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21/05/2024 By : Nida Kapadia

America’s River Roots to Celebrate Roots Music, River Culture and Cuisine along Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Riverfront in October 2025


America’s River Roots, a celebration of inland river cuisine, music and culture to kick off America’s 250th Anniversary, will bring hundreds of thousands of visitors to the banks of the Ohio River in Cincinnati, Covington and Newport from October 9-12, 2025. America’s River Roots will showcase the Ohio River and its vital role in our nation’s history while promoting cultural tourism in what promises to be a unique and memorable four days for the Cincy region.

“America's River Roots will focus attention on the Ohio River Valley region and its impact on the nation's growth and shaping of our diverse cultures,” said Rick Greiwe, Event Co-chair. “The event will deepen this awareness with roots music, river cuisine and cultural experiences along our world-class riverfront. Area residents will connect with our common roots and visitors will discover the heritage of America’s inland river culture.”

Nationally-recognized and emerging artists will perform on multiple stages on both sides of the river. Tall stacks riverboat cruises and river culture will be highlighted through the River Cities EXPO. A River Roots Gospel Revival and education programs will put a spotlight on The Freedom Journey and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center. Cuisine attractions will include celebrity chef presentations, bourbon and craft beer tastings, multicultural food vendors, and regional food artisans.

Exciting additional details, including nationally-recognized musicians, visiting celebrity chefs, participating riverboats, and the first date of cruise tickets and merchandise sales, will be announced in the coming months.

America’s River Roots has been endorsed as an official event of the Ohio Commission for the U.S. Semiquincentennial or America 250-Ohio, and is working with the U.S. America 250 Commission, established by Congress, to secure designation as a national signature event.

First Financial Bank is the title sponsor of America’s River Roots.

“At First Financial, we’re proud to be an early supporter of America’s River Roots in celebration of America’s 250th Anniversary,” said Archie Brown, president and CEO. “We exist to be a positive influence to help our communities thrive, and this celebration will deliver incredible benefits throughout our community. America’s River Roots will be the perfect opportunity to showcase the talent, food and culture that makes Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky so unique.”

In addition to First Financial Bank as the title sponsor, America’s River Roots announced six corporate leaders as event presenters and they include: altafiber, Cintas, Kroger, TQL and Western & Southern Financial Group along with the alliance of Northern Kentucky companies, OneNKY.

America’s River Roots is anticipated to attract hundreds of thousands of people to the riverfront, including many from outside the region, while delivering an economic impact in the tens of millions of dollars.

The Festivities

On October 9-12, 2025 America’s River Roots will entertain, educate, and delight attendees with a showcase of the Ohio River’s influence in shaping the diverse culture of America. This four day festival, held on the shores of the Ohio River in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, will highlight key elements of music, culture, and cuisine. Regional tours featured will include River Freedom Journey Tour, Kentucky Bourbon Trail®, World Heritage Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks, and Ohio River Recreational Trail.

River Culture

The port cities of Cincinnati, Newport, and Covington will be home to a bustling waterfront when 12 steamboats from 8 cities arrive in our local waters. These boats will be themed with the music and food of the region they are from. A pavilion will be set to showcase each of these regions and what makes each of them an unique and exciting place. An expo on the Steamboat Age and river industry will provide historical information, and the “Sounds of the River '' education program will be available.

Roots Music

American Roots Music genres include folk, blues, country, Gospel, jazz, Zydeco, bluegrass, and more. Multiple stages will be set across the region to highlight national and emerging artists from every American Roots genre. Included in these performances will be some unplugged acts and a River Roots Gospel revival. River Roots will shine a light on local influence with King Records’ contributions to Roots Music and the Cincinnati Black Music Walk of Fame.

River Cuisine

Celebrity Chefs will present regional food and culture from America’s river cuisine at Anderson Pavilion in Cincinnati and Metropolitan Club in Covington. Ohio craft Brewmasters and Kentucky Bourbon Distillers will host tasting sessions. The Purple People Bridge, a pedestrian bridge spanning the Ohio River from Newport to Cincinnati, will be converted into a bazaar of small business dining and shopping opportunities. The 12 steamboats will offer cuisine based off the river city theme of the boat.

A Momentous Celebration
America's River Roots will be an event to remember. Plan your visit to the Cincy Region and be a part of our shared history.


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