The Bloody Mary Festival, and All of Its Over-the-Top Garnishes, Will Return to Portland This June

Here, the bloody mary is a spectacle, with entire salad bars or diner sliders skewered and served as garnish.

What’s one sure sign that we’re ready to return to normal? Brunch has become a priority once again.

Restaurants that suspended service of the leisurely, midday meal during the pandemic have started to reinstate those menus. And themed meals—drag brunches, bingo brunches and trivia brunches—are back on many calendars.

But perhaps the biggest brunch event to swing through town pre-pandemic is prepared to make a comeback, free of COVID restrictions at this point, and it’s pretty much perfect for anyone in need of an excuse to day drink without shame: the Bloody Mary Festival.

The fourth annual celebration of the tomato juice-based cocktail returns to the Redd on Salmon on Saturday, June 11. It’s where you go when the classic celery stick just doesn’t do it anymore. Here, the bloody mary is a spectacle, with entire salad bars or diner sliders skewered and served as garnish.

So far, eight Portland restaurants known for their brunches, bar programs or both have signed up to sling drinks, including Cadillac Cafe, Screen Door, Cheryl’s on 12th and Q Restaurant. Two beverage companies, Demitri’s Gourmet Mixes and Mary’s Mixers, are also scheduled to take part. More participants will be announced in the coming weeks.

Attendees are allowed to sample all of the drinks as part of admission before then voting for their favorite in the People’s Choice Award contest. A panel of industry judges will also award the title of Best Bloody Mary in Portland to one competitor.

If you’re still hungry at the event, even after eating all of the over-the-top embellishments that come with your bloody marys, additional food vendors will be on hand along with other beverage purveyors.

The event has two sessions (10:30 am-1:30 pm and 3-6 pm), and general admission is $49.95. To get in early as a VIP, the price bumps up to $62.50. Proceeds benefit the Humane Society of Southwest Washington.