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Tug of War Between Ohio and Kentucky Now Part of Big Bourbon Toast

The Big Bourbon Toast returns to the Purple People Bridge in June - with a tug-of-war competition between the Kentucky and Ohio sides of the river.

The second annual event is back for National Bourbon Day, Friday, June 14, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and is sponsored by New Riff Distilling.

The winning state will be recognized with a Big Bourbon toast, a gilded bottle trophy, and an entire year of bragging rights.

The two teams will be anchored by New Riff’s 2020 Community Barrel awardees: The Cincinnati Parks Foundation and The City of Newport’s 225th. 

New Riff's Community Barrel program leverages the sale of bottles and donates the proceeds from a barrel’s worth of Bourbon to each awardee.  

“These organizations represent the very essence of New Riff- an eye on the future while also honoring the past," said Ken Lewis, founder and president of New Riff Distilling

The Big Bourbon Toast is free to attend to those 21 and over – no one under the age of 21 will be admitted. The first 500 attendees will receive a commemorative Big Bourbon Toast shot glass along with New Riff Bottled in Bond Bourbon to toast with. Cash bars will be available along the bridge for cocktails.

“These last 5 years have been a lot of work, but they’ve given us a lot to celebrate, too. This toast serves as a reminder to make time for fun,” said Lewis. “We wanted to incorporate hard work and having fun in this year’s Big Bourbon Toast by adding the tug of war between Kentucky and Ohio. The Big Bourbon Toast is a great way to celebrate two amazing states, two great charities and delicious Bourbon in this region.”

“Newport 225 is ready to take on the competition,” said Scott Clark, City of Newport historic preservation officer. “We have mobilized our groups and we are gonna win! We have Newport Police, Fire/EMS, Public Works, multiple Community Groups and two really strong Finance guys all prepping for the Big Tug of War. Even the Historians are working out (all of the historical basis of state to state competition) we are Pulling for History, Newport 225.”

“Cincinnati Parks Foundation is the proud philanthropic partner of the Cincinnati Park Board and we are delighted to have been selected as a 2020 community partner with New Riff Distilling,” said Jennifer H. Spieser, Cincinnati Parks Foundation executive director. “We look forward to representing Ohio and our top-rated urban parks with dedicated park volunteers, board members, park commissioners, Cincinnati firefighters, Cincinnati Police officers, the city manager, local elected officials, and your favorite local mascots. We're playing to win.”

-Staff report

Photo: Big Bourbon Toast in 2018 (RCN file)