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Bicentennial Bash: Ferris Wheel, 6-Day Festival Coming to Covington Riverfront

A week-long festival will rock the Covington riverfront in July as the city continues to celebrate its bicentennial and the region welcomes Major League Baseball's All-Star Game to Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati.

COV200, the bicentennial committee, announced the plans Friday to The River City News.

Focused along the Covington riverfront, the COV200 Summer Celebration will run daily, Thursday, July 9 to Tuesday, July 14. The celebration will feature six days of family friendly activities and musical entertainment hosted on the Covington landing and in the RiverCenter Blvd. block  between Scott Blvd. and Madison Ave.  

“Celebrating our city’s 200 year history while shining a spotlight on our unique culture and waterfront provides a superb opportunity to showcase Covington to the world,” said Normand Desmarais, COV200 Co-Chairman. “We’ve got a lot planned and can’t wait to celebrate our city with our residents, businesses and neighbors.” 

Desmarais and Vice Chair Amanda Greenwell, of UpTech, have said since early last year that their goal was to have "100 million eyeballs on Covington", focusing particularly on the All-Star Game and the national attention that will come with that. So far, COV 200 has produced a stunning gala celebration attended by more than 1,000 people, created the first definitive history of the city in book form, and released a documentary film that will appear on KET statewide television, as well as dozens of other activities and initiatives. 

The week-long summer festival will light up the city's riverfront with activity and fun.

Two areas - a carnival-like area along Covington Landing and a large stage area in the parking lot across from Corporex, will anchor the celebration. The riverfront area will be lit up and will feature a 50-foot riverfront Ferris wheel, giant fun slide, kid’s activities and entertainers, live music, local vendors, food, and drink options.  The stage area across from Corporex will host performances by a wide variety of bands including Leroy Ellington Band, Shut Up and Drive, and The Rusty Griswolds nightly.

Adding to the festivities, COV200 is planning a variety of special events that will take place over the course of the six-day celebration. Highlights include historic home tours hosted by the Historic Licking Riverside Civic Association (Saturday, July 11); neighborhood celebrations throughout the city, giving residents and residential groups the chance to meet their neighbors (Saturday, July 11); a family-friendly “Bike-Centennial” bike ride through Covington neighborhoods (Sunday, July 12); and a bicentennial best-dressed dog contest hosted at George Rogers Clark Park (Monday, July 13).

“Celebrations are as unique as people themselves, so we’ve decided to have a wide variety of activities and events that our community can participate in,” said Amanda Greenwell. “We really want to make the COV200 Summer Celebration special and something our community will remember for many years to come.”

The COV200 Summer Celebration will conclude its final day, the day of the MLB All-Star Game, with continued activities and music performances on the stage leading up to the big game.

Organizers encourage those not attending the game at Great American Ball Park to stick around to watch it at one of Covington’s many bars and restaurants.

Planning is still underway for the COV200 Summer Celebration and more details will be released in the coming weeks. Vendors and entertainers interested in getting involved with the COV200 Summer Celebration can find applications on the COV200 website ( under the “Summer Celebration” tab.  Volunteers are also needed.

COV200 Summer Celebration hours are 6-10pm Thursday, July 9; 11am – 10pm Friday, July 10 – Tuesday, July 14.  For more information on The COV200 Summer Celebration, visit or contact us at (859) 415-1230 or via email at [email protected].

Photo via Triple Treat Shows, which will provide the ferris wheel as shown at a previous celebration in Newport

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