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. The Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival’s mission is critical to all those who hold their love of bacon near and dear: Embrace the enjoyment and celebration of all things bacon by providing education, recognition, advocacy, and research to the masses. Bacon is for the people.
Today, the BRB 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 in Iceland.
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, drink good beer, and break bacon together. See if a bacon fellowship gathering is coming to a city near you!
Most Iowans know Brooks Reynolds as the co-founder of the world-famous Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival. But his love of the Iowa State Fair is a family tradition. In the 1950s, after Brooks' uncles returned from World War II, they set up tents at the Fair where they sold knick knacks, radios, and chickens. Then in the 80s, Brooks' mother, Jody, volunteered at a tent on the hill for Variety The Children's Charity. And for two years, Brooks himself sold Bacon on a Stick in a corner at Jalapeño Pete’s. Now he's continuing his family's love of the fair by launching JR's SouthPork Ranch— an all-new watering hole with one-of-a-kind homemade food and homegrown entertainment. We can't wait to see you!