On February 17, the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival sizzled with energy at Hy-Vee Hall. The ticket was about thirty-five dollars and the parking was ten in a lot not terribly far away, and then the fun really started. After security one is met with the bustle of a crowd of bacon lovers with garish costumes and a probable beer (excluding the underage, they were given an “under 21” wristband and a sharpie mark). Up front was the line of tents sent by Cloverdale with their excellence of bacon being their Chipotle Garlic brand variety. Other stands giving free bacon included Oscar Mayer, the City Meat Market, and more. One had bacon so renowned that the line for samples spanned the hall.
Throughout the hall there was jovial conversation all to the tune of the band that was performing live. They did a few covers of popular songs mixed in with country and bluegrass. Also on stage that day was “The Bacon Games” as well as the bacon-eating competition. Many people got costumes to compete in The Bacon Games for the best costume. Some wore sports, some wore a rendition of the flag, one man wore a very tight leotard, and the winner was: The Jamaican Bobsled Team. They had a cloth bobsled to match. The bacon eating contest was fierce, with many men putting down their pork with ferocity, but in the end there was only one winner to be had. He took his victory with applause and rejoined the crowd.
The top two floors of the event were exclusive to those twenty-one and older, so reporting on the goings-on up there was not a possibility this year. Despite that, there were plenty of attractions in addition to the bacon on the main floor. Some inflatable, some obscure, they all had people milling about and enjoying themselves. One of the most novel was the human foosball. One of the most popular was something one might see on wipeout, as it had two swinging arms sweeping over several platforms. There were also other attractions such as the Iowa Beer Bus and the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile.
As the day went on and the energy of the collective mass began to wear down, sample stands had shorter lines and larger samples. The music continued, and those who had bought tickets to the Smash mouth concert after the festival remained loyally. Banner News was not in attendance of the Smash Mouth concert. Overall, it was a day of fun, food, and grease to spring more than a couple stomachaches. Banner News will return to the festival next year.