Want to go?
WHAT: 28th annual Bartender Olympics
WHEN: 7 p.m. Aug. 16
WHERE: Roundhouse Bar, Delaware Ave., Put-in-Bay
Among all of the annual summer sporting events – the Major League Baseball All-Star Game, The Little League World Series and others – that draw interest from the mainstream, there’s one competition of sorts on Put-in-Bay where the contestants are required to drink up and not because of a need to stay hydrated. It’s the 28th Annual Bartender Olympics taking place Aug. 16 on Middle Bass Island.
What may sound like a joke is actually a serious, er, seriously fun event for the island’s wait staff.
“The preliminary contests will consist of a free pour contest and a written quiz,” said Round House Bar General Manager Paula Garsteck. “These will be followed by opening ceremonies, lighting of the Olympic Torch and the National Anthem, which takes place in the park across from The Round House Bar. Next is the parade and performance by each bar down Delaware Avenue. This is followed up by outdoor games like keg roll, can carry and relay race. Finally, we go inside The Round House Bar where each bar will present their original drink.”
Naturally Funcoast is known for its in-depth coverage of all crazy, local events. That said, this may be the goofiest event known to man. Still, we talked to two participants (read: suckers) about the Bartender Olympics. Be prepared to be surprised at the length the bar Olympians will go to prepare for this event. Actually, you better prepare yourself to be under whelmed and overly bored. Here’s what extraordinaire Round House bartender Bryan Gilles, 25, from Lakewood and Beer Barrel bartender Jason Meads, 22, from Toledo had to say about this year’s competition.
Funcoast: Why do you enjoy the Olympics?
Bryan: The visitors.
Jason: Friends come together for one special night.
Funcoast: How did you do last year? Why did you do so well?
Bryan: The Round House Bar won the best original drink. That made us proud.
Jason: We had a lot of fun.
Funcoast: How do you train in the off-season for the Bartender Olympics?
Bryan: A six-pack of Budweiser for every Cavs game.
Jason: I tried to drink a keg by myself in one week.
Funcoast: Have you ever pulled a muscle?
Bryan: Yes, but not while competing in the Olympics.
Jason: My groin is currently pulled.
Funcoast: Are you nervous about this year’s event?
Bryan: Yes, I get nervous before competing in any competition.
Jason: No, not at all.
Funcoast: What’s your strength/weakness in Olympics?
Bryan: My high tolerance for alcohol.
Jason: Big muscles and bad balance.
Funcoast: Are you worried about the rumors of drug testing this year?
Bryan: No, I have naturally been hitting the gym.
Jason: Yes, and no comment.
Funcoast: What are you goals for this year’s Olympics?
Bryan: First place in every event.
Jason: Not to fall down.
The 28th Annual Bartender Olympics takes place at 7 p.m. Aug. 16 at various Put-in-Bay watering holes.
Find Funcoast photos from the 2009 Bartender Olympics here, and the 2010 Bartender Olympics here.