The upcoming Leisure Games is about fun, games, eating and drinking. But a lot more. The event is also structured to help two non-profits.
It started at Icicle Brewery in Leavenworth as Leisure Night. Organizer Matt Bowen said he was familiar with a Canadian Leisure Club while living in Glacier, Wash. The idea was to better your community through leisure, picnics, community gatherings and those sorts of things.
"When I started working for the brewery, I established Leisure Nights every Tuesday night. We would play some games, show a movie. Kind of sticking with a theme," Bowen said. "On those Tuesday nights, we work with a non-profit every month. It's part of the Benevolent Beer Program at the brewery."
Each Leisure Night benefits a local non-profit. Bowen said it has been a win-win for the brewery and the non-profit. So that got everyone to thinking about doing a larger scale event, and that is how the Leisure Games began.
The idea was to have some friendly competition involving people from all over the state. These would be beer-in-hand type games that you might find at a backyard barbecue.
The two non-profits involved in Leisure Games are the Ski Hill Memorial Project and the Cascade Education Foundation. The Ski Hill Memorial Project will get all the profits from the beer and wine sales, while the Cascade Education Foundation will get all the profits from the food sales.
"The food we're calling, leisure food, because you can eat it with one hand. So you can have the other hand for tossing or drinking your beer," he said.
As for the musical entertainment, Bowen said they shot for the moon and tried to land a big name act. But that proved much harder than they imagined. So Northwest favorite Pickwick is coming along with Hot Bodies in Motion.
"I can't say we are settling with Pickwick. We are really blessed to have them," he said. "With those two bands combined, in my opinion, is the best live music show Leavenworth has ever had. I am pretty proud of that."
The games are laid out similar to a barbecue or tailgate party. Games include Cornhole, Washers, Ladderball, Ring Toss, Disc Toss, Lawn Darts and Nerf inspired Black Hunter. It will be played by individuals and teams. All games are played drink-in-hand at a leisurely pace.
And these are not to be confused with the common drinking games you might be familiar with. But there is an avenue for that at the Leisure Games.
"Steven Pass is providing a Leisure Lounge where they will provide some of those drinking games," he said. "But we are trying to distance ourselves from the 'get hammered' mentality. It's more of a social event."
The games have already sold out. There were only 300 spots for competitors and those sold out pretty quickly, he said. As well, 200 general admission tickets have been sold. While you cannot compete in the games, Bowen said you can still drink, eat, watch the games and enjoy the live music.
Tickets are available at the door or online at www.iciclebrewing.com. It costs $15. The Leisure Games are from 3 to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16 at the Leavenworth Festhalle.
"We have pre-sold 500 tickets. So we're shooting for another 500 between now and the day of," he said.
Ian Dunn can be reached at 548-5286 or firstname.lastname@example.org.