PORTLAND -- The 26th annual Oregon Brewers Festival started Wednesday at noon in downtown Portland.

A parade to kick off the event began at 11:30 a.m. at Northwest 13th Avenue and Northwest Marshall Street. Parade personalities included Hillsboro Hops mascot Barley, the Rogue Monks and the the Transcendental Brass Band, all leading the way to the festival at Tom McCall Waterfront Park.

Taps will be open from noon until 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and from noon until 7 p.m. Sunday.

Admission into the festival grounds is free, said spokesman Chris Crabb. In order to consume beer, purchase of a 2013 souvenir 12.8 oz. tasting glass is required and costs $7. Beer is purchased with wooden tokens, which cost $1.

He said 82 craft breweries from across the country will offer more than 30 styles of handcrafted brew to an estimated 80,000 beer lovers during the event.

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