By Laura Raccuglia
Bacon, bacon, and more bacon! The PA Bacon Fest is a family-friendly fall spectacle not to be missed. Held in historic Easton during the first Saturday and Sunday of November, PA Bacon Fest is one of the most popular events held in the Mid-Atlantic region. According to Parade.com, it is one of the five must-attend bacon festivals in the country.
This year’s festival was held on Saturday and Sunday, November 2 and 3 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. It is a rain or shine event, and the weekend weather certainly cooperated for all the bacon-loving attendees, especially with many having travelled from well beyond the Lehigh Valley area. Visitors hailed from the tristate area, as far north as the New England states, as far south as Florida and as far west as Oregon.
After originating eight years ago, this year’s event included over 150 vendors and over 15 musical acts. There are always many types of traditional and unusual foods offered. For the serious pork lover, some interesting options on the vendor menus were the bacon meatloaf sandwich, bacon empanadas, bacon mac & cheese, bacon jams, maple bacon coffee, and versions of the sandwich made famous by Elvis, a theme shared by many of the present vendors. Waffl’d offers fresh waffles on a stick served with assorted drizzles and toppings, and they included a “Fat Elvis” with bacon, peanut butter and a fresh sliced banana. Cone Appetit also featured an “Elvis,” mixing peanut butter, banana, bacon and chocolate, then topping it with powdered sugar and serving it in a bread bowl.
For the person looking to satisfy a sweet tooth, there are items such as pig candy, honey-glazed bacon sticky buns with maple cream cheese icing, the chocolate covered bacon parfait and bacon cannolis. Keeping with the Elvis theme, Doughnut Explosion offers “The Chubby Elvis” gourmet doughnut cooked to order.
And, for people with dietary restrictions, many gluten-free, vegan/vegetarian and dairy-free options are always available at the festival. PA Bacon Fest is for all people who simply enjoy their food!
Food, however, is not the only attraction. There are contests, including bacon chef battles, pig racing, hog calling competitions and more. There is non-stop live music and plenty of activities for people of all ages to enjoy. Sunday morning featured the uniquely fun “Racin’ Bacon!” 5K. Runners who pass the three mascot pigs (all of which are granted a 30-60 second head start) are given a chance to win some extra bacon.
According to PABaconFest.com, “The festival is a fundraiser for the 501(c)3 nonprofit Greater Easton Development Partnership. Visitors are asked to contribute a $2 suggested donation at the entrance gates to benefit the following GEDP programs: Easton Public Market, Easton Farmers’ Market, Easton Main Street Initiative and the Easton Ambassadors. Funds raised through PA Bacon Fest support free events and programming in Easton throughout the year, including Easton Out Loud, Live at the Falls concerts and many others.
For more information about this event, check out www.PABaconFest.com. If you have not been to PA Bacon Fest, put it on your bucket list and save the dates for next year!