This weekend is going to be all about the bacon in Downtown Easton.
Bacon Tacos, Bacon S’mores, Candied Bacon Skewers, Bacon Truffles — if it’s got bacon in it, you can bet it will be served at PA Bacon Fest.
The annual festival returns 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 4-5 to Downtown Easton. 85,000 visitors flocked to the 2016 festival, and organizers are preparing for an even larger crowd this year.
“Every year, I think I’ve seen it all. And then we start to plan the next PA Bacon Fest, and there are even more delicious bacon foods, more tastings, more events and more bacon than I ever thought I’d see in one place,” says Liz Wyant, special events and promotions manager for Greater Easton Development Partnership. “This year is no different. It’s going to be a delicious weekend.”
More than 150 vendors will be featured at PA Bacon Fest 2017, along with 15 live musical acts, 4 bacon tasting events and a whole lot of bacon merchandise.
This year, bacon fiends can start their day at Kegs, Eggs & Bacon, sponsored by Dundore & Heister. Enjoy a ‘Beermosa’ along with farm-fresh eggs, bacon, ham or sausage. ($15 for bacon, eggs and brew; $25 for triple threat -eggs, bacon, ham, sausage and brew; 10 a.m. to noon both days; limit of 150 seats each day.
Cheek to Cheek will serve up a pork cheek tasting, paired with four different bourbons. ($15 per person; 3-5 p.m. both days; limit to 50 people each day).
Lehighvalleylive.com will sponsor a bacon-eating contest from 12:30-1 p.m. Sunday on the Swine Stage.
The crowd favorite – Bacon & Brew tasting – is back and offering more bacon than ever. This year’s tasting will feature eight different types of Breakaway Farms bacon (including chocolate-covered bacon!), paired with a Weyerbacher beer. ($25 for VIP hour and commemorative mug, 11 a.m. to noon; $20 regular entry from noon to 5 p.m.; VIP tickets are available now online; tastings offered until supplies run out).
Don’t leave PA Bacon Fest without checking out some of the festival’s free activities. On Saturday, the Swine Stage will feature a Costume Contest (12:30-1 p.m.), a Hog Calling Contest presented by Spin Radio (3:30-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday) and live music. The Piglets Playpen features a slate of activities for the youngest bacon fans. Catch pig and weiner dog races, presented by Frey Smiles, at 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. both days); and cheer on your favorite Lehigh Valley mascot during XPN Radio’s Mascot Dash (2 p.m. both days).
The Hog Wallows Hog Wild Stage presented by The Morning Call will keep your toes tapping with live music both days. School of Rock will have you dancing at the High on the Hog stage Saturday and Sunday. Find more live music and a puppet show at the Farm to Fest Stage and a Dunkin’ Donuts photo-op stop at Centre Cut. A Racin’ Bacon 5K kicks off at 9 a.m. on Sunday.
When you need a break from ‘pork-a-palooza’, head to the Pigskin Lounge to enjoy a beer, a bite and televised football. Then head back to the action.
Where exactly are all these people going to park? Shuttles will be set up at Bradens Air Field in Forks Township (9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.) and at Northampton County Courthouse, 669 Washington St. (10 a.m. to 7 p.m.). Parking will cost $10 per car. Shuttles will run approximately every 15 minutes. For anyone who wishes to walk to a shuttle lot, transportation to the festival will cost $5.
Parking will also be available at city garages for a flat rate of $10. Detailed parking information can be found at http://pabaconfest.com/parking-directions.
Visitors will also be asked to contribute a $2 suggested donation, which offsets the cost of the festival and benefits the Greater Easton Development Partnership’s programs.
“We do our best to offer a family-friendly festival with a number of free activities,” Wyant said. “In order to do that, we ask our visitors for a small donation. Anyone who donates gets a raffle ticket and can enter to win swine swag at our information booth.”
Raffle tickets will be pulled every hour, and winners will receive gift baskets worth $100. Find more information at http://pabaconfest.com/raffle.
If you’re looking for a memorable photo of this squealing good time, look no further than these spots:
- Cohen Feeley Altemose & Rambo’s Mechanical Pig Rides (offered all day, both days; $7)
- Dueling Swine: Last year’s champion chefs return to battle for bacon supremacy. On Friday night, Chef Abe Lopez (Stoke) will challenge newcomer Chef Fred Grant (The Bayou Easton) to an all-night cooking showdown, where they’ll each slow roast a 200-pound roaster and have it ready in time for Saturday’s festival. (Visitors can take part in the Dueling Swine taste test for $15 either day). On Saturday night, Mike Pichetto (last year’s champion and 3rd & Ferry Fish Market chef) will find himself in another battle against Chef Jeremy Bialker of Two Rivers Brewing Co. It’s the fourth year Pichetto and Bialker will face off, with Pichetto hoping to add a third win to his record and Bialker hoping to even the score. Visitors can taste the results of that Dueling Swine battle on Sunday.
- Bacon Costume Contest (12:30-1 p.m. Saturday, Swine Stage)
- Hog-Calling Contest (3:30-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Swine Stage)
- Bacon-Eating Contest presented by Lehighvalleylive.com (12:30-1 p.m. Sunday, Swine Stage)
- Mascot Dash presented by WXPN Radio (2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Piglets Stage)
- Pig and weiner dog races presented by Frey Smiles (11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., 4 p.m., 5 p.m. both days, Piglets Stage)
- Racin’ Bacon 5K (9 a.m. Sunday, Riverside Park, http://pabaconfest.com/bacon-dash-5k/)
Planning to cover PA Bacon Fest? Give us a shout and we’d be happy to help coordinate photos or interviews. Connect with us: