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More pounds of pig at Oak Harbor's annual roast
Last year, there was a lot of pig. This year, there’s going to be 300 pounds more.
The fourth annual Oak Harbor Pig Roast on Fidalgo Avenue will be held Sunday, Aug. 14, and promises 1,600 pounds of pork and a whole lot of tangy sauce.
Like last year, the 2011 block party will feature a professional barbecue competition with piggy bank prizes awarded for people’s and judges’ choice. But for the first time, Whidbey’s amateur roasters will form a league of their own.
Event organizer Roger Anglum of Smoketree BBQ said the professionals will roll in extensive equipment, but that won’t fly in the amatuer competiton.
“We’re looking for people to bring in their backyard barbecues,” owner Scott Fraser of Frasers Gourmet Hideaway said.
Unlike the professionals, the amateurs will not be judged by their peers, but solely by a panel of judges. Fraser said the judges will mainly be folks with barbecuing clout, but some will be well-known city leaders like Whidbey Island Naval Air Station Commanding Officer Capt. Jay Johnson and North Whidbey Fire and Rescue Training Officer Ray Merrill.
Anglum will compete among the pros and is confident his product will have people licking their fingers and begging for more.
“I guarantee you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven,” he said. “I’ll be up at about 2 in the morning on Sunday starting my rig. It takes about eight hours to smoke all that stuff up.”
People will be able to sample all of the pros’ dishes and plenty of pork will be available in the free food line alongside potato salad, pasta salad, coleslaw, corn and baked beans.
“People can come for a full meal,” Fraser said.
Though the event is free, giant wooden barrels painted pink and posing as pigs will be rolled through the streets to collect donations. The money raised through donations, raffle ticket and alcohol sales will be split among local charities. Half of the money will be given to the North Whidbey Help House and the remainder will be divided among WISH, Youth Dynamics and the Medical Safety Net of North Whidbey. Last year, $12,000 was raised and Fraser said he’s hoping to come close to that mark again this year.
Like a traditional block party, the pig roast, originated by Fraser as a way to thank the community, will close down portions of Fidalgo Avenue and Dock Street in order to spread out the entertainment. Live music will be performed by local bands at 12:30 and 4:30 p.m. and a vendors market with about 18 booths will be open throughout the afternoon.
For children, there will be gold panning, a visit from L-Bow the Clown, balloon artists, a climbing wall, a bouncy room and hot dog and pie eating contests at 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Additionally, children will be invited to participate in a chalk piggy picture contest along Pioneer Way from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Event organizers stressed that the pig roast is kid-friendly but that adults also have a lot to look forward to.
“There will be a beer garden,” Ron Apgar said, “that’s the adult-friendly part. It’ll be a nice hot day for a cold beer.” Apgar owns Paint Your World on Pioneer Way and is helping plan the roast along with Fraser and Anglum. Frank Scelzi and Kristi Jensen, who own a few businesses inside Old Town Mall, are also on the planning committee and will open the mall parking lot to festivities. Greg Hampton of Whidbey Beer Works will be providing beverages.
After the close of the event on Sunday, Fraser said many community and Navy volunteers will help clean up the barbecue remains.
“We’ve got a lot of people helping out,” Fraser said, “but we’ll take anyone.”
For details, see www.oakharborpigroast.com or call 279-1231.