With the University of Wyoming Cowboys on a bye week, O’Dwyers Public House plans to fill Saturday with a contest that promises to be challenging for participants and entertaining for spectators.

The inaugural O’Dwyersfest Beer Olympics will see competitors go head-to-head in a number of drinking-themed events, from quarters and beer pong to stein chugging and keg races.

“We wanted to do something special,” owner Deirdre O’Dwyer said. “With there being no game, we wanted to give (people) something to do.”

Teams of four or five members will compete for a cash prize. Second and third place prizes include “bar specialty items,” such as tin signs advertizing Odell Brewing Company or Oskar Blues Brewery.

Prospective participants can still sign up, and their entry fees will be thrown into the first-place pot, but they will likely miss out on the shirts the restaurant and bar printed especially for the event, O’Dwyer said.

“We won’t turn anyone away from participating, but they might not get the T-shirts,” she said. “And if they don’t, it would be a reduced participation fee.”

O’Dwyer said the event puts an Irish/Scottish twist on the German celebration of Oktoberfest, combining elements of all cultures for unique experience.

The beer olympics will include traditional drinking games but also some that might be new for inexperienced participants. Stein races, for example, require participants to navigate an obstacle course while holding a full stein. Keg races involve carrying a full keg of beer.

Those wishing to watch, rather than participate, will have a good time, too, O’Dwyer said.

“Last time we did this, when it was the Irish Olympics, every team had a cheering section — people that didn’t want to participate but wanted to see everybody else make fools of themselves,” O’Dwyer said. “The antics are quite enjoyable.”

The games will take place in the parking lot behind the bar, and unless it’s pouring rain — for which O’Dwyer said there is a contingency plan — the games will go on.

“This is Wyoming — we can do everything outside,” O’Dwyer said. “We’re not soft-hearted people.”

On a Saturday devoid of any games at War Memorial Stadium, O’Dwyer said people should check out the beer-themed games instead.

“It would be a lot of fun and it’s about not just letting the day waste away,” she said. “(It’s) coming and doing something fun and being a little bit active. And it will be a hoot to watch.”

The inaugraul O’Dwyersfest Beer Olympics starts at 1 p.m. Saturday at O’Dwyers Public House, 1622 Grand Ave. The entry fee is $20 per team member — but likely less once T-shirts run out — and free to spectators. Call the restaurant at 742-3900 for more information.

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