The Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival will return to all four levels of the Iowa Events Center on February 16, 2019. Every year, festival organizers have announced a theme for the bacon community to embrace. From Baconmania’s wrestling to Sweatin’ to the Sizzle’s 1980’s workouts, everyone cuts loose to take part in the bacon madness. The 2019 theme, “Hello Piggy – East Meats West,” will pay homage to both the Year of the Pig on the Chinese Zodiac Calendar and the pork-filled relationship Iowans have built with the people of Yamanashi Prefecture in Japan since sending them 36 pigs almost 60 years ago.
Inspired by the new theme, organizers plan to serve up what has been coined as a uniquely “Iowa/Japanese Bacon Experience”. The recipe? Brooks Reynolds, Cofounder of the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival, explained “We’re taking the coolest of Japanese culture, mixing it with some good old Iowa fun and then dousing it with an abundance of bacon.” Reynolds elaborates further, “We’re talking Porkémon, Hogzilla, Bacon Samurais, Baconbots, Bacon Sushi, Pig Anime, Bacon Yakitori, Mario Bacon Karts, Bacon Sumo, Bacon Kimonos, Bacon Ninjas, and HIYAH! More BACON!”
This will not be the first time organizers of the nation’s premier bacon festival have mixed American-style bacon with the Japanese culture. In fact, in 2017 they partnered with Junior Chamber International Kofu (JCIK) to cofound the Japan Bacon Festival, Asia’s first ever baconfest. The event, held in Iowa’s sister state of Yamanashi, was so well received that it grew from approximately 10,000 attendees its first year to 25,000 in 2018!
To ensure that bacon-lovers receive an authentic “Iowa/Japanese Bacon Experience”, the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival has enlisted counsel from members of the Japan Bacon Board in Kofu, Iowa Asian Alliance, Iowa Sister States, Des Moines Sister Cities and the Japan American Society of Iowa – many of whom will be joining bacon-lovers during the festivities.
Tickets for the festival will go on sale via www.hyveetix.com and the Wells Fargo Arena Ticket Office at 10 AM on Cyber Monday, Nov. 26. The event is limited to adults 21 and older. Early bird packages and commemorative goodie bags will be available until December 31.