Festivals are few and far between in late fall and winter, but this weekend is one of the exceptions. Fight the holiday cheer and cold: imbibe copious amounts of alcohol, sausage, and pickled herring.
Pioneer Square hosts the Holiday Ale Festival once again. Stay warm and dry and claustrophobic under the big tent. Take the Max home (if you must drive, rot your teeth with root beer) after you enjoy too many beers with too high an alcohol content and too much cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Actually, there are lots of other choices besides spiced winter ales, but be careful: almost everything is strong.
You know the drill: admission is free, but the plastic mugs are $5 and the samples are a $1 each. No kids at this festival, must be over 21 to enter the tent. Go Thursday for some special beers.
(My favorite part of the Holiday Ale Festival tradition is heading to the Virginia Cafe afterwards for a Cajun Jack Gardenburger and fries.)
The Scandinavian Heritage Foundation has been putting on the ScanFair for 23 years. Besides the typical xmas bazaar crap, dancers and musicians perform on two stages, there will be various how-to demonstrations of traditional crafts, Oregon’s 52nd Lucia Queen of Light will be crowned and the highlight: a pickled herring eating contest noon on Saturday!
The fair is held at PSU, on the 3rd floor of the Smith Memorial Center (1825 SW Broadway). Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, $3 for children 6 to 12 years, and 5 and under get in free.
Meanwhile out in Beaverton the German American School of Portland (located in the old Nike headquarters across from Kmart: 3900 SW Murray Blvd) is hosting the 8th annual German Holiday Market. This is another xmas bazaar-type thing, but with German foods, sweets, and glühwein! I have only recently become acquainted with the German mulled wine (available at Amnesia Brewing this fall and winter when their electric kettle isn’t on the fritz), but it’s fast becoming my favorite winter drink.
Being a native Portlander of German and Norwegian descent I feel obligated to attend all three of this weekend’s festivals – see you there!