Name a better combo than fresh, delicious seafood and Cincinnati’s beautiful skyline.

Started over 30 years ago by the Northern Kentucky Restaurant Association, the Great Inland Seafood Festival has become its own event. Back in the mid-‘80s, there wasn’t a pronounced selection of seafood and creole food in the Tristate. The association wanted to change that—they wanted to showcase the selection of seafood the city has, says Marc Wertheim, event producer of ColdIron Enterprise, Inc.

ColdIron Event Productions, a local event planning company, took over the event in the early 2000s and wanted to expand the event’s boundaries—the company wanted to provide a platform for local restaurants. With over 150,000 people attending throughout the four-day event in recent years, the festival has proven to be a hit.

“The event continues to upgrade the quality of food at the Great Inland Seafood Festival and [we] decided to invite restaurants that highlight good seafood at their restaurants,” says Mario A. Cicchinelli, chief operating officer of ColdIron.

Held Aug. 9-12 this year, the event will feature continuous, free and live entertainment. The bands on Thursday will include The Everyday People Band and Sunburners; Friday’s will be Queen City Silver Stars and Elementree Livity Project; Trailer Park Floosies, Sunburners and Robin Lacy will perform Saturday; and Sunday’s entertainment will include 3 Day Rule, Marsha Brady and The Everyday People Band. 

Live lobsters will be trucked in from Maine and will be sold for $10.95. This year, the festival will also bring in local restaurants. Trotta’s Steak and Seafood, Mitchell’s Fish Market, Alfio’s Buon Cibo, and Pompilio’s will join the Great Inland Seafood Festival.

Don’t love lobster? No problem! Drunken shrimp, seafood lasagna, crab cakes, lobster ravioli, crab and shrimp salad, and many more great dishes will be offered.

The Great Inland Seafood Festival knows that all that seafood pairs great with ice-cold drinks. Craft and domestic beers, soft drinks, smoothies, wine and frozen margaritas will be available.

Wertheim says that the festival is a great opportunity for people who are unsure about seafood and don’t want to spend big bucks. For seafood veterans, it’s a chance to have great seafood from a lot of vendors. For seafood newbies, it’s a good time for great pricing of small dishes, says Wertheim.

There is no admission charge and the festival is located at Newport’s Festival Park, right on the Ohio riverbank.



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