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Bicentennial Summer Celebration Coming to Covington's Riverfront

Organizers of  COV200 announced details for Covington's upcoming summer activities that will commemorate the city's bicentennial. The announcement was held at a press conference in front of the Roebling Floodwall Murals where COV200 Chair Norm Desmarais, Vice Chair Amanda Greenwell, Covington Mayor Sherry Carran, and The Bank of Kentucky Executive Vice President Andy Hawking spoke to a group of media and other regional leaders on Thursday morning. 
The celebration, which is now being called the "Bank of Kentucky Summer Celebration," will feature six days of activities and musical entertainment hosted on the Covington Landing and in the RiverCenter Boulevard block area between Scott Boulevard and Madison Avenue.
The event promises to be a kid-friendly one, which includes fun elements such as a 50-foot Ferris wheel located on the former Covington Landing, a 125-foot fun slide, the Duke Energy Kids Activity Tent where sponsors will provide free games and activities for children of all ages, performances by Circus Mojo and ORSANCO's mobile aquarium that will display marine life in the Ohio River. 
There will also be over 20 musical acts that will take place throughout the six-day celebration. Bands include folk rock group The Turkeys, School of Rock Mason, Rusty Griswolds, Ricky Nye, Leroy Ellington Band and The Dan Varner Band. 
Food vendors expected at the COV200 Summer Celebration include The Gruff, Red Sesame Food Truck, Kona Ice, Streetpops, and Mick Noll's Covington Haus.  
Official sponsors are listed as The Bank of Kentucky, Gateway Community and Technical College, Corporex, Duke Energy, Mercedes-Benz of Fort Mitchell, TiER 1 Performance, UpTech, Braxton Brewing and WCPO Insider. 
COV200 is also partnering with community groups that will host a variety of special events including historic home tours hosted by the Historic Licking Riverside Civic Association, historical neighborhood tours and Roebling Mural tours by RoeblingFest, a family-friendly "Bike-Centennial" bike ride through Covington neighborhoods presented by Renaissance Covington and a Bark-centennial dog parade and contest hosted by the MainStrasse Village Association at George Rogers Clark Park.  
The celebrations will take place from July 9-14. Celebration hours are 6-10pm Thursday, July 9; 11am-10pm Friday, July 10 - Tuesday, July 14. The events will coincide with the Major League Baseball All-Star Game Weekend across the river in Cincinnati. 
"This summer and the things leading up to the All-Star game is just going to be so exciting," said Mayor Carran. "Seeing all of you here to help us with the kick-off means a lot. I wish we had our riverfront completed, but that is not the case, but I want you to know that hopefully this time next year you're going to see a riverfront that we can all be proud of."
COV200 is made up of almost 200 volunteers to help put on the event. There will be 60 volunteers at work on Friday to "spruce up" the area where the festivities will take place.
Organizers have procured a grant that will allow them to produce nostalgic wooden tokens that can be redeemed for free rides on the Ferris wheel. The tokens will be distributed at the official COV200 Friends of Peaselburg Parade on July 4 in the Peaselburg neighborhood.  
"We're really excited about engaging Covington's children and giving them an opportunity to take advantage of that really awesome LED-lit Ferris wheel that's going to be on the Landing," Greenwell said.  
COV200 organizers are still looking for more volunteers to help host all of the festivities during the six-day celebration.
Story and top photo by Bryan Burke, associate editor/Slideshow photos by Steve Oldfield
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