Iowa’s struggling pork industry should get a boost in business later this month. Tickets to a bacon festival in Des Moines went on sale Thursday at $35 a piece and the event sold out within 25 minutes. Brooks Reynolds is organizing the Third Annual Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival.
He says the first event in 2008 had just over 200 participants while 346 attended last year. “This year we had 600 tickets available, so I’m pretty blown away by how quick we sold ’em out,” Reynolds said. This year’s bacon fest was moved from a downtown bar to the Scottish Rite Consistory to accommodate the larger crowd.
Reynolds has secured over 1,000 pounds of bacon, meaning each participate could consume 1.5 pounds of pork. “We have cardiologists who are coming to the event to observe and help out if needed,” Reynolds said.
Around a dozen competitors will take part in a contest to see who can eat the most bacon in eight minutes. Reynolds says one of the highlights of this year’s event will be the bacon desserts.
Those items will include chocolate covered bacon and bacon cupcakes. “We’ve got a chef from Chicago, I’m not sure what he’s doing this year, but the first year he did a maple bacon cheesecake,” Reynolds said. “Last year he did bacon truffles. I think he might be doing like a bacon bananas foster (this year).” The bacon festival is scheduled for Saturday, February 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Reynolds says he and other organizers of the event will be meeting soon to discuss possible adjustments that might allow for more ticket sales.