Thursday, September 4, 2008

Porkapalooza – An All Day Local Farm & Harvest Celebration Encourages Everyone to “Save Gas, Eat Pork”

(FENNVILLE, Mich) – A day-long celebration of hog-proportion called PORKAPALOOZA is planned for Saturday, October 4, rain or shine. The farm party and harvest celebration, touting the eco-friendly slogan “Save Gas, Eat Pork,” will benefit The Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance. The SDCA will also provide volunteers and expertise to this already green-minded effort.

Local restaurants, Journeyman Café & Rye, are joining forces with New Holland Brewing Company and Fenn Valley Vineyard & Winery to host the event at the 14-acre Red Horse Ranch, located just outside of downtown Fennville, on 62nd Street, ¾ of a mile south of M89. The event, which runs from Noon to Midnight, will feature all things local – live music, pork, produce, beer and wine.

“Those of us involved in PORKAPALOOZA share common ground in our pursuit of quality and our belief in championing local, sustainable lifestyles,” says Fred Bueltmann, Beervangalist at New Holland Brewing. “The event will shine a light on some of the areas treasures, including not only the products available, but the creative energy of many local artisans and musicians. Hosting an 800-plus person event, while sticking to earth-friendly ideals, will showcase some of the realities around sustainable living.”

PORKAPALOOZA attendees will live high on the hog throughout the day, with an on-going menu of pork products from Creswick Farms and Providence Farms including pulled pork on Journeyman sandwich bread with homemade Memphis-style barbecue, homemade bratwurst and sausage, Michigan-made whole grain mustard, corn on the cob, fresh homemade sides, fresh fried chips from Visser Farm potatoes, kosher dill pickles, and for the non-meat lovers, Joel’s famous barbecued tofu, made with China Rose tofu of Ann Arbor. For the sweet tooth, Michigan apples dunked in caramel and scattered with bacon brittle, complete the menu.

Throughout the afternoon, Journeyman Chef Matthew Millar will demonstrate traditional and innovative techniques in preparation for three feature pig presentations: The Eastern American Barbecue & Smokehouse at 2 pm, Luau Pig at 5 pm and La Caja China at 8 pm. Portions of the feature presentations are limited and may be purchased in advance.

2 pm – Eastern American Barbecue & Smokehouse: Sample the lesser know Carolina and Appalachian style barbecue. Pork shoulder, ribs and loin will be hot smoked and “mopped” with a tangy vinegar and mustard sauce, foregoing tomatoes. Served with skillet cornbread, kohlrabi & apple slaw with a traditional Southern boiled dressing, and baked beans with Tennessee air dried ham.

5 pm – Luau Pig: Inspired by the Hawaiian tradition, a pig is buried in a pit of hot stones. A few days before, a team of men will dig a coffin-sized hole in the ground and line it with field stones. Early Porkapalooza morning, a very large and dangerous fire will be built in said hole and when it has burned down to coals, the men will lower a 75 pound hog – wrapped in banana leaves and burlap – and bury it under about three feet of earth. After several hours, a tender luau pig will emerge, served with gingered sweet potatoes and pineapple sticky rice.

8 pm – La Caja China: “Pig in a Coffin” is a Cuban preparation, roasting the pig inside a wooden box. A Cuban native watched the Chinese who came to the island to help build the railroads cook their lunch in large, metal lined wood boxes topped with a bed of coals. After just a few short hours, a juicy, perfectly cooked pig would emerge with impossibly crispy skin. Enough said. Our Providence Farm pig will be marinated in garlic mojo and served with roasted pumpkin and raw sweet onions in oil and vinegar.

Local beers and wines from New Holland Brewing Company and Fenn Valley Winery will make for pleasant pork pairings. New Holland will debut Charkoota Rye – a smoked rye dopplebock brewed to celebrate PORKAPALOOZA and the art of charcuterie. They will bring a host of other beers including Mad Hatter IPA, Full Circle Kolsch, Ichabod Pumpkin Ale, The Poet Oatmeal Stout and Dragon’s Milk barrel-aged ale. Fenn Valley, which is located adjacent to the fest site, will serve a selection of their favorite award-winning red and white wines.

Throughout the day, back-to-back entertainment will keep the toes tapping, including:

Ben Bueltmann
Dave Boutette
Jen Sygit & Tahmineh Gueramy
Los Bandits de Michigan
Mark Duval & Two Track Mind
Mississippi Gabe Carter
Singapore Valley Drifters
Who Hit John

Blankets, chairs and water coolers are welcome. The event is held in a grass field, so sturdy shoes are recommended. Guests are not allowed to bring food or alcohol into the event. All ages are welcome, but guests 21 and older will need to show ID to receive a wristband to consume alcohol. Special activities are also planned for the younger attendees.

Admission to PORKAPALOOZA is $25 per carload in advance ($40 day of) or $10 per walk / ride up, and includes access to the unlimited live entertainment. Food and beverages are sold separately. Admission tickets are available online at, or by visiting Journeymen/Rye, New Holland Brewing, Fenn Valley Vineyard or People’s Food Co-Op of Kalamazoo.

Fred Bueltmann - Beervangelist & Partner
New Holland Brewing Company

Michelle Shaw - Journeyman Café & Rye

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