Chamber designs holiday homecoming to retain young professionals


Thanksgiving weekend is a time to celebrate with family and friends, so the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, with support from C-Change Class 11, is combining a number of holiday events into one larger event: HOME.

HOME is funded in part by The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr. U.S. Bank Foundation.
“More people travel to the Cinc

“More people travel to the Cincinnati region during Thanksgiving weekend than at any other time of the year,” says Erika Fiola, Cincinnati Chamber.
innati region during Thanksgiving weekend than at any other time of the year,” says Erika Fiola, strategic talent manager for the Chamber. “Many of those people coming to town are natives who left for college or work and are unaware of the momentous changes in the city’s core over the past 10 years." The holiday programming is designed to build buzz about the momentum during the energy of the long holiday weekend she explained.

HOME is a showcase of Cincinnati’s food, drink, music, art and shopping, and will include a few of the city’s annual holiday events — the tree lighting on Fountain Square, the Cincideutsch Christkindlmarkt and Macy’s Downtown Dazzle.
There are a few new events this year as well, like Ale to the Queen City.  The two-day beer festival on Nov. 25 and 26 happens along Mehring Way, featuring 16 local breweries, live entertainment and signature Cincinnati foods.
Brew to brag about

“This festival is built on our region’s rich brewing history,” Fiola said. “Our current craft beer scene is garnering national attention and is more robust than ever. The festival is a celebration of our region, the holiday seasonand the growing craft beer industry.”
A group of professional and student volunteers have joined together to invite more than 80 international students to a Thanksgiving event on Nov. 26, Engaging International Students in Thanksgiving Tradition.
“Engaging International Students in Thanksgiving Tradition will help the students grow roots in Cincinnati and make them feel HOME,” Fiola said.
  • Ale to the Queen City. Two-day beer festival Nov. 25 and 26 along Mehring Way, 16 local breweries, live entertainment and signature Cincinnati foods.
  • Tree lighting ceremony 7:25 p.m. Nov. 25
  •  Passport to Cincinnati: stop in at restaurants, bars, retailers along the streetcar route Nov. 23-27 and earn stamps to redeem for prizes.
The event will include a private Cincinnati Bell Connector tour of the city, a Thanksgiving meal at the Taft Center and a chance to see Macy’s Downtown Dazzle on Fountain Square with friends or family.
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra will be putting on a special concert called One City, One Symphony: HOME, featuring celebrated saxophonist and NEA Jazz Master Branford Marsalis. Bernstein, Copland and Williams pieces will be showcased at the concert at Taft Theatre at 8 p.m. on Nov. 25 and 26. Tickets start at $12; call the box office at 513-381-3300 and ask for the first-timer $10 ticket offer. For more information, visit the CSO’s website.
Another new event is Passport to Cincinnati. Stop in at restaurants, bars, retailers and entertainment venues along the streetcar route in downtown and Over-the-Rhine on Nov. 23-27 and to earn passport stamps. Passports can be picked up at any of the participating businesses — participants will visit the various locations and get their passports stamped. Fully stamped passports can be redeemed for a chance to win a number of prizes.  
Participants are encouraged to share their Passport stops on social media using #cincyishome. A full list of participating businesses can be found at
Caroling on the Connector

During the holiday weekend, there will also be carolers on the Cincinnati Bell Connector and elves will be riding Metro buses, passing out holiday information to riders on Nov. 25 and 26, and Dec. 3, 10 and 17. The weekend will culminate in Macy’s Downtown Dazzle at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 26. For a full list of events that will be going on during HOME, check out its website. 

“HOME is designed to highlight Cincinnati’s transformation, vibrancy and momentum,” Fiola said, noting that the Chamber wants to increase the likelihood that young professionals who came home for the holidays will want to stay or move back to the area.
C-Change is the Chamber’s leadership development and community engagement program for emerging leaders in Greater Cincinnati.


Read more articles by Caitlin Koenig.

Caitlin Koenig is a Cincinnati transplant and 2012 grad of the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri. She's the department editor for Soapbox Media and currently lives in Northside with her husband, Andrew, and their three furry children. Follow Caitlin on Twitter at @caite_13.  
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