For 28 years, Bockfest has been a uniquely Cincinnati celebration of the coming of spring and the brewing heritage of Over-The-Rhine. But Bockfest also has deep European roots in pre-Lenten observances like Carneval and Mardi Gras and Fasching and Shrove Tuesday. It was that pan-European focus that called a hardy group of EACC members (including representatives from ABM Drives, Balluff, Bannockburn Global Forex, Barnes Dennig, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center, FC Cincinnati, Festo, HBC-Radiomatic, Heinrichs USA, and Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza) to plan to gather at Lucius Q in Pendelton on Friday Feb 28, the first night of Bockfest 2020. Co-owner of Lucius Q and Director for Bockfest sponsorships Aaron Sharpe explained to us a bit of the history of Bockfest and how the funds raised support not just the event but also the non-profit Brewery District Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation which works to preserve, restore and redevelop the Brewery District of Over-The-Rhine into a healthy, balanced, and supportive neighborhood economy. Then Aaron had to run to join the Bockfest Parade while our group discussed what EACC involvement might look like going forward. Specifically we agreed that we would want something that, among other things, would:
- raise the profile of the EACC as a positive force in our community;
- that would reflect the pan-European heritage of Bockfest, of the Cincinnati Region, and of the EACC;
- create a unique and exclusive experience for EACC members;
- and that would have a meaningful business component.
We discussed options like entering a float in the Bockfest Parade (the second largest parade in Cincinnati after the Reds Opening Day parade); a reserved seating area in Bockfest Hall; a private dinner with a local brewing executive about the business of beer; and so forth.
Then we walked one block west on 12th Street to watch the parade – which was a wonderful and fanciful experience, especially for those who had never attended Bockfest before!
All in all the event went extremely well, and we obtained funding commitments from several participants, which will allow us to move forward a meaningful discussion with the Bockfest 2021 team and to begin our own planning in earnest. But we always can use more support from our members. We’re particularly interested in incorporating broader European themes – an English pancake flipping race, or a necktie cutting event (Schmotziger Donnerstag); or the lovely masks and costumes of Carnival in Venice, or whatever Fasnacht or Vastenavond or Fuesend or other tradition is local to your European home! If you are interested to learn more and to get involved, please contact EACC Executive Director Todd Schwartz.