Soup, hops & holiday shopping

COVINGTON, Ky. – The first snow has fallen (… and has been cleaned up – “thank you” to Covington Public Works crews for those safe streets), and it officially feels like the holidays are upon us.

So, this weekend, how about cozying up with friends for some homemade soup for a good cause at Lil’s Bagels? Or grab your gift list and head to Latonia (where it seems a cool new venue emerges every day) for its Annual Holiday Market.

Stay focused on shopping, this time with an Old World, open-air artisan market experience at Covington’s Christkindlmarkt in MainStrasse Village, where local artisans will set up in the Promenade with a range of one-of-a-kind gift ideas.

And of course don’t ignore your thirst. There’s a Jubilee Infusion flight at Braxton Brewing Co., for festive infusions like peppermint, cranberry, and spruce tips. And maybe you just hang out there for a while because that big-hearted Covington Street Hockey League will be there for a worthwhile event (toy drive), and … well … it’s the season of giving and all.

Soup’s on

Ah, there’s only thing better than a pot of soup on a chilly December evening, and there will be a whole lotta pots of soup – and fancy soup at that – at Queer Soup Night at Lil’s Bagels this evening.

DJ No-Name, aka Erikka Gray, is the evening’s DJ … the volunteer soup ladlers include the  president of Cincinnati Pride, Benjamin Morano, and WLWT Ch. 5’s Megan Mitchell … while guest chefs include New Riff Distillery brand ambassador Jay Dickerson, with his tomato bisque and grilled cheese croutons (grilled cheese croutons!!!); Tom Stryker Hull, making his “legendary” French onion soup; Mariel Brown-Fallon, making vegan Thai butternut squash soup; Stephanie Gonzalez with her pozole con pollo; Michelle Lachmann with a winter squash soup and shallot cream garnish; and Jordan Tuss with a classic chicken noodle.

Ten bucks for all the soup you can eat, and the proceeds benefit Tree House Cincinnati, an organization dedicated to creating an LGBTQ+ resource center. Lil’s neighbor, Roebling Point Books & Coffee, will stay open during the event, so plan to grab a good book too. Good soup, good cause. Details HERE.

Shop small & local

Latonia’s Annual Holiday Market is Saturday and if you (inexplicably) haven’t noticed lately, there are some seriously cool shops in Latonia. A whole bunch of them will be participating in this event.

Plan to purchase perfect gifts for everyone on your list (and maybe one or two for yourself) at shops like Local Studio 325, Mona Lisa Collections, Angie’s Closet, Curated Design & D├ęcor, Asylum Tattoo & Piercing, Half & Half Antique Store, B&E Decorating Center, and more.

Plus, there will be plenty of sustenance – places like Bards’ Burgers & Chili, Granny’s Latonia Diner, Nacho Average Taco Cart, Moonrise Donuts, The Roost Latonia, Kealoha’s Kitchen, and Pandemonium, and more will be serving up the goods. Details HERE.   

One cold run

The Jingle Bell Run is back on Saturday, raising funds to support the Arthritis Foundation -- and you need to know so you can either run in it, support it, or plan your day around its route (as in avoid driving in that vicinity).

Runners will take their mark at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center and make their way to the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge, over to Cincinnati and back to the convention center. Plan accordingly. Race begins at 10 a.m. Details and route map HERE.   

Norb’s lens

Whether it’s the amber glow of copper Bourbon stills, a rusted pickup resting by a barn, a Northern Flicker Woodpecker nailing a tree, or fog lifting at Cades Cove, the world through photographer Norb Steuber’s lens is something to behold.

He’ll be at Purple Paisley, Local Artisan Shop on Saturday at 11 a.m., so stop in, see his work, and hear a bit about how he sees the world. Details HERE.   

Hoppy holidays

Saturday is the launch of Braxton Brewing Co.’s Hoppy Holiday IPA, Jubilee, so what could be more fitting than a Jubilee Hoppy Holiday Party?

Enjoy a special Jubilee Infusion flight (Jubilee with peppermint bark … Jubilee with cranberry and ginger … Jubilee with spruce tips), decorate some cookies, and then, after you’re all sauced up on hops and sugar, step inside Braxton’s Holiday Photo Booth to pose for the perfect photo for your holiday cards.

And as if all that weren’t enough to make this a stellar event, Be Concerned: The People’s Pantry will be on site collecting donations, and every $1 of Jubilee and Garage Beer pints sold on Dec. 11 will be donated to the pantry to support Northern Kentucky families this holiday season. More HERE.   

Big-hearted hockey players

They might look all tough when they’ve got those big sticks in their hands, but truth is the Covington Street Hockey League is a bunch of soft-hearted guys who do good.

Case in point – on Saturday their CSHL Celebration for Wheelz and Toy Drive Kickoff. It celebrates the life of their beloved teammate, Kyle Wheeler, who’s gone too soon, and kicks off their holiday toy drive to bring cheer to local families in need.

The event is at Braxton Brewing. Bring a toy and give these guys a hug. More HERE.


Take in all the Old World charm and 21st Century vibes on Sunday when you stroll through the MainStrasse Village business, retail, and entertainment district for Christkindlmarkt, presented by Bourbon Haus 1841.

The traditional open-air artisan market at the MainStrasse Promenade on Main Street will feature more than 25 artisans and makers, libations, German-inspired food, one-of-a-kind holiday gifts, and more. Details HERE.   

Live music

You can hear … The Missy Werner Band at Molly Malone’s Irish Pub tonight, HERE … Fear & Lowe, with D-Link, Stapes, Mochi, Da Casa, and Primal at Madison Live on Friday, HERE … Xmas Dance Party with DJ Blak Cheri on Friday at Green House Bar, HERE … Linus Tate at Smoke Justis on Saturday, HERE … and Jonathan Wells Benefit Show, featuring Sea of Treachery, Pilot Around the Stars, NOA, The Earth Laid Bare, Foxbat, and Deaden Your Fears on Saturday at Madison Live, HERE.  


And then there’s … a Riverside Food Tour in Covington’s MainStrasse on Saturday, HERE …Drag Revue at Pandemonium on Saturday, HERE … Holiday Toy Trains at Behringer-Crawford Museum, HERE … and Peak Season Covington Farmers Market on Saturday, HERE.