If you are looking for something new to do with dad for Father’s Day, the first Gorge Hops and Hogs Fest in downtown The Dalles might be just the ticket.
The barbecue contest will be held at the Lewis and Clark Festival Park on Saturday, June 16, and is sponsored by The Dalles Area Chamber of Commerce and Sedition Brewing Company.
Families are invited to enjoy a meal and adults can sample products from Pacific Northwest craft breweries.
“Beer Yoga” kicks off the day at 10:30 a.m. and is followed at 11:30 a.m., with live music from Gorge Country Media Y102, vendors, games, food for purchase, and e-bikes for rent will be available until 8:30 p.m.
A motorcycle group has also planned to start and finish a ride at the park, giving attendees the opportunity to see them in action.
Entrance to the festival is free and a beer mug with eight beer tokens costs $20 with additional tokens available for purchase.
Proceeds from the festival will be donated to a different non-profit every year, a press release from the chamber stated. The inaugural year’s chosen non-profit is the Columbia Gorge Veteran’s Museum, which will present a military vehicle show, “All Hail the Jeep,” from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 17.
“We have been working closely with the vets museum on this project; we wanted it to benefit them,” said Camille Terry, the chamber’s director of events and communication.
“Sedition approached us with some of the research and leg work done, so we partnered to make this happen. We have been talking about a barbecue competition for a while and the opportunity presented itself.”
Contestants in the cooking contest can choose to compete with six bone cuts of baby-back pork ribs, a tri-tip steak, or both. Visitors will get the chance to judge entries and award the People’s Choice prize of a Trager Grill. A panel of judges will name the Grand Champion team, which will receive a fishing trip for up to six people with Outcatching.com and accommodations at Cousins Country Inn.
Other prizes will be contributed by Columbia River Knife and others.
Barbecuing begins at 9 a.m., with check-in and a meat inspection starting at 8:30 a.m. People’s Choice voting starts at 1 p.m., tri-tip judging at 3 p.m., and rib judging at 3:30. Final awards are handed out at 4:45 p.m. All judging will be anonymous.
Contestants provide their own meat, which must be in original store-bought packaging and kept on-ice until the start of the competition. No pre-cooked or marinated meat will be allowed and garnishing is limited to green leaf lettuce only, which contestants must supply themselves. To be judged, all meat must be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Each team will be given a designated area to set up their equipment. A place to wash and sanitize hands and cooking utensils is required, and a team member must be present at the cook site at all times.
Registration fees per team are $40 for ribs, $40 for tri-tip, or $60 for both. Those wishing to participate in the People’s Choice voting will be asked to pay a small fee.
Vendor spots are available free of charge, and local breweries are encouraged to take part by donating the equivalent of one-half barrel, a jockey box, totes and CO2 canisters. The festival will purchase the equivalent of one-half barrel from each participating brewery and provide cups, tables, ice, and four passes to the event.
Beer drop-off is from noon to 10 p.m. at Sedition on June 15, and 9 to 11 a.m. at the park on June 16. Breweries are also asked to pick up their empty kegs immediately following the festival at the park, or at Sedition after that.
The festival is currently looking for volunteers, age 21 years of age or older, to help work the taps on June 16. Each volunteer will receive a festival tasting mug, eight tokens for beer and a T-shirt. An OLCC service permit is not required, but all volunteers will receive a short OLCC regulations training before the start of their shifts.
Sponsors are also needed to help cover infrastructure, advertising, security, entertainment, and any outside labor not available from volunteers.
More information on the event and ways to participate can be found on the festival’s website, http://gorgehopsandhogs.com/, and questions can be directed to Aaron Lee at email@example.com or Camille Terry at firstname.lastname@example.org.