Celebrate all things bacon at the bacon festival

| August 25, 2017

Danielle Newman and Jared Norman were named the 2016 Bacon King and Queen.

COSHOCTON – Labor Day weekend conjures up images of hamburgers, hot dogs, and ending the summer season with friends and family at an all-weekend celebration. But this year, why not include bacon in your celebrations at the annual Appalachian Bacon Nation Festival, a festival dedicated to celebrating all things bacon.

This year’s Bacon Festival is merging with Our Town Coshocton’s First Friday event for a two-day weekend event. The final First Friday of the season will be Friday, Sept. 1 starting at 5 p.m. and then the Bacon Festival will kick off Saturday morning.

“It makes it a lot easier now that we’ve joined with Our Town because they are a 501c3 and they have members,” said Brad Fuller. “It’s been a great help joining with an established group because putting on these events is very daunting.”

The Bacon Festival will begin at 9 a.m. with the “Bacon & Legs” 5K race, hosted by DK Races and Events and sponsored by Raymond James/Pyle Financial. Registration for the 5K starts at 8 a.m. Pre-registration is $25 and race day registration is $30. Online registration can be completed at baconlegs.eventbrite.com.

The opening ceremony begins at 11 a.m. and Acoustic Edge will provide live music from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Other groups will perform later in the afternoon.

The highlight of the festival will be the Bacon King and Queen Contest which will be at 2 p.m. at the gazebo on the courthouse lawn. This is open to any high school senior in the county, including the Christian school, career center, and homeschool. Each applicant will be interviewed and the winners will receive a $500 scholarship each.

At 3 p.m., there will be a Kiddie Pedal Tractor Pull and at 5 p.m., the much-anticipated bacon-eating contest will begin. Sign up for the contest the day of the event. Mike Bectol will emcee.

“It’s a very popular event,” said Fuller. “People can sign up right before the contest and they get a plate of bacon and see who can eat it first. It was a lot of fun last year.”

After the sun sets, the movie “Babe” will be shown in the artPARK space.

All day there will be food and craft vendors, a children’s play area, and a beer garden at the artPARK. The beer garden will be separate from the rest of the activities and will close down at 6 p.m. in time for the movie after dark.

All the activities at the festival are free except for food.

“We want to keep this a free event that families can go to,” said Fuller.

Not only is the festival about enjoying a BLT, but it is also a tribute to Coshocton’s connection to bacon.

“The festival is in celebration of bacon,” said Fuller. “We are the bacon capital of the U.S. with Kraft Heinz making Oscar Meyer bacon. They also employ a lot of people. They’re important to our community for our economic development and what they’ve invested here is huge. We want to celebrate the fact that we have a hand in that, feeding the U.S. bacon products right out of Coshocton, Ohio.”

One of Fuller’s memories from past festivals is the BLT sandwich made by Mike Cichon and John Larson. They made the bread, cooked the bacon, cut up all the tomatoes and lettuce, and made the unofficial largest BLT ever.

“My memories in general are just looking around and seeing all the people there sharing that time as a community,” said Fuller. “We have so much stress now with the way the world is and I think that the festival is a time to come together as a community to put aside all that for a little while and enjoy bacon. It’s a quality of life event. It’s to make life a little bit better.”

For more information on First Friday or the Bacon Festival, or to download applications for the king and queen contest or a vendor application, visit ourtowncoshocton.org.

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Category: Arts & Entertainment

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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