Arts & Entertainment News

PHOTOS: Record Crowds Pack Over-the-Rhine for 22nd Bockfest Celebration

It is estimated that well over 30,000 people attended this year’s Bockfest celebrations in historic Over-the-Rhine – shattering previous attendance records.

Cincinnati’s Bockfest is the largest and longest running such festival in the world. Its history, however, is rooted in Bavaria. It is traditionally understood that Bavarian monks would brew bock beer and consume it and it only during times of fasting – typically around Easter or Lent.

As is custom, this year’s festivities were kicked off with The Bockfest Parade and the ceremonious delivery of the first keg of bock beer to be tapped at Bockfest Hall. The following 21 photos are a sampling of the opening parade that took place late Friday afternoon.

Check out 5chw4r7z’s photos for even more views from around Bockfest this weekend.

Arts & Entertainment News

PHOTOS: 2013 Bockfest Turned Out the Crowds on Busy Weekend

Bockfest celebrated another great year of spring-time and beer celebrations over the past weekend. Record crowds reportedly turned out for the festival’s 21st year, and UrbanCincy was there to “cover” it all on your behalf.

For those not familiar with some of the otherwise peculiar traditions of Cincinnati’s lesser-known, seasonal beer festival, let us explain.

The lead goat is named Schnitzel, and the reason goats play such a prominent role in Bockfest activities is because Bock is the German word for goat, and those references to goats are what give bock beers their names.

The reason you see a bunch of monks, or people dressed as monks, walking around is because bock beers have historically been associated with special religious occasions, like  Lent, and Bavarian monks were known for brewing and consuming bock beers as a source of nutrition during times of fasting.

The following 36 photographs were taken by Jake Mecklenborg during the annual Bockfest Parade and at Grammer’s, Neons Unplugged and Bockfest Hall at the Christian Moerlein Brewery. Click on any of the images to view its full size. You can also click through the entire 2013 Bockfest photo gallery by clicking on the first image and scrolling through the collection.

Arts & Entertainment News

Myriad of events at Final Friday offer fun start to weekend

Head down to the Over-the-Rhine arts district tomorrow, February 25 for an evening of interactive and interesting activities during February’s Final Friday gallery walk.

* The Urban Expansion Development office at 1344 Vine Street will be hosting a Grand Opening and Art Show with wine, cheese, music and work from three different artists – Molly Reckman from Chicago, Linda Loschavo from Mt. Adams, and photography from Joshua Timmermans.

* The YES Gallery at 1417 Main Street will have an interactive art display from 6-10pm – a 24 foot mural that visitors can help to color, using 5 foot paint markers. The artists will be giving out free screen prints by the artists with regular sized markers.

* Rumor has it window shoppers will be in for a surprise on the 1200 block of Vine. Be sure to wander by between 7pm and 8pm.

* 4U Fashion Boutique and Sebastian Rey Skin Awareness will be hosting an organic and natural skin care demonstration from 5-9pm at the boutique, located at the corner of 12th and Jackson Streets. Sebastian Rey will be hosting product demonstrations throughout the evening, and product samples, refreshments and music will be available through the evening.

* After a terrible storm canceled the Bockfest Parade in 1998, participants have held a “Precipitation Retaliation” – burning a snowman effigy to ward off any potential bad weather for Bockfest weekend. This year’s party will be at Grammer’s bar at 9pm.

All of these events are in addition to the rest of the galleries, restaurants and bars that will be open on Main Street, Vine Street and numerous other places in between. Kick off your weekend by taking in some art, music, performances, food and libations in the renaissance that is Over-the-Rhine. And most importantly, don’t let anyone tell you that there’s nothing to do in Cincinnati.

Final Friday photo provided by 5chw4r7z.

Arts & Entertainment News

Pretzelfest to raise funds for spring beer celebration

Join Christian Moerlein Brewing Company and the organizers and supporters of the 2011 Bockfest for a kegtapping of the official Bockfest Beer this Friday, January 21. The first-ever Pretzelfest has been organized in Over-the-Rhine as a delicious, homegrown way to raise support for the 19th annual spring beer festival, being held March 4-6, 2011.

Pretzels came about as early as 610 AD, originally used as a reward by monks for good children who memorized their prayers. A few thousand years later “Bretzels” are now a symbol of good luck, prosperity, and the perfect accompaniment to a delicious beer.

Venue 222 is hosting the event which will be a fun night of food, music, and beer. The brew on tap is the Moerlein Emancipator; a German style Doppelbock featuring six varieties of uniquely blending malts, which create a dark, robust lager with a toasted character and complex hints of caramel and toffee.

The Cincinnati Dancing Pigs, the area’s premiere jug band, will be performing that night, and six local eateries (MOTR, Shadeau Breads, Taste of Belgium, EAT WELL Catering, Skirtz & Johnston, and Mecklenburg Gardens) are offering a variety of unique pretzel creations for attendees to sample.

Admission to the event is $35 and includes sampling of freshly baked pretzels, four drink tickets, a brat, and an entry into the raffle for the Ultimate Bockfest Weekend. You can purchase tickets at the door, but space is limited, so buy them online in advance up to two hours before the event.

All proceeds from Pretzelfest, Ultimate Bockfest Weekend, and the Arnold’s Bathtub Raffle (a chance to drive the famous Arnold’s bathtub in the Bockfest Parade) go directly to supporting Bockfest. This homegrown weekend relies on grassroots support, and what better way to show some Cincy love by drinking beer?

PretzelFest will take place this Friday, January 21 from 6pm to 10 pm at Venue 222, located at 222 E. 14th Street in historic Over-the-Rhine.