Secrets of a Sausage Queen

Of all the wonderfully weird rituals of Bockfest, the Sausage Queen coronation is the crown jewel. Before she helps lead the parade and anoint her successor at the festival’s 25th anniversary celebration this month (March 3-5), 2016 Queen Rachel Appenfelder reflects on her reign.

Illustration by Pablo

How did you get involved? I had been going to Bockfest for a long time—I’m German, so it’s the natural thing to do. I’d always watched the finals and thought it looked so fun, so I finally decided, I’m doing it, I’m winning this thing.

Were you attached to a specific bar for the preliminaries? Not at first. I tried out at Washington Platform. Didn’t win. Tried out at Rhinehaus, same thing. So I went to Milton’s. I’m a room mom, so I made gift bags for each of the judges, because I have no shame—balloons, bubbles, candy, pint glasses with a sticker of me on it. I was the hostess with the mostest. And I won.

What was your plan for the finals? Fun. All the time. You get to be in the parade—I practiced my wave longer than my dance routine. I cannot dance or sing, and that was my talent. There were confetti cannons and outfit changes. You ever see the Friends episode when Joey puts on all of Chandler’s clothes? That’s what I felt like. Finished with the lederhosen—my ladyhosen, as I called it.

How did you react when you won? I pulled the Legally Blonde “Me!” move and then just started hugging and kissing random people.

What perks are bequeathed to the Sausage Queen? I made so many lifelong friends, especially in the German community. And getting involved with things like Cincideutsch—I got to volunteer at Christkindlmarkt on Fountain Square. I’m going to be sworn into Germania Society of Cincinnati…

Was there a prize? Yup, $250 in cash. And because Hustler sponsored it, you get a Hustler gift card—I was like, Hmm, OK, that’s a lot of body lotion. But [winning] opens doors to a lot of activities. That’s the best part. And it’s fun. We’ll go to Kroger, and my 4-year-old, she’ll scream out, “Look mommy, sausage! You’re the sausage queen!” We’re loud people.

Once a Sausage Queen always a Sausage Queen, right? Always. I’m not giving that crown back, my friend.

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