Friday, March 6, 2015 steps off at 6PM
Starting 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 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 6, 2015. 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.
All participating groups must register no later than February 27th, 2015. There is no cost to participate in the Bockfest Parade, but registration is REQUIRED. Register 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).
Due to city rules requiring a minor change in the route (up Sycamore from 8th to 12th) we have updated the staging area. 8th Street in front of Arnold’s (between Main and Sycamore) will be closed to traffic and all non-motorized entries can stage there. Motorized entries and large floats will be given specific staging locations east of Sycamore Street, but will not be allowed in front of Arnold’s. Registered groups will receive additional instructions the week of the Parade. At the end of the Parade there will be no staging/parking available for entries, you must continue south on Walnut and find your own parking immediately after dropping off your participants.
2014 Parade Marshall: Elmer Hensler
In 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.
About the Marshall
This year’s Grand Marshal is Elmer Hensler, founder and President of Queen City Sausage. Founded in 1965 by two partners who pooled $13,000 together between them, Queen City Sausage now celebrates 50 years of success. Today, Queen City Sausage is a regional powerhouse brand and the official brat and mett of the Cincinnati Reds and Bengals! Queen City Sausages can be found at Kroger and all area retailers.
As impressive as Mr. Hensler’s business success has been, it is the nature of his success that makes Bockfest so honored to have him serve as Grand Marshal. Cincinnati was once full of sausage makers, and virtually all of them are now gone. It is not luck that has caused Queen City Sausage to grow while a world of competitors have fallen away. Elmer Hensler transcended humble beginnings and built his company through old-fashioned hard work and integrity. He credits his success to his creed: “Never cheapen your product.” There is no gimmick to Queen City Sausage, just the finest cuts of meats and the best possible sausages.
But please do not take our word for it. Honor Mr. Hensler and help celebrate Queen City Sausage’s 50th Anniversary by eating a bockwurst at Bockfest Hall and participating Bockfest venues.