With all the quirky bacon products that have flooded the Internet, it’s pretty clear that bacon marketing jumped the shark some time ago. But bacon itself? Never. The smell, the flavor, the joy… Bacon is just one of life’s great pleasures. Which is exactly why the town of Easton, Pennsylvania hosts the PA Bacon Fest each year. One of the region’s most popular events, the weekend-long celebration attracts more than 150 vendors, 12 musical acts, multiple stages, and 80,000 attendees to this small city located just an hour from New York and Philadelphia.
PA Bacon Fest came to be as a natural extension of the Easton Farmers’ Market, which claims to be America’s oldest continuously operating open-air market, dating all the way back to 1752. Food vendors who source locally and incorporate organic, all-natural, artisan, and pasture-raised products are given top spots in the fest’s popular farm-to-table area.
The family-friendly, non-profit event (a $2 donation donation is suggested at the door) includes a pig roast, pig racing, hog calling, live music, kids’ events, and tons of food, and, as you might imagine, it smells amazing. Visitors come from across the country for chef battles, culinary demos, and hilarious costume contests. (Here’s a good one: A guy dressed as a strip of bacon wearing a “To hale with kale” sign.) As if this lineup couldn’t get any better, additional events include the Kegs Eggs & Bacon, Bacon & Brew, and Cheek to Cheek Pork & Bourbon Pairing tastings. Not for the faint (or clogged) of heart, a bacon eating contest will also be held. If you prefer to get your weekend off to a more healthy start, consider joining the Racin’ Bacon 5K road race. Whatever you do, though, come hungry; you won’t be getting out of this pork-a-palooza without needing to loosen your belt.