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Food & fun: Rio Rancho’s Pork & Brew offers live entertainment, family-friendly activities

Fill up on food and fun at the 15th annual Pork & Brew in Rio Rancho.

The event, which returns to the Santa Ana Star Center today through Sunday, July 1, will feature the popular Galloping Grace Youth Ranch pig races at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, June 30, and at noon and 2 p.m. Sunday.

“Galloping Grace Youth Ranch is a local organization in Rio Rancho,” said Alex Archuleta, director of marketing for the Santa Ana Star Center. “They do a lot of 4-H stuff. They teach kids how to raise and take care of livestock and that kind of thing. And they do the pig races and a petting zoo with goats and chickens, and people can feed the animals and pet the animals and all that. Others are doing 4-H and livestock and demonstrations. They are in the top parking lot, where they were last year.”

The New Mexico Gunfighters Association will be entertaining guests by putting on Wild West shows at 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Foodies can learn how to step up their barbecue skills by attending BBQ 101 with chef Chris Virden from Virdinski’s at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Eventgoers will find their usual favorites at the event but will also notice some changes this year including no longer having to exchange money for BBQ Bucks.

“We just thought it would be easier on the consumer if we did away from that and moving toward our vendors accepting cash and cards so you’re not going to have to purchase BBQ Bucks. Anything you have on you, you can use and you won’t have to try and return tokens or anything like that,” Archuleta said.

What has not changed is the great selection of food, drink, and live entertainment. There will be 18 food vendors at the event, including nine barbecue vendors and nine non-barbecue vendors selling lemonade, doughnuts, funnel cakes, kettle corn, tacos, burgers and more.

Helping adults wash all that down with a cold craft beer will be Albuquerque’s Red Door Brewing Co. and Tractor Brewing Co., as well as Cazuela’s Brewery of Rio Rancho. Non-beer drinkers can buy wine, margaritas and mimosas inside the Santa Ana Star Center, where eventgoers can step out of the heat and enjoy live music, shop at arts and crafts vendor booths and sign up for giveaways at participating businesses.

Imbibing guests can get a safe ride to and from Pork & Brew and save some cash. Pork & Brew has partnered with Uber this year and is offering up to $10 off rides with code PORKBREW29 for today, PORKBREW30 for Saturday, and PORKBREW1 for Sunday. Open the Uber app on your smartphone and enter the assigned code.

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