Event-wise, 2012 is shaping up to be a stellar year for Dover and central Delaware. There have been the regularly scheduled events like NASCAR, and Dover Days but there’s also been no shortage of first-time happenings. From the Firefly Music Festival to Fordham and Dominion’s R2Hop2 Festival, Dover seems to be embracing both music and locally crafted beer.
This Saturday, the grounds of Fordham and Dominion will play host to another first-time festival: The Hogs and Hops Festival. The event, to be held from 3 to 8 p.m., will offer a barbeque competition, live music, and plenty to do for every member of the family.
Here are five things to know before you go:
1 It’s not just beer
Yes, the festival will be on the grounds of the Fordham and Dominion Brewery and there will be plenty of locally crafted beer for sampling, from Helles Lager and Tavern Ale to Hop Mountain, Copperhead Ale and Oak Barrel Stout.
But, for all those not inclined towards beer, Old Dominion’s famous Root Beer will also be available. Additionally, non-alcoholic tickets are only $10. Be sure to ask about the brewery’s two soon-to-be-released new sodas, too: Creamy Orange and Black Cherry.
2 It’s all in the sauce
A big part of Saturday’s festivities will be the barbeque competition, which organizers are hoping to have sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbeque Society for next year. According to Hogs and Hops Chairman Mark Hoffman, KCBS-approval would be a big deal.
“Not only do we get access to thousands of barbeque teams that will want to compete but we become part of the national tour,” Hoffman said. “Many teams and advertisers look for events that are sanctioned.”
The competition will be judged and trophies will be awarded. Judges include several certified KCBS judges and possibly some local politicians. VIP ticket-holders, which have already sold out, also get to weigh in on the best barbeque and will pick a “People’s Choice Award” at 5 p.m.
Hoffman added that the interest and participation in this year’s event already has organizers looking to expand next year to a full weekend extravaganza that could include a home brew contest and more entertainment alongside the barbeque competition.
3 Kids welcome
Page 2 of 2 - With all the beer sampling, it may seem like the kiddies should stay at home. Not so. Organizers have gone to great lengths to make sure that the whole family gets to participate.
“Dover Macaroni Kid is coming in with bounce houses and will sell wristbands for the whole day for $3,” Hoffman said. “They are also doing macaroni bracelets and necklaces and running a coloring contest that will include prizes like tickets to the zoo, the children’s museum or admission for bowling and the arcade.”
Jungle John will be there, too, with a five-foot alligator and a 12-foot python and will put on a free reptile show. For the curiously brave (and non-squeamish), adults and kids alike will even have an opportunity for some up-close-and-personal face time with some of the reptiles.
For an additional fee, Vertical High will also be there with a trampoline and a rock wall. A sand art company will be on hand for the creatively inclined.
4 More competitions, more prizes
For those with a more developed throwing arm, there will be a corn hole competition and a keg toss.
“The corn hole tournament is a winner-take-all contest based on the number of teams,” Hoffman said. “It is $20 per team entry so, for example, if we get twenty teams, the winning team will get $400.”
The keg toss will cost $2 for two throws. Finalists will then compete for prizes like gift certificates to the Fordham and Old Dominion Gift Shop.
5 Supporting local heroes
The event isn’t just a celebration of beer, it’s also a fundraiser.
“This is a great cause,” Hoffman said. “It’s going to help our ‘officer in distress fund,’ so if an officer or a firefighter is killed or severely injured in the line of duty, this fund assists with helping the individual or family with their transitions.”
The fund also helps with things like college tuition for the children of injured or deceased officers and firefighters, bridging the insurance gap and home renovations.
Hoffman added that aside from being a great cause, it’s also just going to be great fun.