Dad, Juneteenth, birdies & raqs sharqi

COVINGTON, Ky. – Fortunately, we’re supposed to get relief (albeit temporary) from this hotter-than-the-hinges-of-Hades heat this weekend, so get out and enjoy yourself before the feeling of being in a furnace returns.

Sunday is Father’s Day. If you’re a Dad, Stepdad, or Dad-like figure, enjoy the adulation that, hopefully, you’ve earned and be sure to do something nice for your own Dad. We’ve got ideas, so forward this to your wife and kids if you want to drop an unsubtle hint.

There are Juneteenth celebrations too, and if you’re not sure what Juneteenth is all about, do yourself a favor and learn about this important day in our nation’s history.

In short, there is a lot of cool stuff happening … but we’re really hoping we can apply the word “cool” to the describe the temperature. (We’d settle for lukewarm, at this point).

The art of raqs sharqi

Bring a hip scarf if you have one, borrow one if you don’t. Either way, come with an “open heart and hips ready to dance” to House of Tao tonight for a Free Beginner Belly Dance Class.

Under the watchful eye of Emily Marie, you can practice (or learn) your hip work, arm paths, undulations, shimmies and general technique at this family-owned yoga and dance studio at 521 Madison.

Book a spot now, because there are several available. But hurry.

The ‘brawl’ is back

The Brawl returns this Friday, but it’s only for the fearless, boldly competitive, well-coordinated, racket-wielding athlete with good vision, because, hey, that birdie is a tiny little thing when it goes whizzin’ by your head.

The Hub+Weber Badminton Brawl II is an annual tournament that dates back to 2016, and since their offices are in the stunningly rehabbed space of the old train depot at Pike and Russell Streets, they hold this call-to-champions in the brick courtyard.

Three badminton nets are set up on the brick and spectators swarm like bees to honey to eat, drink, and watch the stiff nail-biting competition that plays out. It’s a one-loss-and-you-sit format (unless you throw a conniption fit).

Esteemed victors will see their name added to a poured concrete trophy topped with a floating bronze “birdie” (aka “shuttlecock,” which is a whole lot more fun to say), which the winner gets to keep for a year before passing on to their successor (just like the Stanley Cup).

Just so you know, those Hub+Weber folks have an advantage. They’re known to stretch a net across their high-ceiling’ed office and whack a birdie back and forth for a spell when they clearly ought to be working. Perhaps no surprise that the Brawl is scheduled on Friday, which must of us know as a workday. (Ah, who’ll even notice you’re gone. Get your tickets at the link above on Eventbrite).

Remembering June 19, 1865

When it came to slavery in high school history, most of us got the Cliff’s Notes version: The

Emancipation Proclamation freed all enslaved people.

But the reality is a lot more complicated (and perhaps harder to bear).

Here-in comes the newest federal holiday, “Juneteenth,” which recognizes the day that the people of Galveston, Texas, finally got the news that the war was over and enslaved people were free, some 2½ years after the Proclamation’s signing.

For years it’s been known as Jubilee Day or Freedom Day. This year, for the first time, the City of Covington is formally celebrating it as a City holiday, and there are two events this weekend in The Cov:

On Friday is Welcome House of Kentucky’s Juneteenth Celebration at Randolph Park, featuring art, music, food, educational materials, health screenings, and more. On Saturday is Juneteenth Celebration at Lincoln Grant Scholar House sponsored by the Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission and St. Elizabeth. It will also feature food, music, entertainment, and health screenings.

Treat dad (and yourself)

Want to augment that tie or change dish made of dried PlayDoh? Here are a few Father’s Day specials we found (and there are no doubt many more):

  • Molly Malone’s Irish Pub says if you bring your dad there for brunch or dinner, and spend $50, you’ll get 20% off your bill. Molly Malone's Father’s Day for the deal that starts at 10 a.m. Saturday.
  • Braxton Brewing Co. is sponsoring a Father’s Day Grill Out on Saturday, because few things say “Dad” like the image of father manning a grill with one hand and a beer in the other. (Unless your Dad never fully recovered from the trauma of singeing his eyebrows on that inaugural lighting of the new gas grill, leaving mom to master the burgers.) There will be giant yard games, cornhole, live music, pictures with your Dad, and more.
  • Hotel Covington is busting out some of the rarest bourbons in its stash (think Pappy 12 & 15, Old Forester 150, and George T. Stagg 2020) for the Father’s Day Bourbon Tasting on Sunday. Also featured: small barbecue bites and an open domestic beer bar.
  • Get a free Keystone coffee mug or bottle opener at Father’s Day at Keystone Bar & Grill, t  tonight through Sunday.
  • And this isn’t being touted as a Father’s Day event, but we know better. If Dad’s gray hairs came courtesy of you, take him to Reflections in Nature meditation on Saturday in Devou Park’s Rotary Grove. It’s a Covington Parks & Rec event. Bring a chair or blanket.

Orange is a color of the rainbow

Lest you think that the parade and festival two weeks ago was the sole celebration of “Pride” in The Cov, think again. It is a Month. Long. Party.

Granted, you might feel more pained than festive when you’re working those glutes and abs Saturday morning, but be assured that the OrangeTheory Outdoor Pride Workout at Covington Yard is all about celebrating you and your well-being.

Before you start getting all whiny thinking about the number of reps you’ll asked to do, you should know that $5 Booze Slushies are involved and there’s a happy hour after the workout. Proceeds from the $15 minimum donation go to the Trevor Project, a non-profit devoted to suicide preventative efforts for LGBTQ youth.

Jack, Cinderella, & the red-caped girl

A childless baker and his wife set out to lift a family curse by journeying into the woods (because if you’re already cursed, nothing seems wiser than strolling through a dark forest, right?)

Soon, the baker and his wife come upon a man named Jack, who happens to have a beanstalk; a woman named Cinderella, who has a prince; and a red-caped girl with a wolf.

(As it turns out, the whole lot of them find themselves in unfamiliar circumstances, braving the darkness of the woods in an effort to break a curse, overcome their fears, and determine if what they’ve always wished for is what they truly want.)

Queue the violins and tympanies for the existential crisis score, because there are big issues to confront. Which is why you should not bring children to this wonderful production of James Lapine’s and Stephen Sondheim’s, “Into the Woods,” at The Carnegie on Saturday. This is grown-up stuff (always safely couched in children’s stories).

Live music

Tonight: Ben Levin & The Heaters at Behringer-Crawford Museum … Open Mic Night at Pandemonium … Satin Smooth Project at Smoke Justis … Missy Werner Band at Molly Malone’s Irish Pub … Matt Waters at Keystone Bar & Grill.

Friday: Emo Prom hosted by DJ CoCo at Madison Live … Zone X with guests at The Rooftop at Madison Theater … Leroy Ellington at Smoke Justis.

Saturday: Indigo De Souza at Madison Live … Street Dreamz Showcase & Bezz Believe with guests at Madison Theater … Vinyl Countdown LIVE at Braxton Brewing’s Father’s Day Grill Out … Twin Sons Duo at Smoke Justis.


And then there’s …. MainStrasse Village Food Tour on Saturday … Covington Farmers Market on Saturday … Egg Painting Workshop at Purple Paisley, Local Artisan Shop on Saturday … and Scarlet Begonia’s Flower Truck Pop-Up at Cedar Restaurant on Saturday.