Old St. Marys, St. Francis Seraph at Bockfest
Old St. Mary’s Church in Over-the-Rhine (OH) will hold its first-ever Lenten Fish Fry as part of the Cincinnati Bockfest Friday activities, and St. Francis Seraph will be a stop on the Historic Churches of Over-the-Rhine.
The 21st annual Bockfest, a celebration of beer and Cincinnati’s German and brewing past, includes many nods to German Catholic traditions (as well as many secular and ribald ones). Bock beer, traditionally brewed for Lent because of its higher nutritional content, is now a type of beer released around Lent and generally featuring a goat (“bock” means “goat” in German) on its packaging.
Created by the Hudephol-Schoenling Brewing Company, Bockfest originally consisted of a parade through Over-the-Rhine featuring men dressed as monk/brewers, a goat pulling a keg of bock beer, and a giant wooden “Trojan Goat.” At the end of the parade the the keg was “blessed” and tapped, beginning the evening’s festivities.
Over two decades Bockfest has grown into a three-day event with many venues, but the irreverent parade still begins at Arnold’s Bar and Grill and ends with the blessing and tapping of the keg at “Bockfest Hall” in the Christian Moerlein Brewing Company, where live German (the Zinzinnati Bier Band) and contemporary (Jake Speed and the Freddies) music will play until 1 am, and German-themed food will be served with German beers. This year’s grand marshals will be Pete and Marge Poole, who have worked hard for years in German-American clubs and events.
Saturday’s events include brewery and church tours, a 5K race, live music, and the “Little Kings” Sausage Queen finals (adults only). “Continental Sunday’s” events are for all ages and include brewery tours, food, and German music and dancing. Many area bars and restaurants will also participate, offering specials and music. Grammar’s Restaurant, open only for special occasions, will be among them. Craft vendors will sell wares at Arnold’s and a $3 Shop Bock pass will get buyers discount at participting stores and restaurants.
St. Francis Seraph will be one of four churches on the church tour that also includes First Lutheran, Nast Trinity, and Prince of Peace. The walking tour will be offered Saturday at 2:00 and 2:45.
The Old St. Mary’s Fish Fry will be held from 5-9 pm. A Tridentine Latin Mass will also be celebrated at 7 pm.
Photo courtesy Cincinnati Bockfest.
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