It’s that time of year again when I start to get ready for my yearly pilgrimage to Des Moines, IA for the Annual Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival. Looks like the Brooks and the Bacon Board are really stepping it up this year. With the help of a national sponsor they hope to bring in over 1,500 bacon lovers from around the country (maybe even around the world). Seems like every year the double in size and some how keep the original feel and idea alive. A feat that some big events find hard to do.
Tickets are going on sale January 21st a noon. This event sells out really fast so if you want tickets you better set your alarm so you don’t forget. If you miss out on ticket not even the great Mr. Baconpants will be able to help you.
If you live in the Pittsburgh area and plan to go let me know. It would be cool to setup a Burgh wagon train to Des Monies. It will be way for us to get back to our pioneering days… but with cars.
Fourth Annual Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival
- When â€“ Saturday, February 26th, 10am â€“ 4pm
- Where â€“ Capital Square, 400 Locust Street, Des Moines, IA 50309
- Attendance â€“ Planning to accommodate over 1,500 bacon lovers
- Tickets â€“ Tickets are $40 for entry into the main event, and $125 for entry to the festival as well as the Bacon Elegance Dinner on the evening of February 22nd. The main event ticket entitles the holder to a commemorative T-shirt, koozie, a wide array of bacon inspired delights from various food vendors, unlimited bacon samples at the Bacon Showcase, live music, bacon educational lectures, and a free drink ticket. Due to 2010â€™s quick sellout, the maximum ticket purchase will be two (2) per order.
- Consumption â€“Last yearâ€™s 750 attendees consumed 1,200 lbs of bacon which is approximately 30,000 strips. If laid end to end it would reach the height of Empire State Building, 12 times over!
- Competition â€“ Manni Balignasay is the 3-time Blue Ribbon Bacon Eating Champion in 2008, 2009 & 2010.
- Bacon Showcase â€“ The popular Bacon Showcase provides individuals with the opportunity to sample some of the nationâ€™s best bacon brands and talk directly to brand reps. In previous years the following bacon brands have been showcased: Eden Farms, Falls Brand, Farmland, Hormel, Iowa Farm Families, Niman Ranch, Polehnas, Vande Rose Farms and more.
- Bacon Lecture Series â€“ The Bacon Lecture Series brings together some of the most brilliant bacon minds providing festival attendees with the opportunity to challenge their bacon knowledge and beliefs. Past lecturers include: Jonathan A. Campbell, MS with Iowa State Meat Laboratory, Leo Landis, The Bacon Professor, Scott Bush, Templeton Rye Whiskey
- Iowa Bacon Board â€“ Members of this highly esteemed board include: Suzanne Reynolds Arnold, Seth Hall, Mark Pederson, Marshall Porter, Brad Proctor, John Tiffany and Brooks Reynolds.
- Our Mascot â€“ A furry pig named, Blue, is the official mascot of the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival.
Full press release after the jump.
If You Fry It, They Will Come
Tickets for the 4th Annual Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival to go on Sale at High Noon on Friday, January 21st
January 14, 2011 (Des Moines, IA) â€“ The 4th Annual Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival presented by Begginâ€™ StripsÂ® announced today that tickets to this yearâ€™s event will be sold exclusively online at www.blueribbonbaconfestival.com beginning at high noon on Friday, January 21st. The event will be held at Capital Square in downtown Des Moines from 10am to 4pm on Saturday, February 26th. Tickets are $40 for entry into the main event, and $125 for entry to the festival as well as the Bacon Elegance Dinner on the evening of February 22nd. The main event ticket entitles the holder to a commemorative T-shirt, koozie, a wide array of bacon inspired delights from various food vendors, unlimited bacon samples at the Bacon Showcase, live music, bacon educational lectures, and a free drink ticket. Due to 2010â€™s quick sellout, the maximum ticket purchase will be two (2) per order.
The Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival has multiplied in size ten-fold since 2008 and has quickly become a tourist destination for bacon lovers. â€œLast yearâ€™s festival attracted bacon enthusiasts from coast to coast,â€ explained Brooks Reynolds, Chair of the Iowa Bacon Board. Reynolds continued, â€œThis year, we plan to host over 1,500 participants and volunteers. To accommodate everyone weâ€™ve arranged a special hotel rate for participants at the Renaissance Savery Hotel. So, if youâ€™re from out of town or would like to spend the night downtown please call (515) 244-2151 and mention that youâ€™re attending the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival.â€
Last yearâ€™s festival theme was â€œA Bacon Odysseyâ€. Seth Hall, Vice President of Bacon Enjoyment, explained, â€œThis year the Iowa Bacon Board has been called upon to create a magical bacon experience much like Kevin Costnerâ€™s character Ray Kinsella was called upon to build a magical baseball field. This has led to our official 2011 event title, 4th Annual Blue Ribbon Bacon FestivalÂ® presented by Begginâ€™ StripsÂ®, Fields of Baconâ€¦If You Fry It, They Will Come.
When asked about the length of the event title, Hall responded, â€œPeople have said that our title is too long. Theyâ€™ve also said we consume too much bacon and we stepped over the line when we asked for February 26th to be recognized as a national holiday. Well, I scream, â€˜OHHHH, BACON!â€™ to the naysayers.â€ Hall paused for a moment and then screamed once more, â€˜OHHHH, BACON!â€™â€
Last year attendees consumed 1,200 lbs of bacon which is approximately 30,000 strips. If laid end to end it would reach the height of the Empire State Building, 12 times over! When pressed about bacon inventories for 2011, Reynolds takes on a serious tone, â€œSo far, we have Dayton Meat Products, Eden Farms, Farmland, Hormel, Iowa Farm Families and Niman Ranch in our Bacon Showcase. But, a voice keeps whispering to me, â€˜fry it and they will comeâ€™. So, Iâ€™m still looking for more purveyors.â€
If you represent a delicious brand of bacon and want to showcase it at the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival, please contact Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival via Facebook, on the web at www.blueribbonbaconfestival.com, or Twitter @BRBaconFest.
About Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival
What started as a groupsâ€™ passion for â€œall things baconâ€ has evolved into Americaâ€™s premier bacon festival. In 2001, a group of guys began celebrating bacon during an annual weekend retreat in Spirit Lake, IA. Six years later, they pursued a deeper understanding of their favorite meat by earning â€œAll About Baconâ€ diplomas from Living History Farms. On March 1st, 2008, officially organized under the Iowa Bacon Board and led by Brooks Reynolds, they went on to found a festival: a festival with the mission of improving the enjoyment of all things bacon by providing education, recognition, advocacy and research on behalf of the masses, everyone, everywhere, all of them. They are serious. Seriously, dudes. Seriously.
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