3 Hamilton anniversaries were celebrated in 2021

Flying Buffaloes and Motherfolk performed at RiversEdge Amphitheater Thursday, August 6, 2020 with limited capacity to meet social distancing requirements. The RiversEdge concerts series is normally free but they have fenced off the area and attendees must now purchase tickets to reserve a square marked out on the grass designated as their seating area. The squares are spaced out around the venue with plenty of room to walk between them and stay distanced. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

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Flying Buffaloes and Motherfolk performed at RiversEdge Amphitheater Thursday, August 6, 2020 with limited capacity to meet social distancing requirements. The RiversEdge concerts series is normally free but they have fenced off the area and attendees must now purchase tickets to reserve a square marked out on the grass designated as their seating area. The squares are spaced out around the venue with plenty of room to walk between them and stay distanced. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Through the past decade, the revitalization of Hamilton’s downtown has created an unmatched sense of pride in the town.

The city has grown with dozens of new businesses and events in the past decade. Three of the most popular reached big milestones in 2021.

RiversEdge

Back in 2012, the amphitheater that sits on the northeast side of the Great Miami river wasn’t completed yet, but the annual concert series already jumped off. Before RiversEdge, the venues were scattered across the city. From Bailey’s Square to the courthouse and even underneath the McDulin Parking Garage, the series of performances were rocking the town. After the first season, the amphitheater was ready to roll.

With the sunken stage overlooking the rolling hill, it’s a beautiful sight to behold. It’s signature guitar statue stands tall near the VIP section, adding another piece in The City of Sculpture’s roster.

The RiversEdge purpose is simple: “Build community by bringing people together through the power of music.”

A steep mission statement, but the concert venue has hit the bullseye. Once upon a time, when Hamiltonians considered their weekend plans they often left town. Now, they check-in at RiversEdge on Facebook to show their friends where they are spending their time.

The concert series is a nonprofit fund that was established through the Hamilton Community Foundation. The concerts have mostly been free throughout the lifespan of the venue, though due to the COVID-19 pandemic they temporarily charged admission in 2020. Even at the height of the pandemic, the venue sold out the majority of its concerts.

Now, as the venue has completed its 10th concert series, the city is looking to upgrade. With the prospect of Spooky Nook, and the inherited visitors that will come with the project, the RiversEdge committee wants to up its game. Adam Helms and other operators of the venue have proposed building a permanent gate around the amphitheater, which would give an opportunity to stage some bigger guests and have more ticketed events.

Changes are likely coming.

Municipal Brew Works

It is abundantly clear that the country is in the golden age of micro-breweries. Popping up all around the nation, and especially in the Cincinnati area, they’ve become the preferred destination for the millennials and boomers alike.

Municipal Brew Works is located on the backside of the former city building and in June it celebrated its 5th anniversary. Five years ago, Municipal opened the first brewery in Hamilton in over 80 years, and each June the owner throws a bash to celebrate another year.

The City of Hamilton momentarily changed its name to honor Municipal Brew Works on the weekend of the anniversary. The town was called “Ham-Ale!-ton”. The city has also changed their name to “Jamilton” when David Shaw of The Revivalists comes to play at RiversEdge.

Operation Pumpkin

The City of Hamilton doesn’t typically close the streets in their downtown area, but each fall, that happens so Operation Pumpkin may take over. The festival intends to boost local businesses and bring the town together, and in October 2021 it marked 10 years, attracting tens of thousands of people.

Operation Pumpkin has all the normal festivities: a pumpkin carving contest, candied apples, Oktoberfest beers, donuts, lemon shakeups, a pet parade, rides, vendors, music and more.

This article is published as part of a content partnership of the Journal-News and The Hamilton Magazine.