OUR HISTORY

HISTORICAL PHOTOS

Spirit Lake Kitchen Crew
Spirit Lake Kitchen Crew

The early days in 2001, a group of bacon pioneers began exploring the powers of bacon fellowship at an undisclosed cottage in Spirit Lake, IA.

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Experiments with Bacon-Wrapped Tots
Experiments with Bacon-Wrapped Tots

The High Life Lounge in Des Moines, IA makes some of the best bacon-wrapped tots in the world. Chief Bacon Officer, Marshall Porter and his brother Logan are shown here trying to perfect the recipe in Spirit Lake, Iowa.

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BacConnoisseur Comes of Age
BacConnoisseur Comes of Age

John Tiffany, BacConnoisseur and Quality Control, is seen here at Spirit Lake, IA learning the bacon fellowship equation: Bacon x Bacon x Bacon = Bacon Awesomeness.

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Inaugural Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival
Inaugural Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival

There was limited signage at the 1st Annual Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival at El Bait Shop and the High Life Lounge. With only 200 bacon-lovers, it was just a simpler time.

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Bacon Gods released the Sun
Bacon Gods released the Sun

National Pig Day, March 1, in Des Moines, IA can yield snow storms or sun. During the inaugural Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival the sun came out to heat up the bacon-eating competition.

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Manni Wins Big!
Manni Wins Big!

Manni Balignasay, the only person in history win three consecutive bacon eating contests is seen here, bringing home his first victory.

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Hot Pants Lance Brings It
Hot Pants Lance Brings It

Lance Avery, now founder and creator of Big Fork Sausage, makes his first appearance at the Inaugural Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival finding his calling to pursue the bacon culinary arts.

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The Bacon Fellowship Builds
The Bacon Fellowship Builds

These lovely bacon-lovers took it upon themselves to decorate participants with bacon tape. Did anyone ask them to do it? No, they simply did it out of bacon love.

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Somebody Got Into the Freezer
Somebody Got Into the Freezer

Bauder's Pharmacy whipped up about 20 quarts of bacon butter pecan ice cream as a little surprise for the 2nd Annual Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival. Philip Luedtke, seen here, spotted the secret delivery and took it upon himself to be the official taster.

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BACON FELLOWSHIP

What started as a groups’ passion for “all things bacon” has evolved into the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival, an international tour and a movie. In 2001, a group of guys began celebrating bacon during an annual weekend retreat at the Porter Cottage in Spirit Lake, IA. Six years later, they pursued a deeper understanding of their favorite meat by earning “All About Bacon” diplomas from Living History Farms.

 

On March 1st, 2008, officially organized under the Iowa Bacon Board and led by Brooks Reynolds, they went on to found the world’s premier bacon festival:  a festival with the mission of improving the enjoyment of all things bacon by providing education, recognition, advocacy and research on behalf of the masses, everyone, everywhere, all of them.  They are serious.  Seriously, dudes.  Seriously.

 

Today the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival is an annual event in Des Moines, Iowa attracting over 14,000 bacon-lovers from all over the world. The bacon-centric organization also hosts annual events in Keystone, Colorado and Reykjavik, Iceland. AND, There's even a MOVIE! 

 

In an effort to promote international bacon fellowship, the Iowa Bacon Board works tirelessly to share their message of joy, acceptance and celebration. Encouraging people throughout the world to put aside their differences, get goofy, have a few beers and break bacon together. Check and see if a bacon fellowship gathering is coming to a city near you by visiting the Tour Sectionl