America's River Roots

In 2026 The United States of America will be having a milestone birthday and the Cincy Region is ready to Celebrate

On the cusp of America's Semiquincentennial, or 250th anniversary, comes a celebration of the Ohio River and how her culture helped shape our Nation

America's River Roots is a signature event that celebrates our unique river heritage, the origins of roots music, river cuisine, and how they all play a part in the fabric of American culture.


The Ohio River runs vertical up the photo and bends to the right at the top. Covington is on the left and Cincinnati is on the right. Three bridges are seen spanning the river.

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

A red paddlewheel on a red and white boat. Steam and mist churn up around the wheel.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

A person in a suit plays an instrument. They are shrouded in fog and the lights make the rest of the photo pink.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

A plate of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans. Out of focus in the foreground is a cocktail.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.

Rows of bourbon barrels line the left side of the photo in a wooden rickhouse.

A logo for America's River Roots.

A museum exhibit showcasing people made up of modular photos. A timeline runs in the background.

Black Music Walk of Fame

Tables and food vendors set up on the Purple People Bridge at sunset.

Multiple flights and a sample of beers from Braxton Brewing Co.

This page was last updated 5.8.24 and will continue to be updated as new information becomes available.