The Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival – a Yummy Way to Spend a Weekend.

My nephew and niece were the only ones willing to take a cheesy tourist picture with me. Photo: Judy Berna

Now that I have older kids I’m finding it gets harder and harder to drag them along to festivals and fairs in the summer time. When they were little (and had no choice in the matter) we spent just about every weekend exploring the activities and events in our local area. But lately I’m lucky to even convince my 11 year old to join me. This is why my 19 year old son was immediately skeptical when I said, “There’s something fun coming up in a few weeks and I want you to go with me to check it out.” Honestly, he almost walked out of the room before I could finish my thought.

Then I said the magic words. “It’s called the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival…” Suddenly I had his attention.

Bacon S’mores! Photo: Judy Berna

This is my boy who is generally not a meat eater, for the matter of texture more than social implications. He doesn’t like the way it feels in his mouth. But for some reason bacon has always passed his taste bud test. We tease him that he could survive on bacon and peanut butter alone, if and when the zombie apocalypse hits. He agrees.

So any festival with the word bacon in the title won him over. Of course his brothers also wanted to come along. And my niece and nephew, who are visiting from California. In the end, we took a whole Suburban full of kids to Keystone Mountain Resort for a day, to see what a bacon festival was all about.

The weather was cool and breezy with a perfectly overcast sky, creating a flawless summer day. By the time we pulled into the parking lot we could smell it. Bacon. And lots of it.

Down the center of Keystone’s resort village there were a few dozen colorful tents set up. About half of them had some form of gourmet dish, made with bacon and other yummy ingredients. The other half were companies that make bacon, handing out samples.

In the center of it all was a stage with a revolving list of bands playing perfect bacon eating background tunes. In several spots we found big coolers full of ice water, to clean our palates before moving on to the next tent.

With our press pass we got one wrist band for unlimited samples and ten bacon bucks. My son immediately claimed the wrist band and I didn’t fight him for it. I knew if anyone could get their money’s worth out of it, it would be my six foot three boy, not his mama. We bought some extra bacon bucks (which the rest of us used for ‘buying’ samples and the gourmet dishes). Then we hit the tents.

It was fun to try different flavors of bacon and even more fun to see what clever things people could do with bacon as an ingredient. Here are just a few of the dishes we had to choose from:

 

 

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And then there was my favorite of the day. Anything covered in chocolate gets my attention. So why not bacon?

Photo: Judy Berna

 

And here are a few extra pictures for you to enjoy. I only wish my camera could’ve captured the amazing smell that kept us all going back for more.