Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival in Des Moines, Iowa, Pardons Pig

8,000 attend annual festival

From bacon tastings to bacon lectures, the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival in Des Moines, Iowa, which took place Feb. 9, offered a bacon-infused day to the nearly 8,000 people (9,000 if you include vendors and purveyors) in attendance.

Bacon Week, which began Feb. 3, was the sizzling warm-up to this flavorsome pig fest. During this week, Des Moines was host to bacon-focused brunches and dinners and even a make bacon at home day. And this year, not only was a Berkshire sow pardoned at the governor’s mansion, but a bacon beauty queen was crowned.

In an interview with The Daily Mail, Brooks Reynolds, CEO of the event and chairman of the Iowa Bacon Board, explained how the event began. "It just started with a group of buddies celebrating bacon with a couple of beers, and we decided to make it an event six years ago and to double it in size each year," he said. "It’s a chance to celebrate bacon’s fellowship," added Reynolds. "[It’s] just a great day of all things bacon and a fun day to celebrate everyone’s favorite meat."

Tickets sold out in three minutes and 14 seconds this year, so it might be best to plan ahead for next year, given the rising popularity of this event.