Feast 2016 is almost upon us, the fifth anniversary of this wonderful, wild food and drink festival in Portland. If you don’t already know, Feast is a four daylong celebration of the cuisine and culture of the Pacific Northwest, particularly Oregon and Washington. With five main events, a dinner series, smaller events, and after parties, it’s the biggest and best food party of the year. It’s also a chance to give back to the community— Feast is more than just indulgence, and has raised over $230,000 in the last four years to fight childhood hunger. Find out how to get more involved here.
Some of our favorite blogs include Nom Nerd, Martha Chartreuse, PDX Food Love, The Spicy Bee, Salt. Water. Coffee., Bakery Bingo, and Pechluck’s Food Adventures.
Feast has arrived! It’s time to get down to the events and get eating. The events are huge, and can be overwhelming, so here’s some advice on how to navigate.
1. Get There Early
Get to an event before it opens if at all possible, and as early as you can to avoid waiting in lines just to get into the event. Then, head straight for the ones you’re most excited about; you’ve already researched this, so you know which ones you want to get to. Afterwards, once you’ve eaten a bit, you’ll feel more comfortable standing in lines waiting for the others.
2. Bring a Buddy (or Two)
Nothing is more fun than feasting with friends! Having someone to wait in line with, to plan your next event out with, and to share rides home with makes for a much more enjoyable Feast. That being said, if you aren’t with anyone, it’s easy to make friends! Chat with people in your line about their favorite snack so far and you might find your stay together the rest of the week.
3. Moderate Your Drinking
It’s easy to drink at Feast; there’s plenty of alcohol available, and often the lines for a drink are shorter than the lines for food. And drink you should, provided you like that sort of thing! There are some amazing distillers, winemakers, and bartenders, and even some events that are dedicated entirely to spirits (some of the Drink Tank events are still available, and you should absolutely think about getting a ticket). But while overindulging in food can leave you with a stomach ache, overindulging in drink can be far worse. Just be sure to take breaks, limit your intake, and stay hydrated. Remember, even if you’re not drinking much alcohol, the heat, crowds, and salty foods can still lead to feeling unwell, so drink plenty of water.
4. Get To and From Events Safely
Especially if you’ve been drinking, there’s no excuse to drive. Portland has so many options for alternative transportation: busses, light rail, streetcars, pedi-cabs, cabs, Lyft, Uber, or just plain walking. This year the events are bit more spread out, with a few crossing the river, but everything is still mostly centralized.
5. Enjoy Yourself!
Don’t push yourself, and don’t feel the need to get to everything possible. Feast is a large undertaking, even the individual events, and there’s no point to it if you aren’t enjoying yourself. Relax, snack, drink, and chat. Take breaks in the shade when you can. Leave early if you need to and don’t guilt yourself. It’s a festival, not an obligation, and you’ll have more fun and be less stressed for it.
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