Saturday, September 18, 2004

Let's get this party started

The Big Weekend

By Cliff Radel
Enquirer staff writer

Hurricane Ivan was not invited to Oktoberfest-Zinzinnati. But everyone else is.

Sports, music, Oktoberfest
Parties don't get much bigger than the one Cincinnati's throwing this weekend!

Weekend schedule
20/20 arts festival
Oktoberfest Zinzinnati
Ohio Classic and Jamboree
Bengals coverage
Reds coverage

Around Downtown
What's new
Places to eat

Getting around
Downtown map (PDF)
Driving directions
Current traffic conditions
Latest weather reports

Park for $1 for the first two hours in one of four downtown garages: Fountain Square North, Gramercy, The Westin, and Fifth and Race. (Just look for the $1 Park signs.)

More Big Weekend coverage

The weather should cooperate for the Queen City Fusion weekend events that are expected to bring a million visitors downtown. and pump an estimated $72 million into the local economy. Expect mostly sunny skies today and Sunday with highs in the mid-70s and lows in the 50s.

Perfect for goetta, metts, cream puffs and quaffing ein Glas Bier at Oktoberfest.

The weather will make it easy to take in some art at the Taft Museum or Contemporary Arts Center or some music tonight, whether it's the reconstituted Van Halen at U.S. Bank Arena or Beethoven by the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra at Music Hall.

The weekend forecast is a far cry from earlier predictions. Ivan's rainfall and clouds were supposed to hang around all weekend. That would have put a damper on the Reds-Cubs games. Tonight's titanic struggle - featuring a tribute to Joe Nuxhall's 60 years with the team as a player and broadcaster - is sold out.

Rain would have left fans at Paul Brown Stadium soggy during today's P&G Ohio Classic football contest and the Bengals' sold-out Sunday night home opener.

"But Ivan moved out real quick," said Mike Gallagher, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio. "That left no rain in the forecast."

Ivan's remnants moved at such a clip that forecasts for the Ohio River reaching flood stage over the weekend were scrapped.

"The river will rise gradually," Gallagher said. Late Monday, "it will crest at 47.5 feet." Cincinnati's flood stage is 52 feet.

As a precaution, the Showboat Majestic, docked at the Public Landing, is moving its weekend South Pacific performances to the Covedale Center for the Performing Arts (Information: 513-241-6550.)

Ray Buse, Oktoberfest's gemuetlichkeit spokesman, believes he knows why the weather will be better than expected:

"God is part German."



Let's get this party started
Successful Classic striving for more
Best places to eat
What's new downtown, on riverfront
Big events fill the weekend
Downtown event map (PDF)
More Big Weekend coverage

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Special section: Mike Allen coverage

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Local news briefs

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Teacher buyouts offered
NKU gives lower tuition rate to some Indiana residents
KEA board considers strike proposal
Lakota East students collect goodies for troops

'Topless' sign leads to court case
Pastor a 'good fit' for Pleasant Ridge parish
Jordan's Queen Noor to speak at Miami U
W. Chester police in their new building

Visitor will discuss HIV and Africa
Fifth Third CEO, helpers care

W. Clermont treasurer was well respected
Odean 'Sis' Poindexter, hospital nurse