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Fidalgo porks out for block party
It’s hard to know what will draw the most people to the First Annual Fidalgo Avenue Block Party and Free Pig Roast.
Will it be the whole pig roasted in the style of an above-ground luau, the live music or the beer-and-wine garden? Perhaps it will be the prospect of watching Oak Harbor Mayor Jim Slowik, Island County Commissioner Mac McDowell and other officials perched precariously in a dunk tank. Or maybe folks will come for the sidewalk sales, the raffle, the clown or the chance to support a couple of local charities.
Whatever the reason, organizers expect as many as 800 people to attend the outdoor party this Sunday, Aug. 10, from 1 to 7 p.m. It will be on Fidalgo Avenue, one street up the hill from Pioneer Way.
The event is the brainchild of Scott Fraser, the mustachioed owner of Frasers Gourmet Hideaway. He wanted to do something special for his restaurant’s second anniversary, so he teamed up with other merchants of the Fidalgo Avenue scene.
“It’s our way of saying thank you to the community,” he said.
Fraser really knows how to throw a party. He’ll be cooking up 500 pounds of pork, with a whole 100-pound porcine and hundreds of pounds of pork butt. The food is free, but organizers ask people to place donations in a giant, pink piggy bank. The money will be split between the Help House and the county chapter of the American Red Cross.
Fraser said he’s going to roast the pig in a Cuban pig box, known as a la caja china. It’s a wooden box lined with metal. The pig goes inside and coals go on top.
“It’s basically an above-ground luau,” he said.
For those who follow local politics, the highlight of the party may be watching local officials getting dunked. Fraser said Slowik, McDowell, county Assessor Dave Mattens, Oak Harbor Police Lt. John Dyer, and councilmen Bob Severns, Rick Almberberg and Jim Palmer have agreed to take the plunge.
“These people are willing to give time and a little bit of their dignity to come and help out,” Fraser said. He explained that the chance to dunk the men will likely be auctioned off for charity.
The restauranteur emphasized that the activities will include many games for children and families, including good-old-fashioned sack races, three-legged races and a pie-eating contest.
“It should be a really good time for everyone,” Fraser said.