CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine – more commonly known as the Prince Hall Shriners – is returning to Cincinnati USA for its 2015 Imperial Council Session and Annual Convention.
Total attendance is estimated at 25,000, which includes paid conference attendees as well as visitors to the Shriners Annual Street Parade and other public special events associated with the convention.
Delegates are contracted to use more than 15,000 hotel room nights and spend nearly $6 million at local hotels, restaurants and attractions. The convention will be held at the Duke Energy Convention Center.
The 2015 event marks the return of the Shriners to Cincinnati after the event was held here in 2011. And it was a vote of the delegates themselves that brought the 2015 convention back to the Queen City.
"Cincinnati was an extraordinary host for us in 2011 and that experience left such a positive impression in the minds of our members," explained Homer Buchanan, Imperial Potentate of the Prince Hall Shriners. "The community was warm and welcoming. The hospitality staff and local ambassadors made us feel right at home. And now you add to that all the wonderful economic development and urban renewal projects, and Cincinnati USA continues to be a perfect fit for the Prince Hall Shriners."
The oldest African-American fraternal organization in the world, the Prince Hall Shriners was founded in 1893 as a social, benevolent and charitable organization.
As it did in 2011, the CVB will decorate downtown for the Shriners visit as part of its convention welcome program, with welcome buttons, street banners and sidewalk stickers designed to help visitors navigate the city and find ambassadors with tips on restaurants, attractions and activities.
Local residents will also be invited to the Prince Hall Shriners Annual Street Parade on during the convention, as part of a full menu of community-minded events and activities. Highlights also include:
- The Shrine Expo Hall, featuring more than 150 vendors selling clothing, jewelry and other goods.
- The Prince Hall Shriners Diabetes Walk.
- Opening Ceremonies and the Parade of Stars, featuring the Shrine's Drill Patrol, Marching Clubs, clown cars and color guard.
- The annual Drill and Color Guard Competition by the Daughters of Isis.
- The Shrine's annual Book Bag Program, where the organization donates book bags filled with school supplies to students at a local school.