BaCON serves up a sizzling second year this Saturday

By COLBY DENTON
Posted 4/10/19

As the temperatures start to sizzle, so does the second annual BaCON Festival, which will take Saturday.

This year’s festival is touted as being a significant improvement over last …

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BaCON serves up a sizzling second year this Saturday

Posted

As the temperatures start to sizzle, so does the second annual BaCON Festival, which will take Saturday.

This year’s festival is touted as being a significant improvement over last year’s. It is  set to take place at the Tri-State Exhibition Center.

Nikki Beaty, event planner with Gather Up Event Management, expressed her firm belief that 2019 is going to offer Clevelanders a BaCON event they’ll never forget.

“This year, we’ve got more bacon, activities, entertainment ... and did I mention more bacon?” Beaty said.

BaCON brings the delicious, smoked meat to hungry fans from Cleveland and far beyond. She said  they have over 13,000 people interested in attending this year’s festival, based onFacebook statistics.

Running from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., the festival features a three-part venue consisting of the normal area of arts and crafts vendors connected to a food section. These two are called the “Bacon Strip.” There is also an adjacent children’s area called “Bacon Bits” that will feature a train ride, a petting zoo, face painting, pony rides and three different bounce houses.

Stressing  BaCON’s planners have listened to guest feedback from 2018, Beaty said they’ve done several things to remedy previous shortcomings.

One of the biggest issues from 2018 was a lack of seating. Since it was previously located at Greenway Park, nearly all guests had to bring their own chairs. This year, there is an entire section of chairs, tables and bleachers for all guests to rest and eat.

Details on the event's layout were slightly vague in 2018, so this year, coordinators are handing out a detailed map to all guests that states what vendor is in each spot, and also lists what items the food vendors carry.

“This way, people don’t have to stand in a long line just to find out what a food vendor has,” Beaty said. “It’ll let them plan their day by basically giving them a menu.”

This year, a $5 entrance fee is the only cost of admission, which pays for the ample parking present at Tri-State.

Perhaps the biggest complaint for 2018 was a lack of bacon-themed items. This year, there will be no shortage of the tasty treat, as over 150 bacon-related items are being prepared, ranging from traditional foods like bacon sliders, bacon-wrapped hot dogs and BLTs to the more exotic, like bacon plantains, bacon doughnuts, chocolate-covered bacon and countless other creations.

BaCON will feature numerous events, including a pig-calling contest, a bacon king and queen who are crowned based on the two best bacon-themed outfits and of course, a bacon-eating contest.

The bacon eating contest will require all participants to eat a genuine pound of bacon each. When bacon is cooked, it obviously shrivels up, and you get less weight. To combat this, the participants will each be eating approximately four packages of bacon each, to equal 1 pound.

In addition to the nearly 200 vendors, BaCON will also feature a mechanical bull for brave cowboys and girls and a trampoline jump.

Five different bands are performing throughout the day, including the Joel Beaver Band, Mother Legacy, Chandler Stephens, Pioneer Chick’N Stand and One Shot Down.

Marty Pippin, who’s designed many of the graphics for the event, explained BaCON this year will really be special.

“We’ve got every kind of food available. We’ve got pizzas with bacon, meatballs with bacon, kettle corn with bacon, chocolate-covered Twinkies with bacon. This is because no one wants to be the 20th guy making a BLT,” Pippin jokingly noted.

Not only serving food, there will also be numerous crafting vendors selling their own products — many of them bacon-themed — as well. You can also purchase your very own BaCON-themed memorabilia at the BaCON booth.

To keep track of BaCON’s progress and to plan your visit, go to www.clevelandbaconfestival.com or check out its Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages and be sure to use the hashtag #ShowMeTheBacon.

BaCON is located at the Tri-State Exhibition Center at 200 Natures Trail McDonald.


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