Pavilion), Mavis Staples (6:55 p.m., Yeatman's Cove), John Mayall's Bluesbreakers (4:45 p.m., P&G Pavilion), the Blind Boys of Alabama (5:35 p.m., Yeatman's Cove). Throw in the Northern Kentucky Brotherhood Singers (1 p.m., P&G Pavilion) and you have a show worth two or three times the $15 admission.

• 9. Get on the bridge. The Purple People Bridge is the best seat in the house. No admission pin required.

• 8. Get a funnel cake. Forget the fat and carbs. Nothing enhances a festival experience like sweet, fried dough.

• 7. Get on a tour. The bargain of Tall Stacks is the $18 tour ticket. This allows early risers to visit all the boats that are docked (except for the Delta Queen and the Mississippi Queen) from 6 to 9 a.m. That $18 includes an admission pin, which will run you $15 at the gate.

• 6. Get a view. The steamboats lining the Cincinnati riverfront look great from Kentucky. Newport on the Levee is one place to check out the scene (take the river taxi). Things look good from the Covington riverfront, too.

• 5. Get smug. Cincinnati has taken it on the chin with boycotts, runaway cows and general bad press. Tall Stacks has given everyone something to be proud of.

• 4. Get historical. Head to Newport for the Civil War-era re-enactors at the Newport Barracks and Newport Encampment.

• 3. Get a souvenir. The Tall Stacks enamel admission pin is a nice memento, but there's lots more for sale, including a bargain package of two decks of Tall Stacks commemorative cards for $4 made by Cincinnati's own U.S. Playing Card.

• 2. Get on the river. There are still plenty of cruises available. Cruise tickets include an admission pin. So that $26 evening cruise will cost you just $11 more than simple admission. Ticket booths are near admission gates.

• 1. Get down there, already. You will regret it if you don't go for at least one day. And one day is all you have left.


Ten things to do before riverboats leave
Today's schedule | Getting there and parking
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