Bardog Alley party is today

Bardog Tavern has its 4th birthday party today in the alley next to the popular neighborhood bar (Center Lane, known to Downtowners as Scratchy’s Alley). The Bardog 5K run starts at 9, and the party kicks off at noon. Assuming it follows the format of previous years, here’s what will happen.

At noon the party will begin. Don’t forget your ID, because they check everyone at the entrance. There will be two bands, the Bluff City Backsliders and Star and Micey. There will be outdoor beer stands. In past years guests have had to buy tickets for the stands, and I imagine that will be the case again. You can also buy beer inside, but with Panda Manda and Jeannie in bikinis at the outdoor stands, there’s plenty of reason to stay in the alley. There will be sliders for sale as well. There will also be porta-potties in the alley so you don’t have to go inside and stand in line for the bathrooms.

The early part of the afternoon is the dunk tank. Aldo and some of the Bardog staff take turns in the tank, with James selling balls with the proceeds going to St. Jude. They also tend to have special guest VIPs get in the tank. I hear that some of the girls from Aldo’s Pizza Pies will be in the tank this year, and I will definitely be there with the camera. If Aldo’s Pizza Pies manager John Findlay goes in the tank, there will be a line around the block.

The raffle goes on throughout the day. There are numerous prizes, given away at various intervals. The last prize to be given away is the sweet Fat Tire bike that has been hanging from the ceiling. I can’t remember if the drawings are every 15 or 30 minutes. At any rate, it pays to find out what times the drawings are, and make sure you’re in the alley at those times.

Toward late afternoon, I think around 4, is the “I Busted Aldo’s Grandma’s Balls” contest. The first person to eat 40 of Bardog’s meatballs, which are Aldo’s grandma’s secret recipe, will be declared the winner. There is no time limit, and contestants are disqualified if any meatballs come back up. My friend Duck Finkley has said he is entering the contest this year. I will try to get a “DUCK! DUCK! DUCK!” chant going.

The last event of the day is the head shaving. Tawni Bell has agreed to have her head shaved if $2000 is raised for St. Jude. I had planned to donate $20 to Tawni’s baldness fund, but you know what? I’m going to double that to $40 in memory of Jay Hollingsworth, recipient of last year’s haircut who is no longer with us. Miss you Jay, the party won’t be quite as good without you here.

I always take a lot of pictures, and this year will be no exception. The iPhone camera won’t be enough today. The digital camera will be out, with both spare batteries.

This is one of those “all kinds of good things could happen” types of days. I’m going to hit the Majestic at 11 to get some food in me before I start on the beer. At 12 I’ll hit the Saucer for 1 beer and a quick mayorship defense, then Bardog about 12:30. Hope to see you at the party. It’s one of the best Downtown events of the year.