Here is a brief summary of the preliminary convention schedule. Scroll down for a more detailed preliminary convention schedule (also available in a downloadable/printable format):


Potential Pre-Convention Activities and Preliminary Schedule

[NOTE: These activities and itinerary are dependent on the availability of the particular attraction(s) and are subject to change before the final convention itinerary is set]

The Cincinnati2018 International Sons of the Desert Convention pre-convention activities will take place from July 9-11, 2018. The official convention begins on Thursday July 12 and will conclude with a Sunday brunch on July 15.

Pre-Convention Activity Options

There will be many pre-convention activity options available to attendees of the convention who wish to spend more time in Cincinnati to see more its unique features. The same discounted hotel rate for the official convention will apply to those who attend the pre-convention festivities, so come one, come all, and come early to Cincinnati 2018!

All pre-convention days will have an activity option from which to choose. The Wednesday evening pre-convention day will also have an evening optional FREE activity, an official “Chimp Tent” meeting! The day activities will include round-trip bus travel and admission to the activity. Meal options for the day trips will be “on your own”. We will plan to get you back to the convention hotel by 6PM or earlier each day.

Please note that each individual pre-convention activity will be priced separately from the regular convention registration rate, e.g. pre-convention activities will not be included in the regular convention registration fee.


Pre-convention day 1: afternoon option: Cincinnati Breweries Tour

4655542Cincinnati has a proud German heritage, and one of the things that the first German immigrants brought to the city was their love of and expertise in making beer. Today many of the breweries have graciously opened their doors to allow lucky visitors a change to tour their facilities. Are tastings of their product allowed? Come along and see! More information of such brewery tours is available at Note: must be 21 years or older to attend the tour.


Pre-convention day 2: all-day: Kings Islandthe-beast_kings-island

Kings Island is the Tristate’s premier amusement park. Please see their website at


Pre-convention day 3: afternoon option: Newport Solarium Aquarium –

Pre-convention day 3: evening option: Sons of the Desert Chimp Tent Meeting

10850231_599453946825890_2352955833288939885_nYes, your host tent, “The Chimp Tent”, Oasis number 279 of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA will be holding their regular tent meeting this evening in one of the hotel ballrooms. Come along and see on a big screen your favorites from Laurel and Hardy, Our Gang, Charley Chase, and so much more, as we enjoy a feast of frivolity in the guise of a fun-filled film fest. Have dinner on your own beforehand and note that the Hilton pastry chef will prepare some special treats for this Tent meeting attendees. Water will be available at this meeting as will a cash bar. All this plus the Chimp Tent’s “fabulous” raffle will make for a memorable evening of camaraderie and laughs. See what the fuss is all about at

Now, get a good night’s sleep and get ready for the official start of the convention!

Potential Convention Activities and Preliminary Schedule

[NOTE: These activities and itinerary are dependent on the availability of the particular attraction(s) and are subject to change before the final convention itinerary is set]

The Cincinnati2018 International Sons of the Desert Convention activities will take place from July 9-15, 2018. The official convention begins on Thursday July 12 and will conclude with a Sunday brunch on July 15.

Convention Activity Possibilities

Naturally, for all convention-sponsored specific attractions we visit round-trip bus fare and admission tickets to the event will be provided as part of the regular convention registration fee.

We welcome all memorabilia dealers to display their fine wares and offerings in the Dealers’ Room Thurs-Sat evenings (until 2AM) and then again on Sunday morning after the brunch.

Convention Day One: Thursday

hh_grandstair_3_675x359_fittoboxsmalldimension_centerReception and the Parade Of Tents at the fabulous Hilton Netherland Plaza hotel will be followed by some form of entertainment and music. Dealers’ room and film room will also be open during the evening.

Convention Day Two: Friday

Today we will gather to enjoy a day outside in (hopefully sunny) warm weather.


We will depart early for a morning outside in a park in the Mount Airy Forest just north of downtown Cincinnati. We’ll provide a Cincinnati-themed lunch and drinks and you can enjoy Graeter’s famous ice cream with the traditional round of the Babe Hardy Golf Tournament and the Pee-Wee Contest, rain or shine! Try your luck out on both activities to see if the winning trophies for these events can be yours. We may even try to start a new outdoor game tradition – Cincinnati Cornhole! ‘You and your pals’ may also want to participate in a team event involving some puzzling actions!

After our return to the hotel you’ll have time to rest and relax or join in on another convention activity at the hotel as the convention schedule permits.

BB Riverboats_Belle of Cincinnati

Evening activity: Cincinnati, situated on the Ohio River, has a grand history and involvements with riverboats. While not exactly recreating what it was like 150 years ago to ride a riverboat on the Ohio River, this evening we will enjoy a terrific convention-sponsored dinner cruise on the river and enjoy the sights on both the Ohio and Kentucky sides of this historic waterway. And who knows? There may even be some entertainment on board! For more information on the cruise, please see

The dealers’ room and film room will be open this evening after our return to the hotel from the mighty Ohio riverboat excursion.

Convention Day Three: Saturday

Lucky you, you will have free time to do whatever you wish until 4-5PM or so. However, don’t wander too far from the hotel as there will be several convention activity favorites and traditions taking place in the hotel during the day and afternoon. Such activities may include:

  • Grand Council Meeting
  • Trivia contest
  • Author’s lecture

After lunch on your own, we’ll either have some more free time to explore beautiful Cincinnati or host another convention-related event. Let’s see which direction the wind blows on this one, shall we? This evening there will be a convention-sponsored dinner. Come in costume as your favorite Laurel and Hardy-related or any film character you wish as there will be prizes for the best costumes. While we encourage you to dress in costume, the choice of attire is yours and whether or not you dress up is entirely optional and up to you (in other words, “no pressure”!).

Stick around after dinner for music and dancing in your costumes (if you wish) or check out the film room or dealers’ room to see what’s happening. If you want to change into sleeping attire and meet up in the film room after the dinner festivities, pajamas, bathrobes, nightgowns, and other sleeping garb are most welcome – make yourself comfortable and enjoy the films you like in an audience with similar good tastes!

Oh, and two more things are planned for this night: the convention premiere of 2 newly-restored Laurel and Hardy films, one a silent classic and the other a terrific talkie! Which films? Wait and see – you won’t be disappointed.

Convention Day Four: Sunday

Enjoy a convention-sponsored final brunch as we begin the mournful process of saying goodbye to many of our old- and newfound friends for another two years. Among the many activities slated to take place during the farewell brunch will be:

  • The passing of the pineapple (which lucky city will host the 22nd International Sons of the Desert Convention in 2020?)
  • Group photo of all Sons who have attended every convention since 1978
  • Awarding of trophies for outstanding convention achievement in golf, pee-wee, cornhole, most notable/best ‘newcomer’, and any other excuse we can come up with for handing out trophies
  • Check out the dealers’ room for last-minute bargains and must-haves
  • Thanks and acknowledgements

As mentioned previously, these are the preliminary plans for Cincinnati 2018 and are subject to change. Thank you for exploring this site and for your interest attending the 21st International Sons of the Desert Convention in Cincinnati, OH, USA!

Options for Free-Time Activities

There are a few opportunities of free time during the convention (however, there is more free time offered during the pre-convention days – a word to the wise). Listed below are some suggestions for exploring Cincinnati, with links to their websites:



Information on ordering your T-shirt(s) is available on the convention registration form here.