In case you weren’t aware, Ash Wednesday is next week, which means the beginning of Lent. You can relax, though, I’m not about to go on about how Catholics need to prep the deep fryer and the fish batter or pick something to give up. Honestly, I still don’t really get how going without bubble gum or soft drinks for 40 days and 40 nights gets one ready for Easter anyway, but I suppose that’s a post for another time.
At any rate, potential blasphemy aside, the reference to the beginning of Lent is obviously important for another reason: it’s time to cue the pre-Lenten tomfoolery! Now, most people will immediately identify Mardi Gras as the Big Thing to do before we’re supposed to get all sacrificy and extra well-behaved and what-not. And sure, I suppose knocking back a few – what – hurricanes (maybe?) in fancy glasses and going on a crazed bead expedition is probably fun, you know, if you’re in with that tigerblood and Adonis DNA set.
But this is Cincinnati, and in Cincinnati we don’t do much of anything unless we can figure out a way to make beer a central part of it. Pork too, if possible. So, while party people in other parts of the world are getting out their peacock-feathered masks, around here the time has come to break out the bock. Yes, that’s right, Cincinnati’s annual Bockfest starts at 6 PM this evening with a parade that’s led by a goat and ends with the blessing of spring’s first keg.
Afterward, rumor has it there will be, you know, much rejoicing, etc.
Let me recap that for you: beer, sausage (bockwurst, of course), and, you know, goats. What’s not to like?
In the interest of full disclosure, though, I suppose I should admit something: until last year, I had no idea that there even was such a thing as Bockfest in Cincinnati.
Yes, my shame is great. But I’m not shouldering all the blame here. I’ve lived in the Greater Cincinnati area My. Whole. Life (except for 6 infant months immediately following my birth when Mom and Dad lived in Indianapolis, but we’re not going to count that right now). So, then, as a lifetime Cincinnatian, how exactly did I manage to not know about this? Isn’t it my right and responsibility to be made aware of such things? Look, my ancestry is something like three-quarters German. I’VE MADE SAURKRAUT BY HAND, for cripessakes! Honestly, I don’t know why I don’t have my own set of monogrammed lederhosen.
Well, maybe that lederhosen thing is a bad idea. In fact, Lederhosen are really a bad idea for pretty much everyone, everywhere. And that’s doubly true for someone with my…um…girlish figure.
Ahem. At any rate, the point here is that somehow, the fact that every spring the place where I live hosts the oldest and largest Bockfest in the world escaped my attention for more than three and a half decades. And if I didn’t know about it, and roughly half of the other native Cincinnatians I asked today didn’t know about it*, what are the odds the rest of the world knows about it?
I’d guess they’re probably pretty slim, which is also why most partiers reach for purple and green beads this weekend instead of a stein of bock.
Lucky for you, I’m not going to rattle off a thousand-word rant about why Bockfest is both fantastic and important. My friend, Tom, from Hoperatives.com, has already done exactly that. And, yes, I realize that I’ve gone on and on before about how great Cincinnati is and how it has the potential for magical growth, etc, etc, blah blah blah. But just because I bore you with it once a month doesn’t make it any less true. The whole world needs to know about Bockfest and they need to want to see it themselves. Seems it’d be a whole lot better than being known as that place with the embarrassing professional football team.
So let’s, um, take out ads or something. Maybe tell an out of town friend to come visit next year for Bockfest. Then that friend would tell a friend and that friend would tell a friend, and well, then you’d have an old Heather Locklear shampoo commercial around here.
And that would go a long way towards getting people to think Bockfest before beads when they’re contemplating pre-Lent shenanigans.
For now though, I encourage everyone to have a fun and safe Cincinnati Bockfest.
*yep, I did some good, completely unscientific research on the subject