What can’t Portlanders pickle? Portlandia asked the question; now come to this festival to get your answer. What began last year as a simple street party and pickle throwdown has now blossomed into a full-flavored Pickle Fest. Bigger and better, it’s also a great place to spend a few hours with your family, tasting delicious pickle bites and playing in the park. Here is your guide to celebrating all things pickled.

Go: Kenny and Zuke’s Picklefest is being held on July 21 (Saturday), 2012 from 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm at Wallace Park (NW Portland on NW 25th St., in between NW Raleigh St. and NW Pettygrove Street).

Cost: Admission to the event is free and $7 to taste the pickle samples. Admission costs will be donated to the Oregon Food Bank.

What’s the big deal? The participant list includes top Portland pickle makers and restaurants, including Woodsman Tavern, Ned Ludd, Oven and Shaker, Bluehour, Tasty and Sons, Wildwood, Little Big Burger and Biwa, to name a few of the over 20 that have signed on. Attendees vote for their favorites and celebrity judges award the winners.

What else is there to eat? Guests can pair their pickle samples with barbecue, specialties from Kenny and Zuke’s and microbrews and other kid-friendly beverages.

Pickles in the park: This year’s festival is being held at Wallace Park, where you can relax and relish your pickles on the lawn. There will be plenty of room for kids to run. And, yes, there is a playground, too.

Think pink for kiddos: Cucumber-based pickles will be well represented; be sure to check out some awesomely unusual pickles the kids will love. Last year kids enjoyed pickled strawberries, cherries and watermelons along with People’s Choice Portland Weird pickle winner, Kenny & Zuke’s Koolickle, a pickle made with Kool-aid.

Jam with your pickles? Secrets in the Salt will be performing, adding live music to the festive atmosphere.

You are so dilly: Peter Piper picking a peck of pickled peppers is just the beginning of silly pickle humor. What do you call a cat eating a pickle? Sour Puss.

Parking strategy. Time to dust off your annual Chapman-Swifts-Viewing car parking plan. Wallace Park is right net to the Chapman school. Remember that the uphill part of NW Pettygrove Street is a dead-end street and easily becomes very congested. There is usually lots of parking available north of the school.

-Cheyenne Terbrueggen

(photos courtesy of Kenny & Zuke’s & Ginger via flickr)