1. The hallmark event of Bockfest in Cincinnati is the kick-off parade. Deemed “The Funkiest in Cincinnati”, the parade starts at Arnold’s Bar and Grill and travels up Sycamore to 12th and Main St., finishing at Bockfest Hall. It’s led by a goat pulling a keg and is marshaled by the reigning “Sausage Queen” of Cincinnati, but if that’s not funky enough for you, “The Bocking Dogs” should be. Friday, March 2, 2018. Begins at 6pm.
2. Party at Bockfest Hall all weekend long. Following the parade, the keg will be blessed, awards will be bestowed, and then the real fun begins. With live music, traditional Cincinnati-German food (think Servatii’s and lots of sausages), and tons of cold beer, this wonderfully weird celebration of the Queen City is a seasonal favorite for many reasons. The best part? Admission is free all three days of the festival. Christian Moerlein Brewery, 1619 Moore St., bockfest.com
3. For those that don’t imbibe too many pints on Friday night, the Saturday morning Bockfest 5k is a healthy way to celebrate Cincinnati’s brewing history; ending at Bockfest Hall for a post-race beer and cheese coney, finishers also receive a medal that doubles as a bottle opener (disclaimer: during Bockfest, “healthy” is a relative term). Saturday, March 3, 2018, 10am. bockfest5k.com
4. Bockfest celebrates the coming of Spring, as well as Cincinnati’s long and storied brewing history. Honor our drunken forefathers (and mothers) by taking a historic brewery tour or attending the “Beer and Bygone Days” series. The latter will offer speakers, displays, demonstrations, and authors on the Brewery Stage at Bockfest Hall throughout the day on Saturday. March 2-4, 2018, bockfest.com
5. The penultimate party during Bockfest is the Billygoat Ball. The night’s main event is the crowning of the new Sausage Queen and Beard Baron, but the music line-up and endless bock beer are the reasons to close the joint down. Saturday, March 3, 2018, 10am-1am, Bockfest Hall, bockfest.com
Bockfest Bonus: Wind down the weekend with a little hair-of-the-dog therapy at Sunday’s Bockfest Dinner and Bloody Mary Bar. Sunday, March 4, 2018, Bockfest Hall, bockfest.com