The 26th annual Bockfest -- a celebration of bock beer -- returns March 2-4 to Cincinnati.

The three-day event, organized by the Brewery District Community Urban Redevelopment Corp., includes a parade, music, food, a 5K run, historic brewery tours, crowning of the Bockfest Beard Baron and Sausage Queen, and, of course, bock beer.

To read the full news release detailing all of the activities, see below:

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2018 Bockfest returns March 2-4 to Over-the-Rhine and downtown with dozens of events

Cincinnati (For Immediate Release) – Bockfest, Cincinnati’s annual celebration of Spring and the area’s brewing heritage, kicks off its 26th year with free activities through Bockfest weekend, March 2-4 throughout downtown Cincinnati and the historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.

The full schedule is available at www.bockfest.com, along with ticket and package purchase details for tours, food, and additional fun. Entrance to Bockfest is free to enjoy great Bock Beer, Music, and Entertainment.

Bockfest weekend begins Friday, March 2 with the Bockfest Parade, which steps off at 6 p.m. and winds its way up Main Street to Bockfest Hall at the Christian Moerlein Brewery, 1621 Moore Street, where the ceremonial keg of bock beer is blessed and the party continues with live music, food, and cold bock beer. A free shuttle takes Bockfest-goers to the more than a dozen establishments participating in Bockfest Friday and Saturday night.

The weekend continues Saturday morning with the Bockfest 5K that runs through Over-the-Rhine and past historic brewery sites. Register at www.runbeerseries.com. After the 5K, dive deep into Beer & Bygone Days with local bock beer tappings, history speakers, beer homebrew competitions, stein and breweriana displays, and historic brewery tours.

Saturday night is the finals of the Bockfest Beard Baron and Sausage Queen competitions at Bockfest Hall. Winners of the five preliminary gender-neutral Sausage Queen rounds held at local bars compete in a rowdy pageant, led off by the Beard Baron competition. The night continues with the Billygoat Ball with live music, DJ dance party, and plenty of cold bock beer.

Sunday is a family friendly day at Bockfest Hall. Games, Germans, & Gemütlichkeit kicks off with the new Little Links kids pageant and features kid-friendly games, goat yoga, and music plus Bockfeast Dinner and Bock Bloody Mary Bar. Continental Sunday showcases our heritage with live German music and dancing, steins and breweriana, and historic brewery tours. In addition, participating bars and restaurants will be offering special deals all weekend long.

Take a tour and get a preview of the upcoming Brewing Heritage Trail with a historic brewery tour available all weekend long. Friday and Saturday evenings the Below Bockfest Tour celebrates how beer was made and consumed in pre-Prohibition times. Saturday and Sunday feature the Mishaps Malfeasance and Murder Tour with the stories behind the beer, including corruption, accidents, even murder. Saturday and Sunday also feature the Brushes and Beer tour celebrating art and beer, touring the public art along the Brewing Heritage Trail. Get tickets to all the tours at http://www.bockfest.com/historic-tours.html.

There are also a number of preliminary events in the weeks leading up to Bockfest weekend, including five Sausage Queen preliminary rounds at local bars, the Precipitation Retaliation Happy Hour where a snowman is burned in effigy, and the Schoenling Bock Keg Tapping. Visit www.bockfest.com for additional details.

The non-profit Brewery District Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation is the organizer of Bockfest. All of the proceeds of Bockfest support the non-profit Brewery District CURC and its mission to preserve, promote, and redevelop Cincinnati’s brewing heritage, including the building of the Brewing Heritage Trail. Presenting sponsors are Christian Moerlein Brewing Company, Arnold’s Bar & Grill, Brew City Sausage, Servatii, Decal Impressions, and The Johnson Foundation.

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