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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Tall Stacks Festival in Cincinnati

We had a great day today. We started early (left home at 5:50am!) with a breakfast cruise aboard the Belle of Louisville. This steamboat is one of the few genuine steamboats left. Apparently most are now just for show, but this one actually runs off steam. The breakfast was great and we cruised up and down the Ohio River. Even though the weather wasn't the best as it was overcast, damp and cool, we enjoyed ourselves immensely.

One thing we found was that Cincinnati has a LOT of bridges!! Three in particular caught my eye . . . the first was a yellow bridge with arches and yes, its nickname is the Big Mac Bridge.
The second bridge is the prototype for the Brooklyn Bridge. Apparently, the fellow who designed the Brooklyn Bridge was told that a suspension bridge that long couldn't be built, so he built the one in Cincinnati first to prove it could be one. This was in the late 1800s! And the last bridge is a foot bridge that is called the Purple People Bridge. It originally was used for vehicle traffic, but has become a pedestrian bridge and is painted purple, thus the name.

After the cruise, we strolled along the riverfront. There were many booths from local merchants and restaurants. Saw a vaudeville show on a permanently moored showboat. And toured "Sawyertown," which had several booths set up as you would expect in a small town out of a Tom Sawyer novel. There were tons of kids everywhere as many of the local schools were on field trips. They could participate in broom making, dollmaking, see glassblowers, a blacksmith, tinsmith, compete in a tug-of-war and go through a maze. They were having a blast.

Another highlight was seeing the Budweiser Clydesdales. Those are some massive horses!!! And beautifully cared for. You just don't get tired of seeing them.

This was a fun day. Looking forward to going back on Sunday afternoon when there is a parade of all the boats at the festival. They line up and sail down the river. That should be something to see. Will let you know!

Until the next time . . .

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