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Bacon Fest sizzles back in Downtown Easton for its 12th year this weekend

Greater Easton Development Partnership
PA Bacon Fest is back in Downtown Easton this week, featuring over 100 vendors pushing your favorite smoky, salty pork product.

  • Pennsylvania Bacon Fest returns to Easton this Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 4 and 5
  • More than 140 vendors will offer up a variety of bacon-centric dishes and desserts
  • Cooking competitions, special events and more also will be featured

EASTON, Pa. — Bacon is back in town this weekend as Easton’s most famous festival rings in 12 years of sizzling celebrations.

PA Bacon Fest is coming to the city’s downtown from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with the highly anticipated “Crispy Revolution” bringing just about every iteration of everyone’s favorite savory, smoky, salty treat one can imagine.

“Bacon Fest, like all of our festivals, gives us an opportunity to showcase the city and all the improvements we've made. And hopefully that will bring people back Downtown, shopping in our stores and restaurants in the future. They usually come down and they can't believe how beautiful it is, with the changes we’ve made."
Mayor Sal Panto Jr.

A flagship enterprise of the city, PA Bacon Fest has been named one of Parade.com’s “5 Can’t Miss Bacon Festivals,” and one of Fest300.com’s top 300 festivals in the world.

With an endless variety of bacon-infused and inspired dishes — savory and sweet, but all crunchy and tasty — the festival promises more than 140 vendors showcasing their culinary creativity and innovative concoctions involving the pork product.

Easton Mayor Sal Panto Jr. may not be able to pin down what his must-have bacon item is, but he said he's looking forward to touring the festival and meeting residents and visitors alike.

“Bacon Fest, like all of our festivals, gives us an opportunity to showcase the city and all the improvements we've made," Panto said.

"And hopefully, that will bring people back downtown, shopping in our stores and restaurants in the future. They usually come down and they can't believe how beautiful it is, with the changes we’ve made.”

Beyond the bacon

Beyond the bacon delicacies and desserts, the event also features live music, hog-calling, costumes, demonstrations, cook-offs, activities, bacon-eating contests and so much more.

But the purveyors of the fest are not just bringing home the bacon for themselves — the big event serves as a fundraiser for the nonprofit Greater Easton Development Partnership.

Volunteers at the gate will ask attendees for $5 donations that go to the nonprofit, supporting free events and programming in Easton throughout the year, including Fourth Fridays, Live at the Falls, the West Ward Market and more.

Donators will get a raffle ticket that can win them prize baskets including Lehigh Valley IronPigs tickets, gifts from Easton merchants, and PA Bacon Fest merchandise.

Festival-goers can buy additional tickets for a bacony-boosted advantage.

The biggest draw of the event is the bacon, of course. But PA Bacon Fest holds a bash like you’ve likely never seen, smelled or tasted before, with just about everyone’s favorite food available in all its glorious forms.

Sandwiches include the famously decadent 50/50 burger — half beef, half bacon — from the Three Oaks Steakhouse and the pork belly cinnamon roll with maple bacon bourbon BBQ sauce from Lehigh Valley Barbeque.

If you want to go international, there’s the bacon tikka burger from Aman’s Indian Bistro, and a bacon waffle topped with bacon brittle and sweet butter from Two Rivers Brewing.

More pork offerings

Beyond that, there’s always a plethora of pork specialties, such as sausages, barbecue and pork belly, along with peanut butter bacon brownie bites and dozens of desserts that feature bacon in starring and supporting roles.

Since PA Bacon Fest is all-inclusive, you also can find a few offerings of vegan and gluten-free friendly foods from various vendors.

As for entertainment, PA Bacon Fest will feature more than 30 performers of just about every genre, including classic rock, bluegrass, pop and country, who organizers promise will have attendees squealing with delight.

Amateur bacon buffs will have an opportunity to display their talents at the Swine Showdown at 2 p.m. Saturday, when three home cooks will partake in an event that layers in plenty of culinary trivia and fun prizes for the audience.

Contestants will cook their way through a mystery bag of fresh ingredients from Easton Public Market, alongside a pound of pasture-raised bacon from Breakaway Farms.

The winning cook will get a $100 gift card from the Easton Public Market.

The pros will take to the Bacon Battle at 2 p.m. Sunday, when reigning champion Abe Lopez, executive chef of Stoke Coal Fire Pizza and Bar, will face off against two chefs for the title of 2024 Baconator.

The elite bastions of bacon will demonstrate their chops by working their way through a mystery bag of fresh ingredients from Easton Public Market, along with a pound of pasture-raised bacon from Breakaway Farms, just like their amateur counterparts.

And contests, too

Organizers are alerting attendees to expect a few twists and turns along the way, with culinary trivia and prizes for the audience.

One lucky audience member will have an opportunity to serve as a guest judge for the pros.

Additional activities at the fest ensure attendees won’t be bored, with Bacon and Brew Tasting set for noon to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, or until supplies are exhausted.

The $30 tickets, available on site, lets guests 21 and older sample six Two Rivers Brewing Company beers paired with a half dozen specialty varieties of bacon from Breakaway Farms.

Those interested also score special privileges by buying a pass ahead of time for the VIP hour — 11 a.m. to noon both days — for $40, for a special PA Bacon Fest tankard and two additional pairings.

Aman’s will be host for the event's first Mocktail bar.

There also are a variety of family-friendly performances and activities in the Family Fun Zone, sponsored by Godshall’s.

They include a bungee jump for $12, a rock-climbing wall for $8 and free face painting and balloon creations.

Free pig and wiener dog races will be held at 11 a.m., noon and 1 and 4 p.m. both days.

The Pigskin Lounge will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, letting attendees escape the crowd, grab a beer and watch a football game on a 15-foot LED screen.

Looking to dress up as a delectable slice? Enter the Bacon Costume Contest, from 1:30 to 2 p.m. both days, for free.

Registration will be on-site 15 minutes prior to the start of the event, and prizes will be given to the best-dressed adult, kid, and pup.

If you have a particular talent for rounding up those piggies, enter the Hog-Calling Contest, sponsored by Moe’s Southwest Grille.

You can register for the free event on-site 15 minutes before the start, and prizes will be awarded for the best adult and best child.