Bockfest may just be Cincinnati's weirdest festival — an annual celebration of spring, bock beer and the city's brewing heritage. And the 28th-annual Bockfest takes over downtown and Over-the-Rhine Feb. 28 through March 1 with a plethora of activities, starting with a parade that steps off from Arnold’s Bar & Grill at 6 p.m. Feb. 28.
Each year, the gender-neutral Bockfest Sausage Queen has the honor of leading the Bockfest parade — along with some guys dressed like monks walking with a goat pulling a keg of bock beer — carrying a symbolic tray of bockwurst aka sausages. In the weeks leading up to the Bockfest festival, there is a series of Bockfest Sausage Queen preliminary competitions.
In each prelim, there are three rounds: a Q&A, sausage tray modeling and a talent portion. Queens are judged on their personality, presence and talent.
Here's Bockfest's descriptors:
- Personality: All contestants are required to have one, and having a good one is typically helpful. The sum total of a contestant’s personality is arbitrarily judged by his or her responses to a series of ridiculous questions.
- Presence: The contestant must look good carrying a sausage and have diva tendencies. The winners of each preliminary round will represent that bar in the Sausage Queen finals. Therefore, you must possess the presence to fulfill this heady responsibility with honor, dignity, class, grace, or the complete and utter lack of any of these traits.
- Talent: What kind of “talent” should the Sausage Queen 2020 display? That is a question that only you can answer. Surprise us. (But be warned that after a decade of conducting this competition, it is getting progressively harder to surprise us.)
And here's when and where those prelims are taking place:
- 9 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31 at the Wiedemann Brewery, 4811 Vine St., Saint Bernard
- 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1 at Arnold's Bar & Grill, 210 E. Eighth St., Downtown
- 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7 at Mecklenburg Gardens, 302 E. University Ave., Corryville
- 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8 at the Crazy Fox Saloon, 901 Washington Ave., Newport
- 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14 at Lucius Q, 1131 Broadway St., Pendleton
- 9 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22 at Sonder Brewing, 8584 Duke Blvd., Mason
The winners of the Sausage Queen preliminary rounds will compete in the finals on Feb. 29 at Bockfest Hall to see who will be crowned the Sausage Queen (and Beard Baron — we have one of those, too; it's a guy or gal with the best facial hair) to lead the 2021 parade.
Get more info and sign up at bockfest.com.