Santa swimming with sharks or rappelling down a skyscraper, live Nativity scenes, an authentic German Christmas market, a Victorian Christmas, all manner, types and styles of trains, lights and music - there's even a Reindog parade. Greater Cincinnati knows how to enjoy the holidays. Tricia Suit, director of marketing for Downtown Cincinnati Inc.; Rebecca Calkin, manager of digital communication for ArtsWave; and Mike Deininger, co-owner of MiCA 12/v and president of the Central Vine Street Business Association, give us a sample of the many events around town that celebrate the season. For more information on holiday happenings, check out the Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Cincinnati, Inc. and Artswave's Choose Your Own Holiday Arts Adventure sites.
Cincinnati Police are pointing to CIRV, the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence, as making a dent in Over the Rhine crime.
Shootings are down 74-percent and robberies 12-percent. Assistant Chief Jim Whalen says police are in the process of arresting 83 people, mostly drug dealers, who operate to the west of the trendy bar and restaurant area. They started identifying the suspects about four months ago.
On any weekend night, the bars and restaurants in Over-the-Rhine are busy. But the president of the OTR Chamber of Commerce, Emilie Johnson, would like to see the crowds visiting during the day, especially during the upcoming holiday season.
Johnson says most people are familiar with the nightlife along Vine Street, “but what helps to balance and round that all out, is to have additional things." Johnson says that's retail, and service businesses. She says a mix of those and the entertainment businesses are what make a neighborhood strong.
If you've been to Over the Rhine lately, you know people are flocking there on the weekends and increasingly during the week. New restaurants, new shops, and new apartments and condos are helping transform the urban core.