It wouldn't be an event of significance without a message from Avtar Gill, more commonly known as the "Cincinnati Hat Man."  Each day, Gill created a new hand-drawn sign to wear on his hat as he went about his business around the city. If you've visited any of the Queen City's landmarks, then you've seen him: Fountain Square, Findlay Market, or even taking in an exhibit at Cincinnati Museum Center. Most frequently, you could find him present at City Hall, regularly participating in City Council meetings and press conferences.

Photo by 5chw4r7z

A modern-day town crier, Gill's hats boasted a brief, positive message about current events, ranging from the election of President Obama or the progress of Cincinnati sports teams, to local politics, and the death of Michael Jackson. In a way, he was the old-fashioned Twitter: delivering Cincinnatians the news in 140 characters or less...or as much as could be scribed onto his hat.

Photo by Chris Glass

Avtar chatting at Findlay Market.

While his public presence became iconic, the personal details of Avtar Gill remain a mystery. Interviews have noted him both a native of India and Malaysia, with his local residence being the Budget Inn Motel on Central Parkway in Clifton. A crafter and avid watcher of news, Gill created his signs using a ball cap, Burger King crown, markers, and a small poster board purchased from the Walgreens on Race Street. Gill has remained a staple of the public eye for over 10 years.

Photo by 5chw4r7z