Do local bars hate each other?
''There's a really bad stigma of bars not getting along, which is really not the case,'' says JR.'s David Perruzza. ''So I wanted to nip that in the bud.''
And how better to quell that notion than to pit bar against bar in an afternoon of games that includes a sack race, a balloon pop and a tug of war?
''We all hang out actually, so this should be fun for everybody,'' says Perruzza. Technically, team captains will chose teammates in the first-ever Field Day Challenge, set for this Saturday afternoon, Aug. 27, at Stead Park behind JR.'s. So chances are each team will include barkeeps from various bars, working together. ''I didn't want it to be [officially] bar against bar,'' he says, though adding, ''if it happens that way, then so be it.''
Perruzza says the event has been a couple years in the making, first dreamed up by Leigh Ann Hendricks, formerly of Annie's and now at Level One, as a bar-bonding experience -- and fun for all, including spectators. ''Everyone should come out and cheer for their favorite bar's team,'' says Peruzza. The bars represented are Cobalt, Green Lantern, Level One, JR.'s, Floriana's, Omega, Larry's Lounge, Town, Number Nine and Zeigfelds/Secrets. The games will test each team's strength and endurance in mostly amusing flights of fancy, such as how fast participants can hop across the field in sacks and how fast they can pass a can of Red Bull using only their necks. There's also a game called ''Cornhole,'' in which participants must throw a bean bag at a ''cornhole'' board, earning one point if they get the bag on the board, two if it lands in the hole. The day culminates in a tug of war, where the object is to pull an opposing team into the baby pool in the middle.
The winning team earns a $500 bar tab from Red Bull, plus a photo on the cover of Metro Weekly's Nightlife section. And, of course, bragging rights.
There's no drinking allowed in Stead Park, but Perruzza helpfully points out that patrons could sprint to JR.'s for a quick drink during the intermission after each game.
And that is precisely what Perruzza will be doing. He says he'll need some ''Jesus juice'' to help him serve as the day's ''no holds barred'' emcee. But it will all be for fun.
''I won't be too mean,'' he says.
The inaugural Field Day Challenge is this Saturday, Aug. 27, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Stead Park, 1625 P St. NW. Rain or shine. Free and open to the public.