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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Beer and Horses

Beer and Horses

Although our winter weather is hanging on, I intend to celebrate spring’s arrival at two events this weekend: the sixth annual Atlantic City Beer Festival and the first Atlantic City Boardwalk Rodeo.

The two-day beer fest kicks off on Friday at the 75,000-square-foot Atlantic City Convention Center. More than 75 brewers from around the world will be on hand for this celebration of suds.

I’ve attended several beer festivals over the years, but this one stands out as among the best. You’ll meet some local brew legends (including the folks from Cherry Hill’s Flying Fish and Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head), and get a chance to step outside the Bud-Miller-Coors universe into a world of beer diversity.

Some of this year’s highlights will include Brooklyn Brewery, Great Lakes, Troegs, Boulder, Stone, Left Hand and Magic Hat. The event will feature food, live entertainment and guest speakers. Tickets are $50 at the door, and
 $45 per session in advance online through Ticket Master. For more information visit the festival’s website.

Moving from beer to broncos, Friday is also the start of the Atlantic City Boardwalk Rodeo, a Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association-sanctioned event. The rodeo will feature three days of classic competition, including bareback riding, saddle bronco riding, bull riding, calf roping, team roping and women’s barrel racing. The prize purse will be $56,000, with about 10 contestants in each event.

This may seem a bit kitschy, but make no mistake, these guys and gals are quite serious about their rodeos—as anyone who has attended Cowtown Rodeo in Salem County can attest. So, in between brews, take a stroll down to Boardwalk Hall for the East Coast’s largest rodeo of the year. Tickets are $16, $31, $51 and $102. Family four packs are sold out, so get on this before you get bucked from the fun. Tickets can be purchased at the Boardwalk Hall Box Office or online from Ticketmaster.

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