On July 5th, Cincinnati got its first glimpse of the astonishing makeover of Washington Park.

Dating back to 1810, the land originated as the city's cemetery. In 1855, remains were exhumed and the space was transformed into a community park. Today, many of the features and historical artifacts have been incorporated into the new layout.

Panorama of the opening ceremony.

All sorts of people were in attendance.

Mukunoki Children's Choir from Gifu, Japan, Cincinnati's sister city.

Mukunoki Children's Choir presented Mayor Mallory with a much-needed Japanese fan.

Cutting the ribbon.

Protesters against the rehabilitation of  Washington Park.

A crowd gathers as the fountains are turned on for the first time.
With the QR Code, one can select classical music to be played over the Muzak speakers at the park.
130 pop up jets are synchronized to music and lights.

OTR Flags: 100 silk flags that were hand-painted by the community to decorate the bandstand.

My OTR Flag: the abandoned subway tunnels.

Indonesian choir serenades the crowd with Adele's Rollin' In The Deep.

Three headstones discovered during the 2012 renovation, dating back to the 1830s.
Friedrich Hecker Memorial

Cannon dating back to the Civil War.



Packed full of parades, fireworks, and 104ยบ weather, Fourth of July 2012 would certainly make Thomas Jefferson proud. Festivities kicked off at noon with the Northside Rock n' Roll Parade, one of the most creative and entertaining promenades in town.

The little pooch was dressed in a patriotic dress and arrived in a stroller. Gives new meaning to The Dog Days of Summer.

The vegetarians in our group loved cheering "YAY VEGETABLES!" for the gardeners.

The Drill Team

5chw4r7z capturing the action.

Travis and Susan of The Pickled Brothers Sideshow

Lawn Chair Ladies Brigade

There was a hiccup in the parade queue.

This guy was filming a video as the parade progressed, and reset multiple times.

And the moment we've all been waiting for... Chicken Lays An Egg!

Nothing says "independence" than a giant pig and patriotic candy.

Our favorite Cincinnatian: Jim Tarbell

Gas cans being dragged behind an electric car.

Cincinnati Rollergirls

Captain Jack Sparrow even made an appearance!

The last float of the Northside Parade encourages bystanders to run into the street and dance.
Could there be a better way to end a parade?

Every rose has its thorn: The backed up traffic from the parade.

Six hours and a tiny hat change later, we set out for an evening at Yelp Cincinnati's IndepenDANCE Day Party, held at the Freedom Center. Three floors of live bands, karaoke, dozens of food and alcohol vendors, plus the exhibits were open to explore... all for free.

After dark, we went across the street to Smale Riverfront Park to watch a beautiful display of fireworks shimmer down behind the stadium and Moerlein Lager House.

Some celebrities were in attendance.

Shackles exhibit at the Freedom Center.

Music exhibit: we wrote our favorite genre.
5chw4r7z with sparklers.

Fireworks and glowsticks.

Watching fireworks on the lawn with friends.

Laying on a grassy lawn along side some of your best friends: the best way to celebrate freedom.