‘First Draft’ of Daily Schedule Released for New Fountain Square
Fountain Square is filling up with flower carpets, dodgeball games, concerts, tons of sand and three-story tall ice sculptures. Not at the same time, though — it’s all part of the square’s initial programming schedule.
The schedule has been quietly posted on 3CDC’s “My Fountain Square” Web site, though Fountain Square Managing Director Bill Donabedian calls it a “first draft.” He imagines specific dates and events could change or move, but overall he says he’s excited about the variety of offerings this schedule represents.
Signature events for the rest of 2007 include a new unnamed “tradition” event March 19 that marks the day the water is officially turned on again in the Tyler Davidson Fountain; the Fountain Square Flower Carpet April 14-29 that mimics a European art project made with flowers; Beach on the Square Aug. 31-Sept. 3 featuring sand volleyball and other beach-related activities; Halloween on the Square Oct. 25-31; and a Winter Festival in January 2008 with ice machines creating castles, slides and other ice attractions.
There’s something planned for every day between mid-May and mid-October, with most days hosting one event at lunchtime and another in the evening. It’s the kind of hustle and bustle Donabedian imagined when 3CDC hired the MidPoint Music Festival co-founder last March to manage the square once its $40 million-plus renovation was completed.
“Fountain Square is supposed to be a place for everyone in this community,” Donabedian said when he was hired by 3CDC. “The programming should reflect and showcase everything this city has to offer. My number one goal is to remind people every day what a great city Cincinnati is.”
Tie-ins with existing events are planned for the square to build awareness and partnerships. The schedule has slots for concerts or informational events associated with Bock Fest, Reds’ Opening Day, Flying Pig Marathon, CincyCinco, Appalachian Festival, Speaking of Women’s Health, Taste of Cincinnati, Fringe Festival, Pride Alive, Panegyri, Goetta Fest, Black Family Reunion, Riverfest, Renaissance Festival, Oktoberfest, MidPoint and 20/20 Festival.
There will be live game tournaments (Family Feud, Dating Game, Match Game, Twister, Jeopardy, rock/paper/scissors, spelling bees); live music (Unplugged Thursdays, Rock the Square on Fridays, live band karaoke); sports (dodgeball, human foosball, badminton, sumo wrestling, Capture the Flag); and weird shit (Kentucky Derby Party, Office Olympics, pillow fights, baby races, scavenger hunts, “Ugly Tie Day”).
Donabedian says he’s up for more suggestions from the public for games, activities and events to host on Fountain Square. You can file a feedback form here.
Renovation work on the square should be finished in time for Opening Day in early April, Donabedian reports — except for the new restaurant being built over the Vine Street parking entrance and the facade work being done on Fifth Third Bank’s low building (the one housing RockBottom Brewery).
— John Fox