Bacon makes everything better. It’s a fact, really. Science.
Without that crispy strip of pork, your favorite sandwich is just a B — as in boring — LT. Eggs are sad and lonely without their classic, sizzling side. And where would comedian Jim Gaffigan be without his famous bacon bit? Probably living in the streets with nothing but a blanket and a frozen Hot Pocket.
The Rehabilitation Institute of Kansas City understands this. That’s why it hosts an annual Bacon-Fest. This year, the 6th annual ode to cured pork took place inside Union Station (very thoughtful, considering festival goers could have cooked their own bacon on the sidewalk this past weekend). Last year the event sold out, and judging by the jam-packed crowd who came to (literally) pig out, it looked to be well on track to do the same this year.
Here are a few scenes from Bacon-Fest 2014:
Yes, he’s wearing a bacon suit (and a pretty spectacular beard, gotta say). But the suit wasn’t just to demonstrate his overabundance of love for bacon – it actually won him the bacon costume contest. And of course he won – this outfit says he’s formal, but he’s ready to party. He can also take a bite out of his arm if he gets hungry.
While standing in line for bacon vodka (which, BTW, is the new gold standard for Bloody Mary recipes), this new friend bought himself limited-edition Bacon-Fest sunglasses. Along with the cool shades, we found other memorabilia, such as bacon earrings, bacon chip clips, bacon cups, and one-of-a-kind bacon t-shirts.
Immediately after seeing this guy’s handy tray-o-bacon, we asked ourselves, “Where do we get that?” Well, we found out how the hard way. We were amongst the general ticket holders, or peasants, for lack of a better word. Although we still received a free cup and t-shirt, it was not enough. VIP ticket holders were granted access to the event one hour early, which was prime grazing time for Bacon-Fest attendees. Plus, they got that sweet bacon tray so they could avoid a juggling act and focus on what really mattered: EATING MORE BACON.
There were plenty of exotic food items to whet any bacon connoisseur’s pallet, but there are two in particular that we’ll be dreaming about for weeks. Above is a bacon-wrapped date (exotic, right?). At first we thought it was a mini weenie, but after one chewy, salty-sweet bite, we knew we’d found something much, much better.
This second bounty of bacon-y goodness is a plate we referred to simply as “bacon and rice.” Whenever you grow tired of the more traditional rice dishes, we suggest giving this a try. This particular bacon had a warm maple glaze drizzled over the top. It’s really a fantastic mini-meal for all ages. We may have gone back for fourths. Sure, we got a few weird looks, but it’s hard to take them seriously from a guy wearing a bacon suit.