Sorry to play favorites, but I decided years ago that September is the most fun month of the year. It’s like a Venn diagram of the best of summer (warm days, green trees, blooming flowers) and the best of fall (cooler evenings, Oktoberfest, new football and arts seasons). Compared with the stifling humidity, dangerous thunderstorms, and bleak gray winter stretches that define Cincinnati weather, September is generally dry and pleasant. Almost predictable. My wife and I chose the month for our wedding because we wanted an outdoor reception, and in fact we got a gorgeous day.
September is back-to-school time, with the accompanying hopes and anticipation. All things are possible: straight As, making friends at a new school, first college experiences away from home, starting a teaching career. Lots of schools around here open back up in mid-August, I know, but this month feels like when the school year gets real.
If you’re a sports fan, you can’t beat September. High school, college, and pro football return with their tailgating rituals, rivalries, and TV overload, and hope springs eternal—even for the Bengals. Baseball’s pennant races come down to the wire, though not in Cincinnati, where we’ll start building enthusiasm for next season watching the top Reds prospects debut at Great American Ball Park. And FC Cincinnati’s winning season winds down, with expectations for a long playoff run to follow.
I’m a big arts fan, and September almost overwhelms you with options. In the week-plus from September 5 to 13, you can see season-opening shows at Cincinnati Ballet, Cincinnati Pops, Ensemble Theatre, and Playhouse in the Park—then browse improv comedy and international film festivals a little while later.
September starts with the WEBN fireworks, of course. I moved to Cincinnati on Labor Day weekend in the 1980s and watched them from my new apartment in Mt. Adams, so they’re special to me. Many of you consider them a farewell to summer or a radio station birthday bash, but to me the fireworks announce, “Welcome to my favorite month!”