DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The smell of bacon was in the air Saturday as thousands converged on Iowa's capital city for an increasingly popular festival celebrating all things connected with the meat.
Some people wore Viking hats and others walked around with makeshift snouts for the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival. The annual event featured more than 10,000 pounds of bacon served in unusual ways, such as chocolate-dipped bacon and bacon-flavored cupcakes and gelato.
"I love bacon more than I love my job," said Katie Nordquist, who was dressed in a tuxedo T-shirt that looked like bacon Saturday for her first time at the festival.
And there was a lot of bacon to choose from. The smell of unique concoctions like bacon gumbo and chocolate bacon bourbon tarts wafted through one of two buildings at the Iowa State Fairgrounds. The other building had an Iceland theme, with a Viking boat and Icelandic dishes with bacon, to honor a group of delegates visiting from the country.
Urbandale resident Mike Vogel showed up for a fourth year wearing a head-to-toe bacon costume. He said a widespread love for bacon is the reason about 8,000 tickets to the event sold out in just over three minutes.
"I think it's the right time of year when everybody's been cooped up," said the 39-year-old videographer. "It's a good time to get out, have some fun, try some new stuff, have a few beers and enjoy yourselves with everybody else."
Other events scheduled included lectures about bacon and an eating competition. The festival was preceded earlier in the week with a bacon queen pageant and a pig pardon by Gov. Terry Branstad.
Jessica Dunker, president and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association, said bacon used to be just a breakfast food. Now chefs from across the state and country use it in everything from vegetable dishes to desserts.
"It's come a long way and you can find it in almost any kind of food or beverage offering," she said.
Festival co-founder Brooks Reynolds, who officially started the event just a few years ago, said it's become the largest bacon showcase in the world. He called the event a "bacon fellowship."
"They can just bond with their fellow man and just celebrate the meat that everybody enjoys," he said.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.
<div style="font-weight:bolder;font-size:22px;">ENTERTAINMENT <a href ="/Global/category.asp?C=154659" style="font-size:12px;padding-left:80px;">more entertainment »</a></div>EntertainmentMore>>
Friday, May 17 2013 6:29 PM EDT2013-05-17 22:29:23 GMT
The lawyer who defended O.J. Simpson on armed robbery charges delivered a potentially heavy blow to the former football star's bid for a new trial Friday, testifying that Simpson kn
The lawyer who defended O.J. Simpson on armed robbery charges delivered a potentially heavy blow to the former football star's bid for a new trial Friday, testifying that Simpson knew his buddies had guns when they went to a hotel room together to reclaim some sports memorabilia.
A French police official says jewelry worth about $1 million has been stolen from a safe in a Cannes hotel room, against the backdrop of the Riviera resort town's film festival.
Thieves ripped a safe from the wall of a hotel room near the Cannes Film Festival and made off with around $1 million worth of jewelry, in a brazen late-night burglary just hours after the screening of a film about break-ins...
David Beckham's pecs are at least as much a part of his brand as his kick; his brand of shoes ultimately more lucrative than the game he's giving up. Listed as the world's highest-earning athlete for...
David Beckham's pecs are at least as much a part of his brand as his kick; his brand of shoes ultimately more lucrative than the game he's giving up. Listed as the world's highest-earning athlete for 2013,...
German officials say Justin Bieber will have to pay the bill for his monkey's two month stay at a Munich animal shelter.
Justin Bieber will face a bill for thousands of euros (dollars) for his pet monkey's two-month stay at an animal shelter since it was seized by German customs, officials said Friday as a deadline expired for him to...