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Science and Delicious Delicacies at the Portland Bourbon & Bacon Fest

Portland is the largest city in Oregon, and a perfect destination for an unforgettable Northwest getaway. Though a population of over 600,000 people may seem overwhelming, the city maintains a small town feel and a unique sense of community. Visitors will encounter a plethora of craft breweries and distilleries, niche restaurants, art galleries, festivals, and outdoor activities.


Portland's OMSI After Dark has set itself apart in a city known worldwide for its alcohol and food themed celebrations. The celebration is entering its third year and planners are expecting around 2,000 attendees. The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is hosting the event alongside radio partner Entercom Portland, adding an extra layer of entertainment and interaction.  A collection of some of the top restaurants and distilleries in the city will be featured at the event. Patrons will get to enjoy a variety of bourbons and bacon creations while walking the halls and experiencing all the great exhibits. The event raises awareness for OMSI and demonstrates the core values of the museum to the public. We got the chance to interview Jessica Seus, Event Manager for Entercom, to talk about unique celebration.


RAL: How long has the event been running?

JS: The event is in its 3rd year.


RAL: How many annual participants do you draw?

JS: In past events we've had 2,400 attendees! For January's event, we've lowered our capacity to 2,000 and added a VIP ticket to create a better event experience for everyone. 


RAL: What is the typical demographic makeup of the event? Children? Families? Couples?

JS: The crowd is all over 21 with an equal mix of women and men. We mostly see couples and actually, a lot of first dates!


RAL: What makes this event unique?

JS: You get to explore a children’s science museum without the kids while drinking bourbon and eating bacon. Doesn’t get much better than that, does it?


RAL: What activities will there be.   

JS: A lot of bourbon and bacon sampling! Attendees will see a variety of science exhibits throughout OMSI, including the Whiskey Water Switch and Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon. There will be entertainment from local DJ's to LED Poi Dancers. 


RAL: What dining options will attendees encounter?  

JS: There will be various restaurants sampling their bacon treats including Portlands, Red Star Tavern, PDX Sliders, and Lardo. OMSI’s restaurant (Theory) is also open throughout the night.


RAL: What is the environment like?

JS: FUN! How often do adults get to run around in a museum like a kid again?


RAL: Is there maybe one hotel in particular that guests have been flocking to since the event started?  

JS: Kimpton Portland offers three boutique hotels in downtown Portland, just across the river from the event. Each is distinctive in its design and appeal, but pays tribute to local craftsmen and producers. For example, RiverPlace Hotel features a flight of local spirits in its mini bar, while Hotel Monaco Portland regularly has local distillers pour samples during daily wine hour, and Hotel Vintage Portland, a wine-themed hotel, offers a wide selection of the state’s craft beverages at its lobby bar.


RAL: Does the event support a particular cause in the community?

JS: This event showcases OMSI in a way that most people don’t get to experience. OMSI’s mission is to inspire curiosity through engaging science learning experiences, foster experimentation and the exchange of ideas, and stimulate informed action. I think this event adds to this, but it's targeted at the adults instead of the kids.


RAL: Why should people come to your event?

JS: You will get to try a variety of food and drinks that would have taken you several weekends to explore on your own. What makes this event memorable is that you are running around a museum like a kid again, shooting off water rockets, all while sipping on a glass of bourbon!

For more information about Portland Bourbon and Bacon Fest, please visit their website.