Arts & Entertainment News

Get connected with the 2011 rendition of Bockfest

Bockfest is annually the first weekend in March, but it is growing to be so much more than that. There are events leading all the way up to the weekend and volunteer opportunities that help local residents feel more connected to the festival and extend the celebration of Cincinnati’s rich brewing history.

In a little less than three weeks, Bockfest will take over historic Over-the-Rhine for a full weekend beginning with the annual parade on Friday, March 4. While the Bockfest weekend is a popular weekend for many locals, it is so much more than just a few days on the first weekend of March. There are many events leading up to the weekend, and a bevy of ways to get involved with the festival that make it that can make it much more engaging.

One of the highlights is the crowning of the annual Sausage Queen which occurs this year on Saturday, March 5. There are however five preliminary rounds leading up to the finals that night continuing this Friday night at Washington Platform and then every other evening until February 26 at Milton’s Prospect Hill Tavern. The full schedule and rules of engagement can be found online.

There are three other events leading up to the weekend as well. Nothin’ But Bock Teaze Happy Hour will take place at Milton’s on February 23 where folks will have their first chance to pick up the 2011 Bockfest shirt at the discounted price of $15. A drawing for the Ultimate Bockfest Weekend, including a suite at Garfield Place and $250 in vouchers, will be held at Cafe Martin on February 24. Tickets, for that event, can be purchased online ahead of the event for just $10.

And finally, on the Sunday before Bockfest the annual Precipitation Retaliation event will be held at Grammers. The event will include, among other things, the burning of a snowman in effigy for hopes of good weather at Bockfest – a tradition born after the 2008 Bockfest dealt with one of the worst blizzards in a decade.

While the events leading up to Bockfest help make it more engaging, the best way to feel connected to the event is to volunteer during Bockfest weekend itself. Speaking as someone who has volunteered during the 2009 and 2010 events (and is signed up again this year) it definitely adds to the weekend in a very positive way.

There are two main things for which you can volunteer: Bockfest Hall or The Prohibition Resistance Tours. Bockfest Hall duties include selling and pouring beer, selling merchandise, checking IDs at the door, and general help. Volunteering for the tours is a little more intensive as you also have to commit to a training session, but it is rewarding and actually quite simple. Aside from the training there is a script provided so that you can easily relay the history of the breweries and show off the lagering cellars and tunnels with ease.

I have to say that as a volunteer for the tours it really helps one gain a deeper understanding and appreciation of Cincinnati’s rich brewing heritage. All volunteer opportunities are available online. Stay connected with UrbanCincy to get our custom guide to enjoy the annual festival as it draws nearer.