Oregon Brewers Festival, the largest and one of the oldest in the country, will return in July

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The last weekend of July will once again be all about drinking all sweaty day in Waterfront Park now that the Oregon Brewers Festival is back.

Organizers have announced that the state’s largest Oktoberfest, which is also one of the oldest in the country, will take place July 28-30. This news comes after two years of cancellations due to the ongoing pandemic.

Long-time attendees will notice that OBF is a bit shorter, ending on Saturday rather than having a full weekend. But beer drinkers are no doubt excited to have the festival back in any form at this point.

In 2020, organizers called for scrapping the event in May, which joined other large gatherings that had previously called for it, including the Waterfront Blues Fest, the Vancouver Fireworks Spectacular at Fort Vancouver Historic Site, the Portland Craft Beer Festival and the St Paul Rodeo.

The following year, they didn’t wait that long to pull the plug: the OBF announced a second cancellation in March. Although vaccines had started rolling out then and hopes for an unbridled summer of activity were high, organizers said they needed months of planning to pull off a festival of this size.

OBF began in 1988 after Art Larrance, who sold Cascade Brewing in April 2020 to begin his transition to retirement, attended Munich’s Oktoberfest. It inspired him to recreate a little slice of drunken Bavaria here as he kicked off the event. In its first year, there were only six breweries in Oregon, but OBF grew, eventually attracting hundreds of participating businesses and tens of thousands of visitors each year.

The same team behind OBF is also hosting a new event this year which is still planned to move forward. Hillsbrew Fest is scheduled to take place February 25-27 at the Wingspan Event Center located inside the Washington County Fairgrounds.

“After more than 30 years of producing craft beer festivals, I can’t wait to reunite with the Hillsboro community and raise a glass to the best of Oregon,” said Larrance, co-founder of the festival, in A press release. “Over half of Hillsbrew’s beers will debut with us, so attendees will have the chance to try some truly unique new craft beers.”

Proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test will be required for entry to Hillsbrew Fest. Organizers also say they plan to abide by whatever state and local mask policies are at the time.

So far, there has been no decision on the attendance cap, but the number of cases in and around Washington County will be monitored in order to make a ticket cap appeal closer to the festival.

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