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Today marks the beginning of a truly great period of time. A time of fireworks, grilling out, camping, and enjoying the best month of the year: July. Sure, call me biased due to the fact it is the same month I came into this world, but you cannot hide from the fact that July has great weather and even greater events happening in our area. I know what you’re saying right now, “but Mitchell, how do I put together the best month of my life?” Well, person who talks out loud while reading online articles, you have come to the right place. Here is your July bucket list for 2016:

1. LaRosa’s Balloon Glow – July 3rd

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The LaRosas’s Balloon Glow has been a tradition of Greater Cincinnatians for the past 17 years, so I can’t think of any better way to start your month and celebrate Independence Day. With live music, the epically beautiful Balloon Glow, and, of course, Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks, Coney Island is the place to be to cool off from the summer heat and have a great night with friends and family.

2. Breakout Cincinnati

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Have you ever wanted to be locked in a room with all of your closest friends and family with the only means of escaping is solving different riddles and puzzles? Well look no further because Breakout Cincinnati is happy to set up a fun-filled hour for you and your group. With four different room scenarios, including an Island Escape or The Kidnapping, you’ll work together in attempt to break out of the room within one hour. Best of luck and make sure you comment your times below!

3. Cincinnati Reds with Post-Game Fireworks! – July 15th

Sure, there may not be much appeal to watching two teams (the Reds and the Milwaukee Brewers) at the bottom of the NL Central play 9 innings, but what if I said fireworks and a live concert by the CINCINNATI POPS ORCHESTRA was included? Head out to Great American Ballpark to root on your Redlegs and watch the fireworks afterwards with a “Christmas in July” theme. Now, that’s my kind of night!

4. FC Cincinnati vs Crystal Palace – July 16th

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Okay Cincinnati sports fans, the weekend of July 15th – 17th has some potential to be an awesome weekend for you. Not only do you get to root on our newest hometown team, but you also get to see Crystal Palace, a soccer team from the English Premier League. Wow! Nippert Stadium is just one of two stops the English team will make before heading back across the pond. Go out, give your support, and show how great of a soccer city Cincinnati has become!

5. Camping at AJ Jolly Park and Campground

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What is summer if it doesn’t include at least one night of camping? So pack up your tent, air mattress, and grab a fishing pole and head down to Alexandria, KY for a weekend in nature. Of course, don’t forget to make a fire and tell ghost stories to try to freak each other out all night.

6. Catch A Concert at Riverbend Music Center

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WOW! Regardless of your style in music, Riverbend is guaranteed to have a show for you this month. From concerts featuring Def Leppard and Journey, to Weird Al Yankovic, to Keith Urban, to G-Eazy, Riverbend has done an excellent job of putting together a summer of concerts that appeal to you. Tickets are still available for every show (with the exception of Zac Brown Band, hello StubHub), so go check out TicketMaster and plan a fun night of live music!

Of course, there’s so many other awesome things to do in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky during the best month of the year. Let’s hear your experiences with the events I listed, as well as share some fun upcoming events in the comment section below!

Mitchell Hammond is a Big Brother enthusiast (the show, not the program, although the program is cool too) and avid sand volleyball player, who you’ll find slamming a volleyball down his opponents’ throats without spilling a drop of his Angry Orchard.

You can find him in the stands at Great American Ballpark rooting on the Redlegs or riding on a tube on the Ohio River. Unless it’s cold. In which case, you can just find him at his house.

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