St. Louis Baconfest Returns
While last year’s inaugural event drew over 10,000 people, Willer anticipates a much larger turnout this year. According to the official website, Team Bacon is expecting 30,000 attendees this year. While they lucked out last year with the weather, both Matts agreed they didn’t want to take any chances this year. “Last year the event was in March. It was a beautiful day in the mid 50s with clear skies. The next day it snowed almost a foot, so we decided we’re not going to play chicken with nature again,” he says. “After checking dates for other established St. Louis festivals we saw there isn’t as much going on in August, so decided we’re going to have it in that month each year from now on.”
It’s unreasonable to expect the festival to grow in such huge increments every year, but based on the response from last year’s event, it doesn’t seem like Baconfest is going to be a flash in the pan. While last year might have seemed like an unusual experiment, this year people seem to be taking the event much more seriously. “It’s hard to convince people to be a food vendor at a 1st year event because it’s obviously not a proven success at that point,” Matt admits. This year, instead of having to seek out vendors (for the original, he explained they reached out to nearly 50 restaurants and only received support from 11), after word of mouth spread the story of their success, vendors sought them out to secure a spot at this year’s Baconfest.
It’s unique to build a huge festival around a single food object, but the popularity of bacon has given Team Bacon a solid jump point. At this point, if you’re still on the fence about going, you’re either vegetarian/vegan or I’m just a really poor writer; it’s probably the latter. But if you’re intrigued by the prospect of bacon and beer (two of what I call life’s essential B’s), consider heading on down to Soldiers Memorial Saturday. It’s unique, it’s bacon, and hey, it’s free.