What’s new at booze and barbecue festival Pig & Whiskey this year in Ferndale

Typically, the annual Pig & Whiskey outdoor event takes place in downtown Ferndale in mid-July, when the summer season seems to be at its peak.

After a break in 2020 for you-know-what, the grill and whiskey event returns this year on Halloween weekend from Friday to Sunday. There will be a seasonal theme throughout the event for both kids and adults, with fall cocktails from the whiskey vendors all weekend and a kids trick-or-treating event on Sunday afternoons.

“July is a great time of course, but fall sounded like a great idea because of the circumstances. We weren’t ready, and all of our partners and suppliers weren’t ready to commit to July and the town of Ferndale.” said ‘Halloween weekend’ and we said ‘let’s go’, “said festival organizer Jim Cohen.

In addition to cooler weather and a new date, the 2021 version of Pig & Whiskey will bring a few other changes with it. The live music stage will move away from Woodward and instead be at the east end of the festival site. Many of the vendors will be in tent areas and some in surrounding venues like the Loving Touch, Woodward Avenue Brewers, and the Emory.

One of the most convenient changes is the elimination of the drinks menu. Instead of waiting in line to exchange a handful of vouchers for drinks, whiskey fans can pay any seller directly for a shot, sip, or cocktail. Expect products from national brands like Jack Daniels and Crown Royal, but also Michigan-grown craft spirits like Traverse City Whiskey Co. and Coppercraft Distillery.

For subscribers:High proof: Michigan’s craft liquor industry is changing the game

As for the meat, there will be grill vendors from Michigan and beyond, including festival veterans like Detroit BBQ Co. and Chef Omar Mitchell from his newest venture, the upscale Royal Oak Restaurant Imaginate.

“He brings the grill, he brings the turkey legs … we’re glad to have it back,” said Cohen of Mitchell. Pig & Whiskey will also offer some vegetarian options.

Detroit News file photo of Laith Al-Saadi.

Every evening of the festival, local bands from the genres of rock, indie, Americana and blues perform. “The Voice” finalist and longtime guitarist from Michigan, Laith Al-Saadi, hit the headlines on Friday and the cowpunk band Goober & the Peas hit the headlines on Saturday. Stone Clover ends the festival on Sunday evening with an energetic “paddy slag” skirt.

On Sundays and public holidays, between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., children can conjure up a trick or treat between the vendors

“We expect to see lots of people in costume. We always have lots of families, we always have lots of puppies, and a wonderful community life in the middle of Ferndale,” said Cohen, associate editor of the weekly Metro Times, which produces the event.

For sports fans, Cohen assures that there will be televisions everywhere for those who want to watch the college football game Michigan vs. Michigan State College on Saturday.

“I can’t think of a better tailgating situation,” he said.

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Twitter: @melodybaetens

Pork & whiskey

Fri. 6 p.m. to midnight, Sat. 11 a.m. to midnight and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sun.

E. Nine Mile and E. Troy east of Woodward, Downtown Ferndale

Free admission

pigandwhiskeyferndale.com

Detroit rock band Tart will perform at Pig & Whiskey in downtown Ferndale on October 30th at 6:45 p.m.

Music lineup

Friday

6 p.m .: Libby DeCamp

7:15 pm: Myron Elkins

8:30 p.m .: The Muggs

10 p.m .: Laith Al-Saadi

Saturday

5:30 p.m .: Black Note Graffiti

6.45 p.m .: Tart

8 p.m .: Missy May Ryder

9:30 p.m .: Goober and the peas

Sunday

4:45 p.m .: Jeremy Porter and the Tucos

6 p.m .: Downtown Brown

7:30 p.m .: sweet clover

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