What began as a fundraiser for Special Olympics Oregon, Bite of Oregon is now an amazing celebration of delicious local food and drink, the people who prepare it, and the people who enjoy it. Held in the Tom McCall Waterfront Park, the Bite has been going strong for 28 years.

While on the surface, Bite of Oregon may seem like an adults-only event, this fun-filled weekend is most definitely kid-friendly! This year the Kid Fair has been expanded to include tons of hands-on activities for the youngsters. On Friday beginning at 11:15 am, make sure the kiddos dust off their chef’s hats because they’ll get to help local chefs in an intense head-to-head cook-off, and then they get to turn around and judge the (hopefully delicious) results! Other events for sticky fingers include balloon creatures, creative puppetry that promotes awareness and acceptance, and on Sunday, they’ll be able to create and decorate their own chef’s hats. Be sure to check the Bite of Oregon website for all the specific kid-friendly event details.

Adults and kiddos alike can sample delicious cuisine from Portland-area restaurants and food carts. If you want an awesome opportunity to nibble edibles from some of the top-ranking chefs in the state, be sure to check out Gerry Frank’s Oregon Chef’s Table. And don’t forget delectable desserts at the Boyd’s Coffee Dessert Pavilion. Moms and Dads can also look out for the plethora of Oregon wineries and microbreweries all awaiting a taste.

This three day-long event is the perfect excuse for not cooking all weekend, as all bites and sips are between $2 – $10.

When: Friday – Saturday, August 12-13, 11:00 am-10:00 pm. Sunday, August 14 10:00 am – 8:00 pm.

Where: Tom McCall Waterfront Park at 700 Southwest Naito Parkway in Portland.

Tickets: $15 Weekend Pass; $10 One Day Pass; Kids 5 and younger are FREE!

Bonus: $5 Early Bird Special (Friday entry before 2:00 pm).

What to bring: It’s an outdoor event on the water, so lace up those comfortable shoes, and don’t forget the sunblock, sweaters, and hats! A stroller might be a good idea as well.

Suggestion: Parking is going to be a nightmare. Check out public transportation instead.

For a list of participating restaurants, chefs, breweries, wineries, and other general information, check out their website: www.biteoforegon.com.

– Simone Yingst