The Anderson Pavilion: Introducing Cincy’s Newest Event Space



Photography by Kirk M. Rhein

The newest addition to Cincinnati’s vibrant parks, Smale Riverfront Park, has been causing quite a stir in the city since it began unveiling different features of it. Cincinnatians from all over the city have flocked to the park to relax near the Ohio River, to admire the Pichler Fountains lit at night or to grab a ride on Carol Ann’s Carousel. But there are other opportunities to engage with the park as well.

The Annie W. & Elizabeth M. Anderson Pavilion, funded generously by the Anderson Foundation in the philanthropic sisters’ names, sits at street level below the famed carousel. With a capacity of more than 250 people, it’s ideal for hosting large scale banquets, conferences and weddings. The view overlooking the Ohio River is one that simply can’t be beat, and the modern, clean design of the space offers a unique venue option in a downtown district filled with art deco theming. 

On May 14, the space officially opened, kicked off by a gorgeous ribbon-cutting event that was a part of the nine ribbon cuttings for Smale Riverfront Park. “The opening of these spectacular new features will be a game-changer for downtown and the entire region,” Willie F. Carden, Jr., director of Cincinnati Parks, said in a press release. “The imagination and creativity that went into the development of these features will – without a doubt – attract hundreds of thousands into the downtown corridor, enhancing the park’s existing reputation as a formidable economic engine for the region.”

But before the ceremonial scissors could part the ribbon, the event space has been booking events like the Cruisin’ for a Cure fundraiser that was scheduled to occur in June – and needed to be planned before the construction dust had even been cleared from the space. This kind of attention, however, bodes well for Anderson Pavilion’s future popularity as a venue. The space has also recently hosted the 2015 Apple Awards Gala, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s Conductor’s Circle Gala, a corporate luncheon for Thompson, Hines & Flory and an event with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. With riverfront views, large windows and attractions surrounding the space, the space is already sought after for weddings and company holiday parties. As the first indoor parks space capable of producing high-end indoor events, Anderson Pavilion will be a great location to admire the Ohio River while celebrating the holidays. Upcoming weddings and events, such as a gala with General Electric, are already booked up. 

Judith Sturwold, principal and CEO of Premier Park Events, says she’s looking forward to the future potential of the space for fulfilling Cincinnati’s event-locale needs. “Through the generous donation from the Anderson Foundation, in conjunction with the ongoing vision of the Cincinnati Park Board and the City of Cincinnati, we’ve been able to bring to life a space that is unique, beautiful and versatile for the needs of Cincinnati,” says Sturwold. “The venue is wonderfully attractive for not just corporate events and nonprofit organizations events, but also weddings.” 

The Anderson Pavilion is also managed by the Anderson Pavilion Culinary Group, comprised of Sturwold, Kevin Bruner, Michael Forgus and Don Vonderhaar. The location is available for booking now, and can provide accommodations for small to large corporate events and galas, wedding ceremonies and receptions, rehearsal dinners, bar/bat mitzvahs, holiday parties, large birthday and anniversary celebrations, proms, graduation parties and nonprofit/social group gatherings. 

Anderson Pavilion is located at 8 East Mehring Way, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202. For more information on events at the Anderson Pavilion, you can contact them at 513.978.1821, email them at info@andersonpavilion.com or visit their website at www.andersonpavilion.com.