Top 5 Festivals This Week: May 13-19

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If there’s one thing Cincinnati does better than most, it’s throwing parties. There is certainly no shortage of festivals this week and, if you focus up, you just might be able to make it to each of our Top 5 picks.

1. MainStrasse Village Maifest
The 34th annual Maifest kicks of Friday at 5 p.m. in Covington’s historic MainStrasse Village. Based on the German tradition of welcoming the first spring wines, Maifest offers a quick fix for German culture lovers—or beer lovers—struggling to wait for September’s Oktoberfest. Enjoy live musical and dance performances, polish off some traditional German fare, and bring the kids along for crafts and amusement park-style rides. May 17-19, MainStrasse Village, Main Street, Covington, free, mainstrasse.org/2013/04/maifest-2013/ 

2. Newport, KY Jazz, Arts, and Wine Festival
Fans of Cincinnati’s local jazz scene should cancel any other plans they’ve made for Friday or Saturday. Grab a glass of your favorite wine and take in the best Jazz music Cincinnati has to offer. Starting at 6 p.m. Friday night with local musician William Menefield on the piano, the two-day festival will conclude Saturday night with one of The Jump ‘n’ Jive Show Band’s famously energetic sets. May 17-18, Newport on the Levee, 1 Levee Way, Newport, free, newportonthelevee.com/events/details.aspx?id=1022

3. CincItalia: The Cincinnati Italian Festival
CincItalia is a celebration of all things Italian in the city of Cincinnati. Friday night (adults only, 19 and up) is a good-old-fashioned Italian party, staffed with Italian bartenders from the Cincinnati School of Bartending. All ages are welcome for Saturday and Sunday’s festivities, which will include cooking demonstrations from Mike and Mark LaRosa, mixology courses taught by Senate’s Chris Wylie, and the annual Italian Auto Show. Most importantly, you’ll be surrounded by delicious Italian food. May 17-19, Harvest Home Park, 3961 N Bend Rd., Cheviot, free, stcfestival.org/CincItalia_2013/index.php

4. Whole Foods Market Mason Craft Beer Festival
Touted as the first event of its kind in Northern Cincinnati, the inaugural Whole Foods Craft Beer Festival kicks off at 3 p.m. at the Deerfield Town Center in Mason. Take in some live music while sampling craft beer and food from more than 30 of the Cincinnati area’s finest breweries and restaurants. Admission is $20 and includes 20 food and beverage tickets. Tickets can be purchased online or at the store, but call ahead because they’re going fast. May 18, The Deerfield Town Center, 5805 Deerfield Blvd., Mason, $20, wepay.com/events/172050

5. The Original Greater Cincinnati Restaurant Week
Less a festival and more a weeklong opportunity to dine at some of the Queen City’s finest eateries, Greater Cincinnati Restaurant Week is a celebration of independent Cincinnati Restaurants, organized by the Eat Local Cincy Group. For the entire week of May 13, Eat Local Cincy’s member restaurants will offer special three-course menus for $33.13. Many of the restaurants have posted their special menus online: eatlocalcincy.com/rest_week.php

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