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Fidalgo Avenue Pig Roast to become Oak Harbor Pigfest
The hugely popular Fidalgo Avenue Block Party and Pig Roast is taking on a new name, new location and a broader audience.
“It’s going to become a premier event for Oak Harbor,” said organizer Scott Fraser, owner and chef of Frasers Gourmet Hideaway.
Entering its seventh year, the event will evolve into Oak Harbor Pigfest 2014 and relocate from its tucked away spot on Fidalgo Avenue to the spacious area on Pioneer Way in front of Ace Hardware and the PBY Memorial Museum, which opens June 6.
This year, Pigfest will be held Sunday, Aug. 10.
In addition, the barbecue competition, which was previously an amateur event involving eight local teams, will become a regionally-sanctioned barbecue competition through the Pacific Northwest Barbecue Association.
A total of 25 teams, including at least two returning teams, from Washington state will compete. Teams from Oregon, British Columbia and Idaho, will also vie for the top prize of $6,000 prize.
Teams will compete in pork butt, pork ribs, chicken and brisket categories.
While some of the competitors will only be cooking for the association judges, others will make enough for the public to sample by purchasing wrist bands that are expected to cost $5.
More vendors, an expanded kids area and the first-ever Miss Oak Harbor Pageant will also be added to the new format, Fraser said.
Last year’s 2,200 pounds of pork, which fed 4,500 people, will be increased to 3,000 this year.
Fraser said he expects to feed up to 8,000 people.
Returning will be street performances, live music, hot dog and pie eating contests and a raffle drawing.
“It’s truly going to be more of a grandiose event than we’ve done before,” Fraser said.
“By moving it, we’re making it bigger and better. We want to make sure everyone who comes down has a great time.”
For the past six years, the event raised $75,000 for charities, which has always included the North Whidbey Help House food bank.
This year, money will also go to Citizens Against Domestic Abuse and North Whidbey Safety Net, which provides assistance with prescription drugs and dental emergencies.
Prize money was donated by People’s Bank as the main barbecue competition sponsor along with Oak Harbor Motors.
The event can only happen because of many generous sponsors, Fraser said, the biggest of which is Island Thrift.
Fraser, well known for his handlebar mustache, kicked off the Fidalgo Avenue event in 2008, a year after opening his restaurant.
It’s his love of cooking and entertaining, in addition to his love of the Oak Harbor community, that drives him to put on the event each year, he said.
“I truly love my community,” said Fraser, who has lived in Oak Harbor for 23 years. “And that’s why everyone participates and volunteers.”
“It’s for a great cause and that’s why Oak Harbor is a great place to live.”
n For more information, visit www.oakharborpigfest.com