20th Annual Bockfest!

Bockfest 2012 is here! The festivities begin with the Bockfest Parade! Via Bockfest.com:

The Bockfest Parade will be held on Friday March 2, 2012. The parade will start to form in front of Arnold’s Bar and Grill, located at 210 East 8th Street, at 5:30PM and steps off on Main Street at 6:00PM. The Bockfest Parade is Cincinnati’s funkiest and most entertaining parade. It can be watched from the street or from a number of participating venues along the route.

The Enquirer put together this primer and schedule for the weekend. As of this posting, there are still a few tickets available for the OTR Tour of Living and Historic Church Tours – this is a unique opportunity to see rarely seen parts of Over-the-Rhine.

Here’s a video clip from the 2011 Bockfest Parade:

via WNKU.org:

Bockfest is a celebration of historic Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati’s brewing heritage and the coming of spring. What began as a small, loosely organized event that barely caused a blip on the radars of Cincinnatians has evolved into one of the region’s most unique and celebrated festivals.  There are several bock beer festivals that take place around the world, but Cincinnati’s Bockfest is now the oldest and largest in the United States.  It begins with a parade on Friday evening that starts at Arnold’s Bar & Grill, Cincinnati’s oldest saloon. The parade is lead by the reigning Sausage Queen and a goat pulling a keg of Bock beer.  It ends at Bockfest Hallwhere the ceremonial first keg is blessed and Bockfest officially begins. The Hall is open throughout the weekend and features live entertainment, great food, historic walking tours, authors and breweriana, a homebrew competition, Continental Sunday celebrations and lots of delicious bock beer.  Bockfest is not just limited to the Hall. It occurs in a number of participating venues in Over-the-Rhine and the central business district.

The Art Academy of Cincinnati is getting in the spirit too. Here’s an early model of its parade goat:

Art Academy of Cincinnati Bockfest Goat

Check out these photos from Bockfest 2011 here. Even more photos can be found in the Bockfest flickr group.

And the world famous Bockfest Song as sung by Jake Speed and the Freddies:

The Bockfest Song
by: Jake Speed

Old Man Winter’s bags are packed
The frost is gone, the birds are back
The tulips are all pushing up
Tap the keg, fill the mug

The German band plays um-pah-pah
The Trojan Goat goes bah-bah-bah
Spring is here, Spring is here
Raise your glass, let’s drink some beer!

Have another cold Bock beer
Have another cold Bock beer
Winter’s gone, Spring is here
Cincinnati’s full of cheer

The great parade is in the streets
Jim Tarbell is in the lead
Just behind him at his heels
The Arnold’s Bar bathtub on wheels

There’s hops and brats and German brew
There’s horses, dogs, and donkeys too
There’s song and dance, there’s drunken toasts
And all of it is for the goats!

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