Since 1933, the governors of Delaware have proclaimed Dec. 7 as "Delaware Day," which pays homage to that historic day in 1787 when Delaware became the first state to ratify the Constitution, thus making this land we all call home the first state in the new nation.
However, 16 Mile Brewing Company's Sales and Marketing Director Claus Hagelman said that year after year, he would wake up to a news announcement about the importance of the day without ever hearing of any celebrations of it.
So, Hagelman and co-owners Chad Campbell and Brett McCrea put their heads together with Jeff Evans at Great Scott Broadcasting and the ideas started pouring as quickly as the locally crafted beer.
"I was talking to the owners and one of them said 'you know what we should do? We should have a big bonfire to get rid of all the old pallets we can't use out back,'" Hagelman said. "And, that basically led to the idea to do a bonfire on Delaware Day."
The festival has taken shape with merely a month of planning, but that doesn't mean any detail is being overlooked.
Here's what to know before you go:
1 Pigs like beer, too?
Bethany Blues will be on site with pulled pork sandwiches. But, this isn't your mom's version of pulled pork. The pigs that finally make it between two slices of specially made bread have been raised on 16 Mile's spent grains. What does that mean? By Hagelman's account, it means amazing taste and premium quality.
"If you've ever heard of Kobe steaks, it does the exact same thing it does for cows raised on grain," Hagelman said. "It's very high in protein and sweet."
Hagelman added that the free-range pigs raised this way come out a purplish pink color rather than the bright pink seen in most pork products.
2 There's a special brew, right?
Of course, there's a special brew. Hagelman said once the event was set in stone, there was no question, that there would be an exclusive 16 Mile beer.
"On Nov. 16, we brewed our Delaware Oyster Stout, which is the first beer we ever did as a collaboration brew and a lot of people have asked us to do again," Hagelman said. "It will be kegged on Wednesday or Thursday and available Friday morning for Delaware Day."
3 Are beer and ice cream related?
Well, sort-of. It depends on the ice cream. In some places, the two seemingly disparate delights come together through one key ingredient: malt. It's a flavor that can be added to ice cream but it's also used in the beginning of the beer brewing process.
16 Mile actually collaborates with King's Ice Cream to produce two flavors that will be on-hand Friday. Pick between the salty sweetness of "Amber Caramel" or the nutty explosion of "Harvest Hazelnut."
Page 2 of 2 - 4 Will there be music?
Festivals just don't survive without a little live entertainment. This is where Great Scott Broadcasting really stepped up to the plate. With the help of their connections, there will be no fewer than five local or regional music acts. And, there's a little something for everyone: Captain Blue of Captain Blue's Grass Band, Milford's David Landis, Dover's Mike Weyrauch, Sticky Long Fingers and Josh Pryor.
4 Will this be a three-alarm fire?
Not at all. But, it will be a "good, roaring fire." As the sun sets, the discarded pallets will be stacked and lit up.
Worried that a fire could get out hand? Don't be. The Georgetown Fire Department will be on site with hawk-like eyes and a ready water hose. But, it's also not going to be big enough to get out of control.
"It will be a good fire but it's not going to be one of those 10-story Texas A&M bonfires that can practically be seen from space," Hagelman said. "But, it won't disappoint either."
5 Could there be more?
A good festival always has more. The SPCA will be there, tugging on heartstrings with sweet puppy dog faces, who all need good homes. There will be a silent auction benefiting Children and Families First, a Delaware-based charity. And, more than 20 local businesses and non-profit organizations have also agreed to be a part of this first-ever Georgetown event.