BACONFEST 2014

Saturday, March 29th at 1pm

Location: Masquerade Music Festival

You’re Bacon Me Crazy.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: http://www.dadsgarage.com/shows/season-19/special-events/baconfest-2014.aspx

By Liz and John Attaway

With a short cover of Closing Time renamed “Pooping Time” and the distinct smell of bacon in the air, Baconfest 2014 kicked-off with a few rolling clouds, light sprinkles, and all the bacon you could eat. Despite feeling like the Wicked Witch of the West in my greenish CW poncho fearing the

rain might melt me into a puddle (ok, the rain wasn’t bad); the festival was one of the best festival experiences you can have in Atlanta. It was all about the bacon, beer, and carnival shenanigans. Whether you had Portioned Porking, Go Whole Hog, or Bottomless Bacon there was 2,250 pounds of grease-laden bacon and BLTs to partake in and don’t forget the PBR. But, this festival had it all.

What is “all”, you ask? Let me give you a very short list of the attractions in no particular order: Hobo Wine Tasting, Prize “Wheel,” Karen’s Kompliments, Wynatte Flip Cup Tournament, Scavenger Hunt, Kissing Booth, Dr. Boobies, Baconatrix, PBR’s Human Fest, Mini Roast, In Your Face Painting, Thimblerig Circus, Blast Off Burlesque, Seed and Feed Marching Band, an adult bouncy house, and more. How was that? All that being said not only did you get to enjoy entertainment on stage from silly songs to circus side shows and bands to burlesque, but there was so much to do you don’t even know where to start.
So let’s start with my favorite and one of the biggest attractions: the Hobo Wine Tasting. Warning: whatever you do, don’t try these at home.  From the minds of the Euclid Yacht Club, the group was offered three types of Hobo Wine: Wild Irish Rose, Thunderbird, and some sugary strawberry crap. Not one of them was worth standing in line for but all together they were the trifecta of yuck. Top them off with some canned cheddar cheese and off-brand crackers and you get Hobo Wine Tasting. It was all the way around delightful probably to Hobos only. The other big attraction was the Prize “Wheel.” Some of the coveted prizes included a wrestler hug, a high five, some musical accompaniment, and don’t forget the PBR swag. While we were waiting in line, there was a downpour and the wrestler got drenched, so by the time we got up to the front we were all crossing our fingers that we didn’t have to endure a wrestler hug. Especially once we saw him pick up one guy and carry him around. What if I landed in the mud and got gross wrestler sweat on me? Luckily, we made out pretty good with PBR wristbands, a PBR t-shirt (that was worn as a cape), and some bacon temporary tattoos. Did I mention the PBR t-shirt that was worn as a cape? The PBR people thought it was awesome and stopped to take a picture of him.

This content is rated PG-13. Proceed with caution. What is that on your face? I couldn’t help but spew a little bit of beer out my nose as I passed droves of people with genitalia on their faces. From pink and purple penis to vaginas and everything in between, the Naughty Face Panting people were not shy about showing their uh-hem… stuff off to everyone who would look.

My favorite had to be the head penis that ran ear-to-ear.  I think the number of guys with these naughty bits on their face was the most in the history of the world. Couldn’t they just have painted bacon? The fun didn’t stop there: they were also giving away spankings via the Baconatrix. People lined up to get three licks like they were Tootsie Pops. It was quite risqué. Finally, things got a little hot when the police took the stage and gave us a little strip tease. No, not the real police, but the Blast Off Burlesque that stripped down to their shorts and t-shirts.
What would any good festival be without the obligatory band but I’m happy to report this one was a mish-mash of horns, drums, dancers, and furries(!) that joined to bring us Seed and Feed Marching Band. It was a different spin on your typical festival band/marching band. I talked to one of the members and they said they have been around 40 years and they are celebrating their 40th year by leading the Inman Park Parade this year. I promised I would put in a plug to see them as this will be their biggest and best showing yet. It’s going to be hilarious!
With everything going on, how could you get all that bacon and beer in? It was possible and I walked away feeling full and swearing off bacon and PBR for at least 24 hours. Until then, the meat sweats will continue and the happy memory of Baconfest will linger on.

 

SHAMROCK MUSIC & FOOD FEST 2014

Saturday, March 15th at 11am

Location: Masquerade Music Park

Get Your Green On.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.shamrockmusicfest.thrivemediapartners.com

Take a minute to fill your lungs with the fresh, spring air. It’s festival season and we kicked-off St. Patrick’s day with a fun-filled, Bull riding, kilt wearing, music and food festival called ShamRock Music and Food Festival. It was a mild enough day to wear your favorite St. Patty’s t-shirt. Several hundred of your closest Atlantans listened to bands, had a few drinks, and perused a few of the seven food trucks. Did I forget to mention it was at one of the best venues in Atlanta, The Masquerade?

One of the highlights of the festival was the variety of food trucks that were offered to the attendees. It ranged from Peurto Rican, New York Street Food, and even a doughnut tent. I was most excited about the Alligator on a stick from Wolf Creek BBQ. A few feelings swelled in my throat: the first was my love of food on a stick, the other is my disdain for The Florida Gators. It’s the perfect food. Go Dawgs! #gatorhater! Sorry, I reverted to my football-self. You know what I also really wanted to try were the “Naked Doughnuts.” They looked good and they were fresh out of the fryer.

The other draw was the music. When we were there, we saw the opening performance of Take 3. A 3-piece band that sounds like a full band, they even joked that when you get drunk you’ll see more of them. They started out with an 80’s classic, “Working for the Weekend,” followed by a few 90’s song that included Dishwalla and Sublime. They were pretty good, so here is their link to check them out at their next gig: http://www.reverbnation.com/take3

Finally, I want to take a moment to talk about The Masquerade (again). It’s a hidden gem of Atlanta and one of the best outside venues we have. I just don’t think people realize it. It’s big, grassy, has an outdoor stage, even a place for port-o-potties that is hidden behind a fence. I know, that doesn’t sound like a plus, but if you’ve been to a million outdoor festivals, you know it’s all about the port-o-potties. Kidding aside, it’s a great festival space with so many possibilities for food, tents, and good for all seasons.

All that being said it was a very enjoyable and relaxing time with green shirts, green beer, and way too much food than you can ever try. Don’t forget the mechanical bull. You should see these people on it. Hilarious. Thrive Concerts and Events does this festival every year and you should try it out next year: http://www.shamrockmusicfest.thrivemediapartners.com/

Thanks, Thrive for welcoming us into your festival and we’ll see you next year!

 

 

 

BEER, BOURBON & BBQ 2014

Saturday, March 1st at 1pm

Location: Atlantic Station

Brew it. Taste it. Sip it. Pork it.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.beerandbourbon.com

By Liz and John Attaway

 

March is known for its wild weather, but it’s quickly becoming the official start of the spring festival season! How long before it is known more for its festivals?  And what a better way to kick off the festival season then with the trifecta of fun: beer, bourbon, and BBQ.  Last weekend, a large crowd gathered outside the hustle and bustle of Atlantic Station, waiting outside a pair of gates as lines wound up the stairs and into one of their first festivals of spring: The Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival. The national touring festival with 8 locations and now twice the size of 2013, this festival is destined to become one of Atlanta’s biggest. Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival (aka BBB) has little something for everyone:  besides the beer, bourbon, and BBQ there were cigars, music, wine, fun contests, food and drink pairings, VIP, and 5-6,000 of your closest friends.

I was thinking that $35 was pretty cheap to get free bar-b-que but unless you were VIP, the grub wasn’t free.  Don’t worry $35 is good for what you did get so I’m not complaining. It wasn’t that big of a deal because you could grab a sandwich for $6 from just about any vendor. I perused the offerings that included Williams Brothers, Hottie Hawgs BBQ, Big Shanty and others. I opted for a pulled pork sandwich (the “usual” for me) from Hottie Hawgs BBQ. The meat was tender and a pretty good size for the price. The BBQ sauce was a little bit sweet and a little bit sassy, so I enjoyed it. I have to say that the most interesting looking bar-b-que place had to be the Big Shanty. It looked like a little house on wheels. Very cool!

My overall favorite thing at Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival was the Tasting Theater. Each hour had its own theme and you could sit and learn something new or even better eat your way through the hour. From a range of speakers and activities that included food, drink and pairings, a few of the offers interested me immensely.  We could only go to one, so we went to the Bourbon and BBQ pairing featuring Smoke Rings BBQ. While in the pairing, we tried a Savannah Bourbon Co Bourbon while the bar manager talked, then they served deviled eggs with Bacon and bourbon sweat tea. The deviled eggs were perfect and the bacon gave it that smoky, bar-b-que flavor, and then paired with the bourbon sweat tea, I felt like I should be sitting in a rocking chair on a porch somewhere in rural Georgia. Some of the other seminars/offers they also had at the tasting tent were a Southern Food seminar, the history of Bourbon Seminar, Good Eat and Meet, and the co-founder of Templeton Rye spoke.

And who doesn’t like a good, ole fashioned Beer Belly Contest? You heard right, Beer Belly Contest. Ok, to be fair, I have never seen one of these and I have to call: shenanigans. It was something that the crowd really seemed to enjoy and got into with whoops and hollers. Contestants were brought on stage and their beer bellies were measured in front of the crowd. The biggest guy had up to 4’11″ of belly fat and attributed it all to Bud Light. That’s my light beer of choice, so I commend you! Also, Rock 100.5 also had their own shenanigans going on at their tent with two contests I saw while waiting in line for a beer. The first one they got a young lad to drink down some BBQ sauce from the bottle for a t-shirt and some prizes. They also had (PG-13 content) a contest to put a condom on the end of a plunger.  On that note, maybe it’s time to put down the bourbon.

Overall, even with the large crowd and busy Atlantic Station, the festival was full of fun (including beer and BBQ), while most people seemed to enjoy the slightly over-cast and mild Saturday afternoon with their friends. I had some friends in VIP and they RAVED about their festival experience that included free food (if you got their early) that was very good, a lot more beer choices, and a lot less crowded tent. I think if you do this when it comes around next March, maybe you should opt for VIP. It may cost a little, tiny bit more but you get all the festival fun outside and all the exclusivity inside.  Win-win.