Bacon Festivals are gaining popularity not only in the US but around the world as well. In case you haven’t heard of this phenomenon, a Baconfest is a place where bacon fans can gather and try out a seemingly endless variety of bacon dishes and bacon cocktails, and participate in events that celebrate their love for the almighty bacon. The recent rise in bacon’s popularity can be seen by looking at past ticket sales to the Des Moines Blue Ribbon Baconfest, one of the most popular bacon festivals in the US. 200 tickets were sold in 2008, 1500 tickets were sold in 2011, and a whopping 8,000 tickets were sold in 2013. Tickets to the 2013 festival sold out in 3 minutes and 22 seconds!
What other kinds of activities go on at a bacon festival, besides lots of eating and drinking? “The Blue Ribbon Festival offers participants extensive bacon sampling, bacon lectures, bacon-inspired dishes, bacon competitions, an annual bacon queen, bacon awards, live entertainment and bacon camaraderie.” The types of dishes and cocktails served are highly imaginative and quite extensive. This list of dishes served at the Blue Ribbon Festival contains almost 60 unique items.
A small army of chefs prepared the 6,000 lbs. of bacon that these dishes required, which means that each attendee consumed almost a pound of bacon. This mouth-watering video shows how the bacon was prepared.
Last weekend, Chicago’s Baconfest took place in the windy city, and for this event, 5,700 pounds of bacon were prepared for 3,000 festival attendees. That translates to almost 2 lbs. of bacon consumed for each attendee! The list of dishes ranged from simple to complex, with items such as bacon musubi, bacon tartlets, bacon donuts, bacon churros, bacon pierogis, bacon waffles, bacon macn ‘n’ cheese, and many, many more. Here are pictures and descriptions of some of these amazing dishes. The only “complaint” from this attendee was that everything he owned smelled like bacon afterward!
So if you’re wondering when and if a Bacon Festival is coming to a city near you, check out this list with links to each festival’s website. If you’re lucky enough to live near one of these cities, plan on purchasing tickets as soon as they go on sale, as the popularity of these festivals means that tickets sell out almost immediately. If you don’t live near one of these cities, don’t despair. A Bacon Festival is the perfect excuse to take a mini-vacation, and sampling endless bacon dishes, beers and cocktails is the ideal way to spend a weekend.
April 27th, 2013 – Fat Cat’s Beer and Bacon Fest 2013 – Chicago
April 27 – Rogue Ale Bacon Fest – Eugene, OR
May 4 – Boston Bacon and Beer Festival – Boston, MA
May 12-18 – Bacon Week at the Tropicana Casino – Atlantic City, NJ
May 18 – Arizona Bacon Fest – Tucson, Arizona
May 30-June 2 – Zingerman’s Camp Bacon – Ann Arbor, Michigan
June 1 – Baconfest Michigan – Royal Oak, Michigan
June 9 – Richmond Bacon Fest – Richmond, VA
June 16 – Big Bite Bacon Fest – San Diego
June 23 – Bacon Bash II – New York
June 22-23 – Blue Ribbon Bacon Tour: River Run – Keystone, Colorado
July 13-14 – New York Baconfest – Troy, NY
July19-21 – Bacon and Barrels – Los Olivos, California
August 3 – Omaha Beer & Bacon Festival – Omaha, NE
August 10 – Big Bacon Bash – Portland, OR
August 24 – Kansas City BaconFest
August 25 – San Francisco Bacon & Beer Festival
August 31 – San Diego Bacon Fest
August 31 – BaconFest VA – Roanoke, VA
September 7 – Bacon Bash – Hoboken, NJ
September 7 – Tri-Cities BaconFest – Johnson City, TN
September 8 – River Falls Bacon Bash, River Falls WI
September 14 – Alferd Packer Bacon Party – Littleton, CO
October 5 – Happy Harry’s Beer and Bacon Festival – Grand Forks, ND
October 5 – Festival of Bacon – Orlando, FL
October 11 –
Baconfest San Francisco – Canceled
October 12 – Ozarks Bacon Festival – Springfield, MO