Master mixologists stir it up

<p>EO file photo Area bartenders compete during the 2012 Battle of the Bars in the Let 'er Buck Room at the Pendleton Round-Up Grounds. The event serves as a fundraiser for the Pendleton Round-Up Happy Canyon Hall of Fame.</p>

A half dozen local bartenders will stir things up Friday during the Battle of the Bars competition.

In its third year, the contest pits returning mixologists from Wildhorse Resort & Casino, Virgil’s at Cimmiyotti’s, Crabby’s Underground Saloon and two-time defending champions Hamley’s.

Also joining this year’s mix are bartenders from the Let ’er Buck Room and The Saddle.

Each competitor will create a signature drink that must contain Pendleton Whisky. 

Guests will be able to purchase a drink from whichever establishments they choose and cast their vote for their favorite. At the end of the event, votes will be tallied and the winning bar will receive a plaque along with bragging rights for the year.

Battle of the Bars is Friday from 6-8 p.m. in the Let ’er Buck Room on the Pendleton Round-Up Grounds. There’s no cover charge and those who attend must be 21 or older.

A live auction and dancing with music by Frog Hollow will follow the contest.

The bar will remain open until 11 p.m.

The event serves as a fundraiser for the Pendleton Round-Up and Happy Canyon Hall of Fame.

Tiah DeGrofft, Hall of Fame board member, said everyone is excited about the event and are grateful for the local establishments that help make it a success.

Other communities, DeGrofft said, have contacted organizers about how to make an event like this in their towns. She’s quick to say she’s not sure it’s something that can be recreated. 

“We have great community support from our bars, our townspeople and our rodeo fans,” she said. “When you put that all together, you get an event like no other.” 

DeGrofft said the Battle of the Bars is more than just a fun get-together — it’s crucial for the Hall of Fame. Money generated from the event, museum admissions and private doors keep the doors open. Run entirely by volunteers, DeGrofft said the Hall of Fame receives support from the community in preserving the history of Round-Up and Happy Canyon.

For more information, contact DeGrofft at 541-966-1628 or tiah.degrofft@wildhorseresort.com.

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