Bockfest Parade

Friday, March 4, 2016 steps off at 6PM

Parade01Starting at Arnold’s – Cincinnati’s oldest saloon – the Bockfest™ parade is traditionally lead by a goat pulling a keg and the reigning Sausage Queen along with the official parade marshal. It travels up Sycamore Street to 12th Street to Main Street to Bockfest Hall and ends with the blessing of the bock beer. This officially marks the beginning of a weekend of festive celebration that might end in blaming a goat on your horizontal position. Goats, the German Renaissance, beer, irreverence and originality are all highly esteemed aspects of a parade entry. There are no fire trucks for the kids. In the past, entries have included faux-monks pulling a Trojan goat, futon queens, German beer bands, a four-poster bed pulled by slave labor, goats on Segways, a leather-clad whip wench with a huge whip, and patriotic chants of “drink more beer.” As usual, you can bring your favorite canine to walk with “The Bocking Dogs.”


The Bockfest™ Parade will be held on Friday March 4, 2016. The parade will start to form in front of Arnold’s Bar and Grill, located at 210 East 8th Street, at 5:00PM and steps off on 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. Map of the route and venues can be seen HERE.

We encourage anyone to enter, especially if you create a float or have a unique entry. The overall Best Entry (must be a float) receives a special trophy to be presented at Bockfest Hall at the conclusion of the parade, along with special awards for The Bridesmaids (runner up entry, float or otherwise), Best Hat, Best Bocking Dog, Best Music Entry, Best Bicycle, Best Bar Representation. There are also three special awards given by the friends at the GACL for German Society members, German Presence (Best Attendance), German Spirit (Most in Tracht), and German Creativity (Most Creative).

Parade Registration is required. Deadline is February 26, 2016. Free registration is open HERE.

All groups, vehicles and floats should check in at your designated area no earlier than 5p. Parade steps off at 6pm SHARP. Your group must be in its assigned spot by 5:45. No outside alcohol is permitted in the event staging areas. All alcohol must be purchased and consumed before leaving your assigned spot.

2016 Parade Marshal: Mick Noll

Parade03In the past, various philosophies have been applied to selecting the Bockfest Parade Marshal. Committed to irreverence with almost religious zeal, Bockfest™ organizers have chosen the Mayor of Rabbit Hash, KY (who is a dog — literally), reality show contestants, various local notables, and have even considered a random drawing. However, as irreverent as the festival is, Bockfest™ is a celebration of Over-the-Rhine’s brewing history. Amongst Sausage Queen competitions and burning snowmen and livestock pulling kegs of beer, there is a serious message about celebrating Cincinnati ‘s rich past and promoting our unique culture as a city. It is these more sober intentions that has lead to a new tradition of selecting Grand Marshals for their contribution to local culture.

We’re proud to announce Mick Noll as our 2016 Bockfest™ Parade Marshal.

About the Marshal

mick_nollMick Noll is one of those rare individuals who believe deeply in family, community, heritage, and culture. He consistently reminds us that traditions unite all of us. During his lifetime Mick has been at the forefront of promoting the German heritage of Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky as a food and beverage entrepreneur.

Mick Noll’s family tree includes German immigrants who came to America as early as 1714, settling in Virginia, and eventually moving to the Greater Cincinnati- Northern Kentucky area. And his Noll ancestry can be traced back to Peter Noll, one of the German pioneer brewers of the area. He emigrated from Bavaria in 1839, and in 1848 established the Cincinnati Brewery, a lager beer brewery, at 1313 Vine St. in OTR. This included a highly successful beer hall, featuring his popular Bavarian dark lager. The Noll family continued to have strong connections to our brewing heritage: family members worked at the Burger Brewery Co. on Central Parkway, and the Bavarian Brewery in Covington.

On the food side, family members have operated a retail store at Findlay Market for many years. And, for more than 40 years, Mick, now joined by his son, Ludwig, have offered German foods at many outdoor events. The Noll’s Oktoberfest Zinzinnati , MainStrasse and Newport food booths are iconic symbols of celebrating authentic German foods, heritage, and Gemütlichkeit.

Mick Noll and his booths connect families, friendships, German foods and culture – traditions you can count on and enjoy year after year. Our 2016 Bockfest Parade Marshal therefore connects us all to the region’s German roots and our strong brewing heritage.