Oh My, That Smells Good
LAST SATURDAY WAS ONE OF THOSE DAYS that are just on the edge of indescribable. I mean that in a good way. Last Saturday we staged “The Second Annual Bacon Fest.” Terre Haute never smelled so good – and that is not something often spoken aloud around here.
Terre Haute (That’s French for “Clog my arteries, Babe.”) is blessed with a beautiful old Movie Palace, The Indiana Theater, that is a great venue for Live Entertainment shows, Blow-off-the-doors Weddings, Parties, Events like Bacon Fest, and – oh, yeah – movies.
Last year we tried to stage Bacon Fest as a test, to see if anyone would show up. They did. We had planned to run from noon until 5 PM, but our ten vendors, chefs, and caterers were out of food by 3PM.
There was minimal publicity, not by planning it that way, and we had people lined up out the doors just chomping to get in. There was one mention in the newspaper and, I think a couple of mentions on radio. That was enough to get our efforts called “The hottest ticket in town.”
The event was staged as a church fundraiser. It worked. We made over a grand an hour. That is good for a small town event.
This year we have been getting considerably more radio publicity and we have had a larger contingent of preparers. And the people came…and it was good.
We don’t have any figures on the numbers of “Baconophiles” or the money quite yet, but we most certainly turned a profit that will allow the church to do good things around town.
We put on two major fundraisers every year now: Bacon Fest is in its second year and Strawberry Fest, our biggie, is in year number 26. If this all goes well I could see Bacon Fest turning another big annual event.
With Bacon Fest the bulk of the hard work is done by the people doing the cooking. They supply all of their own equipment, food, and personnel and the theater puts up all the tables and cleans up afterward. For Strawberry Fest we have to round up over 200 community volunteers, arrange for the food, man the ticket booths, and do all of the considerable clean up when the day is done at 8 PM. We have about 10,000 people show up for that one-day bash.
That is a LOT of strawberry shortcake.
Bacon Fest is soooooooooo much easier on us. And I won’t mind smelling like bacon for a few days. With Strawberry Fest I draw flies for a week.
Similar baconcentric events have been springing up all around the country, in big cities and small towns. People just love bacon, dammit! I wouldn’t want to attend one every weekend, but I personally believe that a little bacon is good for the soul.
The aroma of bacon cooking is one of those Great Smells of Earth. It ranks up there in the Odorific Hierarchy along with Coffee Brewing, Bread Baking, and Fresh Buttered Popcorn.
Can I have an Amen?
OK, Bacon Fest is over and done for another year. Now we have to marshal the troops for Strawberry Fest in June. If you find yourself in the Terre Haute area on June 11th – stop by and we’ll feed you some of the best summertime comfort food you’ll ever find.
By the way – that picture up top is what you are thinking. It’s Kevin Bacon – made out of bacon. What else would you expect?