Let the festivities begin! Today marks the opening of the 28th Annual Oregon Brewers Festival. The near week-long celebration of beer—Oregonian and otherwise—kicks off today at noon at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, but even if you don’t already have your ticket to the Brewers Brunch hosted by Lompoc this year, blow off work and partake in the parade that figuratively and literally leads to the official opening of the fest. This year’s co-grand marshals are the brothers Widmer, Kurt and Rob, participating in their 28th straight festival.

Once inside the gates—free for all to enter including mini hopsters in case you’re providing mommy or daddy daycare—attendees will discover a total of 115 beers brewed by 102 different breweries spanning 47 different beer styles. If that sounds like more than usual, that’s because this year, for the first time ever, in addition to the 90 “main” beers lined up along seemingly a mile of beer tap trucks, there’s an International Beer Garden featuring five breweries from New Zealand as well as eight returning Dutch brewers. All in all, just 189 national breweries shy of a Liquid UN.

A full half of the participating beermakers hail from Oregon. The five Kiwis are: ParrotDog, the Garage Project, Panhead Custom Ales, Tuatara, and Yeastie Boys. The Dutchies you may pass on the left hand side are: Kaapse, Maximus, Oedipus, Oerseop, Ramses, Rooie Doop, RUIG and Uiltje. The latter, I’ll note, poured an Imperial IPA at a beer festival in the Netherlands that, upon tasting, I noted “tasted like home” meaning Portland.

The event draws some 85,000 beer lovers from around the globe so it’s a good thing it’s spread out over five days. Having said that, the sooner you go, the shorter those lines will be. Check back in a day or two for our favorite 4-oz samples—IPAs and fruit beers and whatever other craziness they’ve devised, oh my—from inside the gates.

Oregon Brewers Festival: Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Wed-Sun from noon – 9 pm (Sunday until 7 pm). Free. Pay-as-you-drink.