Not many parades begin with a real goat pulling a keg, a wooden goat or a Sausage Queen. In fact, I’m not quite sure any festival begins this way except for Cincinnati’s Bockfest. 

The three-day festival kicks off on Friday, March 2, with a parade that begins at 6 p.m. in front of Arnold's Bar & Grill before heading up Main Street to Bockfest Hall, 1619 Moore St. Thus begins the festival.

“The festival began in 1992 and it’s grown over the years,” says Steven Hampton, the executive director of the Brewery District Community Urban Redevelopment Corp. This nonprofit has worked to build Bockfest for 12 years. “This is more than a beer festival, it is a neighborhood festival. Everyone is ready to get out of the house and have some fun.” 

The parade is just the beginning of this festival. There are numerous activities to participate in throughout the weekend including historic brewery tours, live music, Bockfest 5K, and not to mention the multiple food and beer venues throughout the area. One of the best things about this festival is that it is family friendly at times. 

“It depends on the time of day,” says Hampton. “During the day it is very family friendly, but at night it’s more for the 21 and over crowd.” 

There are more than 25 venues participating in Bockfest and Bockfest is offering a free shuttle service to those participating venues. The official map of all participating venues is located on bockfest.com along with the official schedule. 

If you’re looking to buy tickets to Bockfest there are different packages that allow you to get more bang for your buck. There is even one option that includes a hotel room. Packages range from $39 to $349. Certain packages include beer tickets, T-shirts, pint glasses, brewery tour tickets, food and food vouchers.

For more information on the 26th Annual Bockfest visit bockfest.com.