The 6th Annual Blue Ribbon Bacon Fest was a huge success again this year. It recently took place at the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa, and included members of the Reykjavik, Iceland Bacon Board. The event celebrates everything bacon: extensive bacon sampling, bacon lectures, bacon-inspired dishes, bacon competitions, an annual bacon queen, bacon awards, live entertainment and bacon camaraderie.

In an online auction last December, 8,000 tickets to Bacon Fest sold out in three minutes. Attendees of last year’s Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival and “Bacon Week” consumed 6,000 lbs. of bacon, which translates into approximately 96,000 strips. Organizers said, “If laid end to end, it would nearly be half the diameter of Neptune!” Numbers are not yet in for this year’s event, but there were more venders and the exhibitor space was expanded.

A “Pig Pardoning” Ceremony kicked off the celebration last week. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, along with delegates from both the Iowa Bacon Board and Reykjavik, Iceland Bacon Board, met at the Governor’s mansion on Terrace Hill for an inaugural “Pig Pardoning.”A purebred Berkshire gilt named Bonnie was offered up for the occasion. She returned back home to Eden Farms after the ceremony. The purpose of the occasion was“to honor one of Iowa’s tastiest exports and celebrate its powers in bridging cultural divides and deepening international friendships.”