28 Feb Celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Bockfest with WNKU
Hard to believe, but this weekend marks the 25th anniversary of Cincinnati’s annual Bockfest. It was started in 1992 by the Hudepohl-Schoenling Brewing Company as a way to market the release of their new Bock style beer, but it quickly became more of a celebration of Over the Rhine than anything else. Keep in mind, this was decades before Over the Rhine was “cool”….long before it became home to salmon shorts and 3-hour waits for a hot dog.
It was only a couple of years after it started that Hudepohl-Shchoenling fell on hard times and could no longer manage the fledgling festival. But, thanks to the now defunct Barrelhouse Brewing Co (formerly located at 22 E. 12th Street), the Over the Rhine Chamber of Commerce, Merchants of Main St., and a rag tag crew of Over the Rhine residents and enthusiasts, Bockfest persisted. The festival has always taken place at multiple venues throughout downtown and Over the Rhine, but each year the festival’s main Hall was created from scratch in a vacant neighborhood store front. Twenty-five years later, Bockfest Hall has a permanent home in the reborn Christian Moerlein Brewing Co. and welcomes thousands of attendees each year. While Bockfest has evolved and grown tremendously over the years, it remains a free festival celebrating Over the Rhine, Bock beer, and the coming of spring.
On Friday, the weekend begins with the Bockfest Parade. The parade begins to form at 5pm and steps off at 6pm, however, we recommend you get to Arnold’s by 3pm so you can enjoy every minute of Cincinnati’s wackiest and most unique parade attempt to come together in some sort of orderly fashion. It’s frankly more entertaining the parade itself. The parade steps off at 6pm, winds its way through Over the Rhine, and culminates at Bockfest Hall (Moerlein Brewing Co.) with the ceremonial blessing of the bock and presentation of parade awards hosted, as always, by the official Town Crier of Bockfest, WNKU’s Aaron Sharpe.
Saturday is WNKU Day at Bockfest. From 1 until 7p, WNKU will be in the Bock Beer Tent spinning tunes, shaking hands, and kissing babies. Come by and meet your favorite WNKU personalities, pick up some free WNKU swag, and raise a glass to your official Bock n Roll Station with a very special Bockfest Toast to WNKU at 5pm.
These are just some of the many activities and festivities taking place throughout Bockfest weekend. For details on everything that’s happening, visit www.bockfest.com, and we’ll see you at the 25th Annual Cincinnati Bockfest!