Story and photos by Serigne Thiam,
Taste of Cincinnati, the city’s most prominent free culinary arts and music festival, returned to the Queen City May 27-29, spanning Fifth Street to U.S. Highways 71 North and 471 South. The tradition debuted in 1979 and made a splash this summer with multiple entertainment and 77 food vendors, the largest number to date.
Visitors could leisurely spend the festival downtown on the 27th and 28th from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m., with Memorial Day’s festivities ending at 8 p.m.
Several thousands of visitors during the long weekend were immersed in new foods, music and street entertainment during the long holiday weekend, and surely weren’t disappointed. From soul food of the South to ethnic overseas cuisine, the festival ensured to provide a wide array of selections to visitors.
Specially marked locations were used such as Food Truck Alley where visitors could go to find specific food truck vendors that served ice cream, donuts and more. In the alley, visitors enjoyed delectables from 23 food truck vendors such as The Mexican Village, A Lil Taste of Soul and Mama Afrique Nigerian Cuisine, to name a few.
“Honestly, the whole thing is pretty fun. I was in the office today and decided to step out to see what good food I could grab and see a bit of entertainment,” said Cincinnatian Elijah Welch. The festival couldn’t have fallen under better weekend conditions.
The music lineup included 39 musical acts across four stages downtown. City local entertainers such as Kenny Welch Band, Ralph and the Rhythm Hounds were in attendance as well.
Multiple entertainment groups and solo acts could be found as well, such as a family producing beats from empty paint buckets. A crowd favorite, Silver Man street performer could be found near the Fifth Street entrance, monopolizing the attention of passing visitors. Visitors could even participate in or watch a mini soccer game to pass the time.
Fortunately, the annual event should return in 2024 and beyond with even more craze to showcase more of Cincinnati culture to not just natives, but tourists as well.
Additional Photos by Herald Staff.