Cryptids, dog days & Spanish wine

COVINGTON, Ky. – If you need a distraction from this oppressive heat, then creepy creatures, furry critters, gnaw-on-your-fingers-it’s-so-good food, music, and wine seem worthy diversions – and we’ve got ‘em this weekend in The Cov.

There’s plenty to do here this weekend, and much of it takes place when the sun goes down (and hopefully the temperatures will too). Just make sure you take a water bottle with you when you leave home because … you know … hydration and all.

Downward dog at sundown

Ever see an image of Lord Shiva, the First Yogi? He’s often depicted with a snake, Vasuki – who is a king in his own right (king of snakes!) – coiled three times around his neck.

As the story goes, Shiva, with that snake coiled around his neck, somehow mastered the essential balance of the spiritual and physical realms. (It’s also possible that someone mistook paralyzing terror for calm and spiritual awareness.)

Whatever the case, what we know as yoga emerged from Shiva. Lucky for us, because we need to unwind and balance our own dang selves … our bodies … our chakras … and everything else that life throws out of alignment.

Unwind and align tonight at Devou Park with the Kenton County Public Library’s Yoga in the Park Series. No need to bring a snake.

Dog days of summer

Here in urban settings, the so-called dog days of summer – i.e. July to mid-August – mean little more than suffering a heat you could slice with a knife.

Back in the mountains and other rural venues, however, “dog days” are considered a bit more ominous.

For one, flies are known to increase in number and swarm everywhere. At night, tree frogs and crickets scream songs of despair over the punishing heat. Copperheads, you’re warned, go blind and will strike at anything that moves, so careful where you step. And dogs are said to have fits, causing folks to keep them confined.

But, like we said, things are different in urban settings, and Keystone Bar & Grill says bring those dogs out on Friday and belly up to the bar. Dog Days of Summer: Dog Friendly Happy Hour features Fido’s Freezzy’s barktinies and Milkbones (your dog likely knows all about these products). You, meanwhile, can sip on some new brews and grab some swag.

Thank you, King Kamehameha II

So, back in an unspecified ancient time in Hawaii, men and women ate meals separately. (Who wants to make a bet that women were cooking all those meals?!)

In 1819, King Kamehameha II comes along and removes all the religious laws that were practiced at the time. He then performed a symbolic act of eating with women, which brought an end to Hawaii’s religious Kapu system that dictated everything from politics, religion, social and gender roles, and even how much a person could eat. (Remember this little Weekend in Love The Cov morsel the next time you vote).

As anyone who was raised in a too-strict household can tell you, from then on it was “game on” for all things previously denied. Hence, the emergence of the luau, which features a veritable feast of food, entertainment, libations, and dancing.

Now that you have that historical context, on Saturday you can embrace the spirit of freedom to eat and drink whatever and how much you want – and with whomever you want – at the Summertrip Luau Party at Braxton Brewing Company.

Cavas, riojas, garnachas, and more

It was only yesterday that a former Mexican beauty queen and her Romanian-Dutch accomplice were arrested after stealing $1.7 million worth of prestigious bottles of wine from a Michelin-starred restaurant in Spain.

On Saturday, you can let Gabriella DiVencenzo explain what’s so great about Spanish wines.

DiVencenzo knows a thing or two about wine, and she’s going to impart some of that knowledge during the aptly named Gab About Grapes Wines of Spain tasting class at Ripple Wine Bar. It’s for both “newbies and wine geeks.”

And maybe she can tell you how those aforementioned 45 bottles of Spanish wine rang up a price tag of $1.7 million. (Insert cartoon eyes emoji here). By the way, we’ve found the prices at Ripple to be significantly more reasonable, to say the least.

Love triangle

Betrayals. Jealousy. Angst-laden soliloquies. Deceptive machinations. Misrepresented identities. And more than a few guffaws.

Sure, we could be talking about an episode of Desperate Housewives of (fill in the name of the city). But we’re not. We eschew such low-brow fare, said we, very haughtily. Instead, we’re talking about the master himself, William Shakespeare. Sometimes he stirs in a bit of comedy with a hot mess of romantic emotions and human foibles in his plays, and that’s just fun to watch.

On Saturday, Covington Park & Rec’s Free! Shakespeare in the Park presents the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s production of “Twelfth Night” at the Devou Park Bandshell. It features a shipwreck, a lovelorn Lord, a fickle Countess, an uptight servant, a mischievous clown, and a mistaken identity inside a love triangle.

Heartbreak and hilarity on one stage.

Mothman, Bigfoot & werewolves

Folklore says they loom along back trails, live in lake bottoms, and fly out of a black night sky on an isolated backroad.

They’re cryptids – animals or creatures that some lone soul in the wilderness stumbles across almost accidentally and never seems to gather ironclad proof of their existence.  

One thing is sure, these cryptids are cunning and discreet because they know to never appear where more than one or two folks on a backroad, wooded trail, or deep wilderness will see them. (That bold, snarky statement has surely sealed our fate to meet one).

On Saturday, however, you and others might get a glimpse of one or two of these wacky, creepy creatures at the Covington Cryptid Block Party at the Hellmann Creative Center.

Our advice: Keep the camera on your iPhone open throughout so you can be the one with the proof.

Paths lined with bourbon (barrels)

Give an artist an empty bourbon barrel and it will become a canvas for their art.

Last spring, more than 100 businesses and organizations sponsored a bourbon barrel to be painted by a local artist. Now, those custom-designed barrels have been stationed along a path that winds through the entertainment and business districts of Northern Kentucky’s river cities.

Here in The Cov you can stroll along a guided NKY Bourbon Barrel Walk on Saturday and see the barrels and learn about the murals and statues you’ll pass along the way. Tours are available through the downtown and Roebling neighborhoods and MainStrasse Village.

It’s free.

Hey, soul sister

On Sunday, blend a little fresh air, positive vibes, and good music at the Rotary Grove Memorial in Devou Park for Soul Sisters Dance & Tone Workout.

This low-impact beginners’ workout is the result of a partnership between Covington Parks & Rec and Fit and Fun Weight Loss, which aims to prove that little changes can add up to life-changing results.

So, get ready to dance your way toward good health with some fun tunes and cool moves.

Live music

Tonight: Ricky Nye at Behringer-Crawford. ...  Music + MadTree at Keystone Bar & Grill … Open Mic Night with Mara Moon at Pandemonium … Satin Smooth Project at Smoke Justis … Missy Werner Band at Molly Malone’s.

Friday: Ethan Marsh Group at Pandemonium … Andrew Isler & DJ Fro-Doe Summer Birthdays Bash at Madison Live … Chris Cain and G-Miles and the KY Cuzins at Band of Helping Hands.

Saturday: One Direction 12-Year Celebration at Madison Live.

Sunday: Rooftop Sessions at Braxton Brewing Company.


Friday: Youth Book Club at NKY Pride Center.

Saturday: Covington Farmers Market at Roebling Point … MainStrasse Village Food TourQuilled Paper Art Class at Purple Paisley, Local Artisan Shop … Pub Crawl at Pandemonium & Kealoha’s Kitchen. …  Painting Series: Henri Matisse “The Goldfish 1912” at Local Studio 325 … Stitched at Pandemonium … RENT at The Carnegie.

Sunday: MV Flea at MainStrasse Village. … RENT at The Carnegie.